If you bruise easily, you may not even remember what caused the
bruise. Bruising easily does not mean that you have a serious health problem,
especially if you only have one or two bruises or if an unexplained bruising
does not occur very often.
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.
The symptoms of hemophilia include:
In some cases, lengthy bleeding after circumcision
Swollen, painful joints
Swollen, tender muscles
Excessive bleeding from the gums, tongue, or mouth following injury (seen particularly in infants and toddlers)
Severe bleeding after tooth extractions or other invasive dental procedures
Severe bleeding after injuries or operations
Multiple bruises or red blood spots under the skin that appear
suddenly for no obvious reason (in the absence of a bump or fall) are
It may be a coincidence that bruises appear at the same time that
you or your child becomes sick with an illness, such as the flu. However,
unexplained blood spots under the skin (purpura or
petechiae) that occur with signs of illness, such as a
fever or severe headache, may mean a serious infection or medical condition
that requires immediate medical care. Prompt medical treatment may prevent
serious complications and even loss of life.
Other possible causes of bruises and blood spots under the skin
A medication, such as aspirin or blood thinners
Infection that causes the
buildup of toxin in the blood or tissues (sepsis).
bleeding or clotting disorder, such as
von Willebrand's disease, or
Other diseases that
affect clotting. Examples include:
Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as
Liver disease, such as
Some types of cancer, such as
Inflammation of a blood vessel (vasculitis).
Malnutrition, such as
deficiencies of vitamins
B12, C, or K, or
Medical treatment for abnormal bruises may focus on stopping bleeding
or treating any underlying medical problem that is causing the bruising.
Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
May 6, 2009
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 06, 2009
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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