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What Causes Bleeding Pores?

By Angela Farrer
Updated Mar 06, 2024
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Certain illnesses, such as cutaneous porphyria, yellow fever, and Von Willeband's disease, cause bleeding pores in some people who already have low amounts of specific proteins that allow the blood to clot sufficiently. Bleeding pores can sometimes be a side effect when the pathogens or enzymes associated with these diseases are strong enough to break down the regular function of blood platelets. A medical condition called hematidrosis can also cause bleeding through pores in a manner similar to sweating. This health problem is normally quite rare and only manifests during times of intense emotional or physical stress. A small number of individuals who have this condition with no medically apparent cause are usually diagnosed with idiopathic Type II platelet disorder.

Imbalances of enzymes in the structure of the blood's iron molecules can sometimes lead to a subcategory of porphyria that physicians designate as cutaneous because it primarily affects the skin's normal function. This condition has various symptoms, such as dark discolorations of the skin, extreme sensitivity to sunlight, receding gums, and even decomposition of the skin. Signs of this porphyritic-induced tissue death can include bleeding through the skin along with swelling, itching, or pain.

Outbreaks of yellow fever can develop in people bitten by mosquitoes carrying the disease's harmful bacteria. Physicians classify this medical condition as a hemorrhagic viral infection that can be particularly dangerous in patients with previously weakened immune systems. Severe yellow fever infections can disrupt liver function and cause significant internal organ hemorrhages. Signs of this uncontrolled hemorrhaging can include bleeding pores in some cases.

Some rare cases of Von Willeband's disease can cause bleeding pores when levels of blood-clotting proteins are very low and the blood is thin in consistency due to improper platelet function. Hematidrosis is another medical condition associated with blood seeping through the skin. This disorder triggers bleeding pores when clusters of capillaries around each sweat gland rupture due to heightened blood pressure. Medical experts often report that people with hematidrosis normally experience its symptoms along with feelings or extreme fear or anxiety.

Type II platelet disorder is a rare cause of bleeding through the pores with no apparent underlying disease or disorder. Individuals who are not suffering from an infection, such as yellow fever or an inherited condition like Von Willeband's disease, can still regularly bleed through their skin. They typically do not feel any pain during these episodes, although the risks of anemia and physical deterioration from the blood loss can be high.

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Discussion Comments

By anon995289 — On Apr 18, 2016

Last night I was sitting with my friend (aged 50 years)

after dinner. I had seen blood spots on his trousers and we checked, but did not find any wound or scratches, and it was not from his anus or penis. I am unable to understand from where it came from. Please advise.

By anon989355 — On Mar 03, 2015

My son recently suffered this bizarre event and had been working in extreme heat; 40+C on top of a steel rooftop. Unfortunately at the time, he was also suffering from glandular fever and I believe this was adding to the stress on his body (which I personally believe was the underlying factor in this phenomenon). He was admitted to hospital by his doctor who was baffled by the event and unable to diagnose only to have the hospital release him with a note that it was a probably just a nose bleed (which we know it was definitely not!).

By anon979280 — On Nov 24, 2014

I had this happen to me yesterday, while I was working in the sun (40°c+) I noticed the back of my forearms had a thin layer of blood on them.

I washed it off thinking maybe it was from scratches (doing chainwire fencing, cuts the hell out of you) only to find no cuts or scratches. Within minutes, blood had seeped through my skin enough to completely cover my forearms again. Off to the doc today to try and figure out what it is.

By anon335852 — On May 24, 2013

This happened to me tonight. Just one pore on my face bled. I noticed it out of the corner of my eye, and it just so happens that I have been going through a lot of extreme stress for the last few months. The past few days have actually been the worst, though.

I came across this site after doing an online search of "why would I bleed out of one random pore". Good to know I don't have yellow fever, though. It's not a smear of blood like someone posted, or a light colored red. It's a deep, dark red blood drop that gets bigger and bigger and then seems to stop. If you try and wipe it away, it just comes back and keeps bleeding. So right now as I'm typing this, I have a dark red drop of blood on the upper part of my right nostril.

I'm going to try and go to bed again and hopefully it doesn't start back up while I'm sleeping. Earlier I woke up with smeared blood on my hand.

By ddljohn — On Oct 04, 2011

@Tomislav-- You know, aside from inherited diseases that cause this, I really do think that hematohidrosis/hematidrosis is mainly a stess-related health problem.

I had already heard about it happening when a patient is stressed but I've witnessed it first hand with my niece who has hematohidrosis. She was diagnosed with it two years ago and doctors have done all sorts of tests to figure out why this was happening. They have not been able to find an underlying cause, her blood and vein system seem to working just fine. They recommended therapy for her and she underwent a sixth month psycho-therapy and medicine treatment for anxiety.

While she was in therapy, the bleeding completely stopped. It was amazing and we all thought that she had been cured. But then the therapy ended, and she started to bleed again.

This proves to me that the bleeding has everything to do with her psychology. She is still very young, only fifteen years old. I don't know what could make her so stressed and worried to cause such a physical reaction. But I'm insisting with her parents for her to go back to therapy for some more time.

I think this is also an example for the rest of us that we need to relax and not worry so much.

By burcidi — On Oct 03, 2011

From what I understand, bleeding pores is not really blood coming out of our pores. When I first heard about this syndrome, I imagined blood rushing out of the skin in huge amounts. But then I saw an article about it in a health magazine and they also had pictures of what it looked like. It looks more like watery red paint smeared on the skin in small sections.

The article said that this fluid is actually a combination of sweat and blood and the bleeding tends to happen for short period of time, like one or two minutes and then stops. The interesting part is that people who see someone going through this think that they've just been hurt in an accident. But when the blood is wiped off, they are shocked not to see any cuts underneath. Apparently, this bleeding is also not painful.

It must be very difficult for people who have this to suddenly break out in bloody sweat in the middle of whatever they are doing. I hope that a successful treatment can be found for them.

By SteamLouis — On Oct 03, 2011

We learned in biology class about how blood platelets prevent us from losing a lot of blood when we cut ourselves. Platelets that function well form a plug in that area so that blood doesn't continue to flow out. It's what causes our cuts to scab over. I know that there is a disease in which platelets are not able to form this plug and people could even die from blood loss if something is not done.

Is the cause of this the same as the cause of bleeding pores?

By Tomislav — On Oct 03, 2011

From the sound of things, it sounds like Jesus had hematidrosis before he died. This makes a lot of sense as the reason why he bled out of his pores instead of sweat. This article says hematidrosis is due to an extreme, overwhelming amount of emotional and/or physical stress. Jesus had an unimaginable amount of both emotional and physical stress, so him bleeding from his pores makes a lot of sense now.

I wonder if people ever develop hematidrosis when they or a loved one gets severely sick and/or dies suddenly/unexpectedly. Like if someone has a brain aneurysm, natural weather disasters, sudden diseases that kill someone instantly, or tragic/senseless murders like September the 11th of 2001. Or a car accident, or anything that people do not have time to at least mentally/emotionally prepare for suffering/death/dying at all.

I have had quite a bit of death in my family, but most of it has happened when I was too young to really understand what was happening. One of my worst fears is losing my loved ones, so I will not be surprised if I end up having hematidrosis if/when I lose loved ones. The thought of losing even one loved one seems unbearable.

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