Bruising easily

Bruising easily: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Bruising easily does not mean that you have a serious health problem, especially if bruising is minimal or only shows up once in a while. Women bruise more easily than men, especially from minor injuries on the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms.Older adults often bruise easily from minor injuries, especially injuries to the forearms, hands, legs, and feet. As a person ages, the skin becomes less flexible and thinner because there is less fat under the skin. The cushioning effect of the skin decreases as the fat under the skin decreases. These changes, along with skin damage from exposure to the sun, cause blood vessels to break easily. When blood vessels break, bruising occurs.Occasionally easy bruising is a sign of a health problem and may be caused by:A medicine, such as aspirin, blood thinners (anticoagulants), or some antibiotics.
  • Infection that causes the buildup of toxin in the blood or tissues (sepsis).
  • A bleeding or clotting disorder, such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or thrombocytopenia.
  • Other diseases that affect clotting (chronic inflammatory diseases, such as lupus; liver disease, such as cirrhosis; some types of cancer, such as Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, or multiple myeloma).
  • Inflammation of a blood vessel (vasculitis).
  • Malnutrition, such as deficiencies of vitamins B12, C, or K, or folic acid.
  • Blood-thinning drugs reduce your blood's ability to clot. As a result, bleeding from capillary damage might take longer than usual to stop — which allows enough blood to leak out and cause a bruise.
  • Topical and systemic corticosteroids — which can be used to treat various conditions, including allergies, asthma and eczema — cause your skin to thin, making it easier to bruise.
Although easy bruising and easy bleeding are often normal, they can be ominous signs of a serious underlying disease process. Platelet disorder and coagulation disorders must be considered.Symptoms:BruisingEasy bruising may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:Abdominal pain.
  • Failure of blood to clot.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding.
  • Gingival bleeding.
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis).
  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Itching feeling.
  • Joint pain.
  • Nausea with or without vomiting.
  • Rash.
  • Weakness (loss of strength).
Diagnosis:The history should focus on the onset of easy bruising as well as a Family history of hematologic disorders. A detailed history of Medications use is critical. The physical exam is essential in elucidating an underlying cause. Take note of which areas are bruised. Bruises on the lower extremities are not considered quite as abnormal as bruising elsewhere, but petechiae, which are typically seen on the lower extremities, are a sign of severe thrombocytopenia. Evidence of hematologic malignancy should be sought, including lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. Laboratory investigations should include a complete blood count, platelet count, prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time. Hematologic malignancy may be uncovered with a complete blood count with peripheral smear.Treatment:Most bruises heal without treatment. You can help bring down the swelling and reduce pain by applying a cold compress to the bruise and elevating the injured area. You may be advised to take an over-the-counter pain remedy such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®).Natural treatment:Rub a little tincture of Arnica or arnica gel onto the bruise. Arnica (Arnica montana) comes from a plant in the daisy family that grows in the Rocky mountains, and it's wonderful for bruises, sprains, and sore muscles. Aloe vera, from a succulent plant native to Africa, also soothes skin irritation.
  • Bilberry extract, best known for improving vision and optical health, contains anthocyanosides; these are potent antioxidants that may help reduce or eliminate bruising by stabilizing collagen, increasing intracellular vitamin C levels and strengthening capillaries.
  • Eating red meat is the easiest way to boost your iron levels with food because the type of iron meat delivers is the easiest for your body to absorb. Other iron-rich food sources are chickpeas, beans, raisins, apricots, eggs, and fortified cereals.
To prevent minor bruising, eliminate household clutter that could cause bumps or falls. Long-sleeved shirts and pants can provide an extra layer of protection for your skin. Limit prolonged exposure to the sun to help you avoid its aging effects and a resulting increased risk of bruising.Once a bruise has formed, however, not much can be done to treat it. Most bruises eventually disappear as your body reabsorbs the blood — although healing may take longer as you age. If the bruise is swollen, it might help to apply a cold compress and elevate the affected area. After the swelling decreases, a warm compress might speed removal of the blood. If the sight of a bruise bothers you, cover it with clothing or makeup.You might not be able to eliminate easy bruising. However, taking simple steps to protect your skin and avoid injury can go a long way toward keeping you bruise-free.Bruising may also indicate something more serious, such as a Blood-clotting problem or a blood disease. See your doctor if:You have unusually large or painful bruises, particularly if your bruises seem to develop for no known reason.
  • You're bruising easily and you're experiencing abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from your nose, gums or intestinal tract.
  • You have no history of bruising but suddenly experience bruises, particularly if you recently started a new medication.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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