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Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP)

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of HSP may be clear when the typical rash, arthritis, and abdominal pain are present. A doctor may order some tests to rule out other diagnoses, confirm the diagnosis, and assess its severity.

Occasionally, when the diagnosis is uncertain, particularly if the only symptom is the classic rash, your doctor may perform biopsies of the skin or kidney. Urine and blood tests will likely be done to detect signs of kidney involvement and may need to be repeated during follow-up to monitor any changes in kidney function.

Although there is no specific treatment for HSP, you can use over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen for joint pain. In some cases, corticosteroid medication may be used.

The rash and joint pain will usually go away after four to six weeks without causing any permanent damage. Bouts of the rash may recur in approximately one-third of cases, but they are usually milder, do not involve joint and abdominal symptoms, and they clear up on their own.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on July 12, 2013

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