What is a bruise? Get insights on the meaning, bruising easily causes and other unexplained reasons that may cause this condition. You will also learn more about the various treatments of a bruise.
What is a Bruise
A bruise is also medically known as a contusion, it is a discoloration of the skin that results from breakage of small blood vessels beneath the soft skin tissues after an injury or any other trauma. A bruise is normally caused by internal bleeding into skin tissues that does not allow a break through the skin.
A blunt trauma results to the damage of soft skin tissues by causing compression and deceleration forces on the affected area. Trauma to the skin may result from a variety of causes such as accidents, surgeries and falls. Your body may also react to some diseases and allergies by causing a bruise. Such diseases includes insufficient platelets, vascular disorders and coagulation deficiencies.
A bruise normally happens in stages. After having a trauma on the skin, the affected area will appear red or purple and tender. The area may become swollen as a result of blood collecting underneath the skin. After a few days, the bruise changes the color to blue or blackish. After one week, it becomes greenish or yellow which may turn to brown from the second week. It will finally starts to lighten as it heals.
Contusion normally goes away after two weeks or even sooner. Those that does not go away easily are associated with serious injuries such as fractures and severe internal bleeding. Lighter skin may show minor bruising easily as compared to dark skin.
Why Do I Bruise Easily
Bruises are commonly caused by broken small blood capillaries beneath your skin. After bumping into a coffee table, you may realize a dark or blue mark on your leg. This happens when the bloods leaks out of the capillaries into the skin tissues. The mark will eventually disappear within a period of two weeks.
A heavy-hitting will cause a larger bruise. However, you may notice small bruises on your body without knowing the cause. They may result from minor injuries on your skin. Bruises may be common to some people while not others. Women are more prone to this condition as compared to men.
As you age, your skin becomes thinner which increases bruising easily. Your skin loses a protective fatty layer that guards it against minor injuries. The chances of developing other body condition like diabetes and blood conditions also increases as you age. Such conditions may also contribute to leakage of blood from the capillaries.
Medications and supplements may also cause easy bruising. Aspirin, anti-plate agents and anticoagulant medication interferes with blood clotting ability. They causes bleeding of the blood capillaries to take longer before stopping since the blood does not clot easily.
Bruising Easily Causes
You may be wondering, why do I bruise easily all of a sudden? In some cases you may notice a bruise on your skin but you can’t recall bumping into anything. You may expect a bruise after knocking yourself against a blunt object or shutting your finger in the door but others may develop mysteriously without noticing the cause. Various factors may result to bruising as follows:
- The type of your skin
You may develop bruises easily is your skin is thin. This condition is most experienced by children and older people. The collagen on your skin decreases as you age and hence making your skin more susceptible to minor injuries that you may not notice easily. The skin also loses the protective fatty layer that provides protection against injuries
- Blood disorders
A bruise may also form easily as a result of blood disorders. Hemophilia and leukemia results to unexplained bruising causes due to improper blood clotting. Frequent bruises may be a symptom of such conditions. It is therefore important to visit your doctors for diagnosis before your condition becomes worse.
- Purpuric dermatosis
This is a vascular condition that causes leaking of blood out the small capillaries into the skin tissue. It causes many and tiny bruises all over the affected area or even the whole skin. It is a condition that is experienced by elderly people than the youth and the children.
- Strenuous exercises
You may experience bruising after a rigorous exercise. Athletes normally develops bruising easily on legs, heavy weight lifters may also suffer from this condition. Excessive straining during the exercise causes bursting of small blood capillaries that bleeds internally to form bruise. Exercise can also cause small tears in the muscles to form this condition.
- Certain types of medications
Taking certain medication may react with your body to form small bruises on the skin. Medications such as aspirin, anticoagulants and anti-platelet reduces the blood clotting ability hence causing bruising’s. There are also other medications that may weaken the walls of the capillaries to cause leakage and bleeding of the blood beneath the skin. Such medicines includes prednisone, oral contraceptive, and aspirin among others.
- Sun poisoning
Excessive exposure to the sun may cause damage on your skin and result to bruising easily. It may cause excessive dehydration of skin which make the skin to become more prone to minor injuries. It also cause small bruises inside your skin to become more visible. Prolonged exposure to the sun especially between 10am and 2pm is harmful.
- Family history
Bruises also have a tendency of being genetically inherited from your family members. If your parents or other members of your family has this condition you are also likely to experience the same in case you are not medically treated.
- vitamin C deficiency
You are also likely to experience bruising easily vitamin deficiency. This condition is mainly experienced by elderly people. Vitamin C plays a big role in production of collagen that is an important component of the skin. A part from bruises, you are also likely to experience other symptoms such as bleeding gums, depression, fatigue, nosebleed and swollen joints.
- Super pale skin
Having a pale skin does not mean that you are prone to bruises. A pale skin shows any slight discoloration. It becomes more visible as compared to a darker skin therefore, you are likely to notice small bruised caused by minor injuries.
- Increased body fats
High level of body fats increases the chances of developing bruises. This explains why women are more prone to bruises as compared to men
- Alcohol consumption
Taking alcohol also increases the chances of developing bruises. A part from the likelihood of getting minor injuries while drunk, the research also shows that excessive consumption of alcohol can act as blood-thinner. It also decreases the absorption of vitamin C into your body.
You may develop unexplained random bruising easily all over your body but the commonly affected areas includes the arms, legs, fingers, toe, thighs and face. There are various risk factors that causes this condition, they include the following:
- Bruises are common in elderly people due to their age. As you grow older, your skin becomes thinner and also, the tissues that support the blood capillaries becomes weakened. They may allow leakage of blood into the skin tissues.
- Individual who perform rigorous exercise such athletes may have bruised toenail and other parts of their body. The direct trauma that is accompanied with underlying hematoma results to bruises among the athletes. Lifting heavy weights may also cause tiny tearing of muscles.
- Vitamin C deficiency may also cause bruising
- Unexplained bruising on legs may also be a sign of physical abuse of a child.
- Minor injuries that results from bumping into objects or objects falling on you may also cause trauma to the skin that results to bruising.
- Bruises that also occur for no apparent reason may be indicating internal bleeding disorder.
Bruising For No Reason
A bruising that occurs for no reason may be indicating that you are having internal body disorders. Such bruises normally develops without a bump or a fall. The body conditions that may cause this type of bruising includes:
- Blood clotting disorders that prevents the blood from clotting normally. They include hemophilia, thrombocytopenia and von willebrands disease.
- The cancer of the blood may also cause bruising easily without reason. Diseases such as leukemia and multiple myeloma causes this skin condition.
- Liver diseases such as cirrhosis also interferes with the blood clotting process. It may lead to several bruises on different parts of your body.
- Inflammation of the pancreas as a result of acute pancreatitis disorder may also cause bruises especially on the abdominal areas.
- Various infections such as sepsis releases toxins in your blood that may result to leakage of blood out of the small capillaries.
You are supposed to visit your doctor right away after experiencing large unexplained bruises, bleeding of gums and nose, massive swelling and extreme pains, abnormally heavy menstrual periods and a bruise that fails to heal after a period of two to three weeks.
How to Treat Bruises
There is a possibility that bruises may be indicating serious health problems like blood-clotting conditions, liver diseases, lupus and certain types of cancer. In case your bruise is caused by a heavy trauma, takes more than two weeks to heal, causes a lot of paining or shows bleeding signs on other parts of your body such as gums and nose. It may be the right time to visit your doctor for treatment.
However, minor trauma that causes bruising easily on your skin can be treated by yourself at home. There are various methods you can employ on how to treat bruises and swelling on your skin fast. They include the following:
- Apply a cool compress, then a warm compress
Although a minor bruise may heal on its own within a duration of 2 weeks, applying a cool and warm compress may help to reduce the healing time as well as alleviating the pain and swelling. Immediately after a heavy-hitting, wrap an ice into a towel and place it over the affected areas. It will help to slow down the flow of blood and prevent swelling. When the pain and swelling decreases apply a warm compress several times a day. It helps in speeding up the healing process.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Take acetaminophen, it is effective on how to get rid of a bruise by reducing the pain and swelling of the affected area. Avoid taking aspirin and ibuprofen as they are blood-thinners. They may worsen your condition.
- Take more vitamins
Take more green vegetables and fruits to get enough vitamin K which are also known as clotting vitamins. They are found plenty in cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Take also a lot of citrus fruits that contain vitamin C that helps in production of collagen.