Bruises occur. But if you’re continuously discovering new black-and-blue marks and you can’t remember how they got there, it can be a slight alarming.
Typically a bruise is nothing to worry about, except the ouch factor. But there are many situations where they can be cause for concern. If you bruise often, this is what you need to know:
1. The color of a bruise is truly blood pooling under your skin—even that tremendously beautiful yellow color you often see.
A bruise occurs when your capillaries, small blood vessels that are near the surface, are traumatized. When damaged, blood sort of drips out of the vessels and goes into the space around them. What you’re seeing is the blood merging under the skin. It has a purple-red color originally, and as the blood breaks down into iron you will get that evolution to yellow-green before it resolves.
2. If you seem to bruise more easily than other people, it’s usually nothing to worry about.
Even the doctors can’t tell you for sure why some people are more disposed to bruising than others. It could just be that some people’s vessels are more fragile than others. There are syndromes related with poor clotting or vessel fragility that can predispose people to bruising, but these are unusual. If you’re convinced you tend to bruise more than your friends are, there’s really nothing you can do about it. But it’s also not anything to be concerned about. If you have pale skin, bruises might just show up more on you, so that it seems like you bruise more than other people. And if you think you discover a spontaneous bruise, it’s likely you just forgot where you got it.
3. As you age, you may notice you bruise more.
As you age, the vessels are getting weaker and you are will be more likely to bruise. The blend of normal aging plus skin damage from environmental factors results in collagen breakdown and general damage of skin cells. This also thins the skin and leave less tissue to conceal bruises. This may make them more obvious than before.
4. Being overweight or obese can cause bruising on the legs.
Your body weight doesn’t necessarily influence how easily you bruise, but carrying a lot of extra weight can cause bruise-like spots on your legs. Too much pressure on the vessels from body weight can cause blood to escape from them.
5. Certain medications can also cause extra bruising.
Any medicines that have a blood-thinning effect, like ibuprofen, aspirin and anti-coagulants such as warfarin, can make you much more prone to bruising.
6. Some nutrient deficiencies may make bruising more likely.
For your blood to clot correctly it needs vitamin K. So if you’re very deficient, you will bruise easier. Hypothetically, if you’re deficient in vitamin C, your blood vessels will be more fragile. But it’s not very likely in this modern society to have a large enough deficiency in these nutrients, except you have another health disorder that leads to it.
7. In unusual cases, excessive bruising could signal blood cancer or a clotting disorder.
Noticing a few bruises on your elbows and legs and you don’t remember getting them is not a big deal, don’t worry about it. But then again if you start spotting very large bruises appear in places you don’t usually get them, or the pain is out of ratio to the injury you got, it’s a good idea to check this with your doctor. Remember, if there is real cause for concern you will be experiencing also many other symptoms, like chills, fever, or unexplained weight loss.
8. Unluckily, there is not much you can do to make the bruises go away faster.
In most cases you just have to wait for them to disappear. There are lasers that can help with bruises, but don’t waste your money to get rid of standard bruise on your leg. Still, with icing immediately on the place where you banged, can help in minimizing the bruise a little. But when the blood is out of the vessels there is not much that you can do about it. Pay attention where you’re walking in the first place.