Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

It is possible that the main title of the report Henoch-Schönlein Purpura is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Allergic Purpura
  • Anaphylactoid Purpura
  • Hemorrhagic Capillary Toxicosis
  • Nonthrombocytopenic Idiopathic Purpura
  • Peliosis Rheumatica
  • Rheumatic Purpura
  • Schonlein-Henoch Purpura
  • HSP
  • Allergic Vasculitis
  • Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Henoch's Purpura
  • Schonlein's Purpura

General Discussion

Henoch-Schönlein purpura is a rare inflammatory disease of the small blood vessels (capillaries) and is usually a self-limited disease. It is the most common form of childhood vascular inflammation (vasculitis) and results in inflammatory changes in the small blood vessels. The symptoms of Henoch-Schönlein purpura usually begin suddenly and may include headache, fever, loss of appetite, cramping abdominal pain, and joint pain. Red or purple spots typically appear on the skin (petechial purpura). Inflammatory changes associated with Henoch-Schönlein purpura can also develop in the joints, kidneys, digestive system, and, in rare cases, the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).

In one form of the disorder, termed Schönlein's purpura, the skin and joints are affected but the gastrointestinal tract is not. In another form, known as Henoch's purpura, affected individuals have purplish spots on the skin and acute abdominal problems. People with Henoch's purpura are not affected by joint disease.

The exact cause of Henoh-Schönlein purpura is not fully understood, although research suggests that it may be an autoimmune disease or, in some rare cases, an extreme allergic reaction to certain offending substances (e.g., foods or drugs).


Vasculitis Foundation
PO Box 28660
Kansas City, MO 64188
Tel: (816)436-8211
Fax: (816)436-8211
Tel: (800)277-9474

American Kidney Fund, Inc.
11921 Rockville Pike
Suite 300
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel: (800)638-8299

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668

National Kidney Foundation
30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212)889-2210
Fax: (212)689-9261
Tel: (800)622-9010

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
Tel: (301)592-8573
Fax: (301)251-1223

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Office of Communications and Government Relations
6610 Rockledge Drive, MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
TDD: (800)877-8339

Platelet Disorder Support Association
133 Rollins Avenue, Suite 5
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel: (301)770-6636
Fax: (301)770-6638
Tel: (877)528-3538

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766

AutoImmunity Community

Kidney & Urology Foundation of America, Inc.
2 West 47th Street
Suite 401
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212)629-9770
Fax: (212)629-5652
Tel: (800)633-6628

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 4/25/2008
Copyright 1987, 1989, 1997, 2005 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream