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What causes purple discoloration on the legs?

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Posted on Thu, 19 Jul 2018
Question: Question, my 11 year old was running 2 miles, she's a runner inside the gym and she said after her legs looked purple. Last night she took a hot half hour shower and her foot by her big toe, that bone under it, look bluish but went back to normal after her body temperature was normal. What could be causing this? She is very thin and has very fair skin. Could it just be the heat making the blood vessels come to the surface?
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Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (31 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Exercise and hot shower increase blood supply by vasodilation

Detailed Answer:
Hi...I understand your concern.

But usually this purple discoloration can occur during decreased environmental temperature. This is called Raynaud phenomena.

But exercise and hot water shower, increase the temperature of the kid. But this Raynaud phenomena cannot occur during exercise and hot shower, wherein the body temperature increases.

If you have an image of this skin turning purple, please upload it on this website. I will see and get back to you.

Also, please let me know if there is any family history of such skin condition in the family

Regards -. Dr. Sumanth
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (20 minutes later)
So what could be causing this?? It goes back to normal shortly after her body temperature returns to normal.

I don’t think it’s heart or lung related cause she runs a lot?
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Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (7 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Looks like Raynaud like phenomena

Detailed Answer:
Hi...I agree with you that it is not heart or lung related.

Please get back to me with an image for the assessment.

Is there any family history of such issues.

Regards - Dr. Sumanth
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (3 minutes later)
No family history that I know of
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Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
I need images please

Detailed Answer:
Hi... I am happy that there is no family history. Skin conditions are best diagnosed only after seeing directly. I suggest you to upload photographs of the same on this website, so that I can guide you scientifically.

Regards - Dr. Sumanth

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Follow up: Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (8 minutes later)
Ok thanks, I will see if it happens tomorrow and get a picture.
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Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (50 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thank you - I will waiting for images

Detailed Answer:
Hi...thank you for getting back soon. I will awaiting for the images please.

Regards - Dr. Sumanth
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Answered by
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Dr. Sumanth Amperayani

Pediatrician, Pulmonology

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 8347 Questions

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What causes purple discoloration on the legs?

Brief Answer: Exercise and hot shower increase blood supply by vasodilation Detailed Answer: Hi...I understand your concern. But usually this purple discoloration can occur during decreased environmental temperature. This is called Raynaud phenomena. But exercise and hot water shower, increase the temperature of the kid. But this Raynaud phenomena cannot occur during exercise and hot shower, wherein the body temperature increases. If you have an image of this skin turning purple, please upload it on this website. I will see and get back to you. Also, please let me know if there is any family history of such skin condition in the family Regards -. Dr. Sumanth