Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Should I Worry When a Small Blood Vessel Breaks?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010 08:54 AM

Question: I am 62 years old, and occasionally I will feel a little pain and notice that a small blood vessel has broken in a finger or toe. A purple spot develops that goes away in a couple of days. I am of normal weight, and the only prescription I take is Synthroid. Should I be worried?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Painful spots in your fingers and toes need to be evaluated by your doctor. While a broken blood vessel is possible, spontaneous rupture is unusual, and is usually not painful unless there is inflammation associated with the rupture.

“Purple spots" need to be examined by a trained eye for any sign of vasculitis (inflammation of a blood vessel), embolism (especially infectious), or other disorder that may appear similar.

One of the signs of subacute bacterial endocarditis is the presence of splinter hemorrhages (small splinter-like dark streaks in nail beds) and "Roth’s spots" (small, red lesions in the retina of the eye). See your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.

© HealthDay

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