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.
Normally, when bleeding begins, a complex series of chemical events produces a "plug" to stop the bleeding; this plug is called a fibrin clot. The fibrin clot is the end-product of many different "clotting factors" reacting in the blood. Hemophilia is an inherited condition in which one of these clotting factors (factor VIII or IX) is absent from the blood, so that it does not clot normally. If your health care provider suspects that you have hemophilia, you will be given blood tests to examine how...