Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a disease that involves purple spots on the skin, joint pain, gastrointestinal problems and glomerulonephritis (a type of kidney disorder). It is an inflammation of small blood vessels in the bowel, kidneys and skin. When these blood vessels become inflamed, they can bleed into the skin, causing a rash called purpura. The cause of HSP is unknown, but it has been linked with viral respiratory infections, strep throat, exposure to the cold, food allergies, bee stings, chemical toxins and prescription medications. It occurs most often in the spring.
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