Bruises are normal when you trip over something or if your body is exposed to an external force or pressure. A bluish discoloration appears and may fade away in a few days.
However, if you observe too many bruises on your body and have no idea about the causes, then you may have to pay more attention to the signs your body is showing.
Some individuals bruise easily than the others and there are several reasons why their bodies may be prone to easy bruising. Let’s examine these reasons in detail.
1. Old Age
Bruising becomes more frequent as you age. This is because the body’s fat tissues become thinner and the blood vessels lose a part of their elasticity, making them more prone to breaking.
As you age, you will observe that your bruises are common on the back of your arms and legs. So, the smallest blow or bump to your body may result in a mild to severe bruise depending on the intensity.
The bruises usually disappear within a few days; however, if you notice the presence of large bruises that remain on your body for a long duration, then you may have to consult your doctor immediately.
Sometimes, easy bruising may be due to your family history. In other words, your genes may be the reason for your body’s easy bruising. However, there is no need to panic as these bruises are usually harmless.
The main cause of this may be due to fragile blood vessels. Sometimes, bruises may be easily visible on pale skin than darker skin.
One of the most common genetic disorders that can cause easy bruising is the Von Willebrand disease (VWD). This is caused due to a missing or defective clotting protein. It occurs equally in men and women and is the most common bleeding disorder affecting about 1 percent of the US population.1
Certain medications can also cause you to bruise or bleed easily. Some individuals require these medications to treat their health conditions. For instance, certain heart or blood vessel diseases require blood thinning medicines to prevent the formation of blood clots.
There are two types of blood-thinning medications: anticoagulants such as heparin or warfarin and antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin.2 These may reduce the body’s ability to form blood clots and weaken the blood vessels making it prone to bruising.
So, all blood thinning medications should be taken under the supervision of your healthcare provider. It is important to follow the instructions and stick to the dosage prescribed.
4. Sun Damage
Although exposure to sunlight is important for the production of vitamin D in the body, overexposure to the UV radiation may cause adverse effects like photoaging, skin damage, or even skin cancer.
If you are spending too much time out in the sun with little or no sun protection, then your skin may become prone to bruising. Studies have reported that the overexposure to the UV radiation may cause the skin to chap, crack, or scar easily.3
So, if you spend your time exposed to the sun for too long, don’t forget to apply and reapply your sunscreen lotion in areas that are easily exposed to direct sunlight to protect your skin.
5. Strenuous Exercises
If you enjoy working out and staying fit, do so in moderation. If you do not keep a control over your physical activities, whether at home or at the gym, you may notice that your body is easily bruised.
Excess strain during exercises can cause a microscopic tear in the muscles leading to visible bruises. Lifting heavy weights, more than what your body can handle, may cause blood vessels to burst that may lead to bruises.
Therefore, keep a check on the intensity of your exercises and physical activities. If you are into sports and other athletic activities, do not overstrain your body during practice.
6. Health Conditions
Although rare, frequent bruises may be an indication that you may have an underlying health condition. If you notice too many bruises on your body that remain for a long period of time and do not know the cause, then it may be due to certain blood clotting disorders or even serious illnesses like leukemia.
Other illnesses that may cause easy bruising include liver diseases, platelet dysfunctions, vitamin K deficiency, etc. These cannot be self-detected. Therefore, it is important to visit the doctor as soon as you observe too many unexplained bruises.
Too much alcohol consumption may be another reason why you may be prone to easy bruising. Studies have shown that alcohol is associated with lower platelet activity.4 Disorders affecting normal platelet functioning can result in bruises and bleeding.
Unhealthy habits like smoking may cause the narrowing of your blood vessels causing a delay in wound healing. Also, smoking cigarettes can cause the blood vessels to lose their elastic properties causing easy bruising with minimal trauma.
Sometimes, easy bruising may be a sign of an unhealthy diet where the body does not get enough nutrients, especially vitamin C and vitamin K. A deficiency in proteins and zinc may also cause your body to bruise easily. This type of bruising can be healed with good nutrition.
So, following a balanced diet, providing enough physical exercise to your body, and discarding unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking too much alcohol may help prevent easy bruising. For genetic causes, not much can be done but it is always important to visit your doctor regularly.
|↑1||Von Willebrand Disease. National Hemophilia Foundation.|
|↑2||Blood Thinners. MedlinePlus.|
|↑3||Biniek, Krysta, Kemal Levi, and Reinhold H. Dauskardt. “Solar UV radiation reduces the barrier function of human skin.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, no. 42 (2012): 17111-17116.|
|↑4||Mukamal, Kenneth J., Joseph M. Massaro, Kenneth A. Ault, Murray A. Mittleman, Patrice A. Sutherland, Izabella Lipinska, Daniel Levy, Ralph B. D’agostino, and Geoffrey H. Tofler. “Alcohol consumption and platelet activation and aggregation among women and men: the Framingham Offspring Study.” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 29, no. 10 (2005): 1906-1912.|