Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Pediatric Care Plan

By David Shafran, MD
Medically reviewed
January 8, 2021

What is Henoch Schonlein Purpura (HSP)?

IgA vasculitis (IgAV), formerly and more commonly known as Henoch Schonlein Purpura (HSP), is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to blood vessels. ye

There is no known cause for HSP.

The main symptom of HSP is a characteristic rash called ‘purpura,’ which looks like small, raised purple spots or bruises most prominent on the lower half of the body. 

In addition to the characteristic rash, HSP can also cause symptoms like:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Blood in the urine- In rare cases, HSP can progress to serious kidney disease. 

In extremely rare cases, HSP can also cause scrotal pain, neurologic symptoms, respiratory symptoms and eye disease.

HSP Diagnosis & Treatment

The diagnosis is made based on your provider’s physical exam. Skin biopsies of the rash can confirm the diagnosis but are almost never necessary. 

There is no treatment for HSP. It usually gets better on its own. However, supportive care for your child includes:

  • Plenty of rest and hydration
  • Tylenol or ibuprofen for mild to moderate stomach and joint pain
  • Urine test- all children diagnosed with HSP should have their urine tested for blood regularly for up to 6 months after the diagnosis is made

When Can My Child Return to School?

HSP is not contagious. Your child can return to school as soon as they are feeling well enough and don’t have a fever.

See a Doctor in Person If…

All patients with suspected HSP should be evaluated in person by their doctor to confirm the diagnosis. After confirmation, please revisit your child’s doctor if:

  • They develop a bad stomach ache
  • They develop blood in their stool
  • They develop significant joint pain
  • They have bloody urine or are urinating less
  • They have significant scrotal pain or swelling

Check in with K If…

  • You have general questions about your child’s condition
  • You want general followup for your child
  • You have questions about supportive care
  • Your child’s symptoms don’t go away but are not alarming
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

David Shafran, MD

Dr. Shafran is a board-certified pediatrics physician. He joins K Health from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led a pediatrics practice and completed a fellowship in transplant ethics. He has completed multiple fellowships, including one in pediatric nephrology at Rainbow, Babies & Children's University Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed his medical residency at the Jacobi Medical Center.