Bruise: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention & Treatments

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If you are confused with the term contusion, then it is nothing but the medical term for a bruise. The body is made of the cell, tissues, nerves, blood vessels and many more organs. The tiny blood vessels can break at any point in time. This results in a bruise. Various kinds of injuries can lead to bruises. But not all of them can cause a bruise. This can vary based on age, medications and a lot of other factors. When bruising is spontaneous, this can mean that one will bleed instantly. Commonly bruise occurs when the individual gets hurt, or an injury or trauma. Even getting hit on the coffee table, or falling off while walking can result in the bruise. Often it is considered tiny trouble. In a few cases, there is a raised bump or bruise that results from leaking of the blood in the blood vessels. When the blood leaks in the top layers of the skin, the purplish flat bruise occurs. This is medically called ecchymosis.

Causes of Bruise:

In a few people, bruises are more common than others.  This is due to their ages. In elderly people, who are fragile, the bruises can happen a lot more and stay for long. In young people, a lot of force is required to cause a bruise. But even minor scrapes and bruises, in elderly people extensive bruising is the result. Ageing results in the fragility of the blood vessels. The fragility can lead to bruising even without injuries.

Blood clotting can be interfered with by a few medications. This can be a reason behind the bruises that happen commonly in a few people. The medications prescribed for arthritis is an example. NSAIDs, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory can result in bruises. Examples are Advil, ibuprofen, warfarin and many other over the counter medications that can lead to bruises appearing commonly. These medications can lead to blood clots in the legs and heart. Warfarin leads to severe bruising and this is sure when the medication is of high dosage. The fragility of the blood vessels is triggered when the medicines of cortisones like prednisone are taken.

Haemophilia is one of the conditions that can lead to fragile blood vessels and common bruising. Patients with liver diseases can end up with unexplained bruising often. Bone marrow problems can lead to spontaneous bruising.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that affects the brain after an injury like whiplash. This condition leads not only to bruises, but also dizziness, sluggish feeling, vomiting, drowsiness, nausea, and sensitivity to light or noise.

Ankle sprain affects the ligaments and the bones that connect the leg and feet. When one falls off suddenly, an ankle sprain can happen. This can lead to pain, swelling and tenderness.

When the veins do not function properly, the condition is called varicose veins. The misshapen veins are the crucial symptoms, and the veins can form ulcers and bleed in advanced cases. This can also lead to bruises.

Medical world uses many terminologies to indicate the size and the cause of the bruises.

–  Petechiae: This indicates that the blood is accumulated under the skin, and it is 1 to 3 mm in size. They look like too many small red dots on the skin. This can happen on the legs mostly but can affect any part of the body. They are multiple, and a sign that the affected has some serious health issue associated.  One of the health issues can be the infection in the heart valves. Abnormal blood clotting too can be the reason.

– When there are bruises on the navel button or close to it, bleeding in the abdomen can be the reason.

– Skull fracture can lead to bruising behind the ear.

– Autoimmune diseases are the reasons behind the multiple, tiny, firm and raised bruises.

Even without injury and severe health complications, one can end up with bruises.

– Athletes and weightlifters are often seen with bruises as vigorous exercises can lead to microscopic tears in the blood vessels. Anybody who spends hours in strenuous exercises can suffer from tiny bruises

– Bleeding disorder can be the cause when one often ends up with bruises for no reason. This is even more pronounced when there is bleeding of the nose or gums accompany.

– The skin grows thin with age, and this is the reason why many elderly people are affected by bruises.

– Nutritional deficient can also be called the reason for the bruises. Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis of collagen. The deficiency of Vitamin C leads to poor healing and bruises.

– Vitamin K is responsible for the clotting of blood. When it is not adequately present, one can often end up with bruises.

– Zinc is responsible for the faster healing of wounds, and when not sufficient, this again leads to constant bruising. Compounds like citrine, catechin and rutin are called bioflavonoids and help in the proper healing of wounds. When deficient in these, bruises are common.

– Patients with Von Willebrand Disease often suffer from large bruises even after a minor bump.

– The blood platelet goes down drastically due to chemotherapy treatment is given for cancer treatment. Such patients can often develop bruises.

– Bleeding disorders like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) prevent the formation of blood clots in a natural manner. This can aggravate the chances of bruising.

– Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: The collagen disorders are characteristically defined with frequent bruising. This syndrome is one of them. The tissues become very delicate and break easily resulting in unexplained and constant bruising. This syndrome leads to severe bleeding disorders, and delays wound healing. This can even result in rupture of the internal organs like the intestines or the fetus developing in the uterus. This can also end up in premature death.

– Sun damage can lead to bruises typically on the arms.

– In children, bruising can be traced to physical abuse

– Alcohol abuse can end up in bruising often

– Marfan’s syndrome and leukaemia can also cause bruising.

Bruise Symptoms:

– A bruise when fresh and in the initial stages is red in colour. In a few hours, it can darken and turn into a purple colour. As it heals it can become yellow or green.

– Tenderness is commonly seen in bruises. And they can be painful during the initial 2 to 3 days. The colour fading is an indication that the pain can also fade faster. The bruises can also itch when they are healing.

– Hardly there are any chances of infections in the bruises. This is because the skin is not cut as it happens in the cuts or scrapes.

– Iron deposits on the skin, where there is repeated bruising. This leaves a yellowish-brown stain.

– They take a week or two to heal. But when someone has diabetes, or other conditions and deficiencies healing is going to take a bit longer.

– The natural healing process causes bruises, and forming knots in the areas of bruises is not uncommon.

Bruise Diagnosis

It is essential to seek medical advice if the bruise is swelling and unbearable pain. When the affected takes blood-thinning medication and experiences bruises, then it is essential to meet the doctor. When there is a pain in the fingernail or toenail pain is associated with unexplained bruises, contacting a doctor is essential. When the bruises do not go away in a few days, again medical intervention is on the cards.

When the bruises are on the head or eye, then it is called a goose egg. The patient may not be able to remember the reason for the bruise. When not on blood thinners, and if nausea and dizziness are seen, a concussion is suspected.

The doctors consider all signs and symptoms when treating bruises. When there is pain in the bruises, an X-ray is advised, to ensure that fracture is not involved. This is essential to start off with the treatment.

A blood test is done to find out about the bleeding disorders when the bruising is often unexplained.

The stages of healing of the bruises are taken into consideration when doctors are looking for physical abuse signs.

Bruise Treatment:

– When hematoma is found to be the reason behind the bruises, the doctor will have to drain it.

– The medications for thinning blood have to be adjusted if bruising does not heal in 3 to 4 weeks.

– Home remedies work well on bruises. A cold compress on the bruises can be applied to the bruises. This can be done for 20 minutes per hour. This reduces swelling and alleviates pain. One has to ensure that ice should not be applied straightly on the skin. Even a bag of frozen peas can be used.

– When a huge bruise is on the legs, the leg should be kept elevated for at least 24 hours.

– Painkillers available over the counter can be used. But the ones like aspirin should not be used, as they are blood thinners.

– When the bruise has gone over 2 days, it can be applied with a warm pad or warm washcloth. This helps in getting more flow of blood to the affected area. This also helps in discolouring the bruise.

– Bath with Epsom salt helps in relaxing the muscles, and also helps in faster healing the bruises.

– Natural methods like taking pineapples that have anti-inflammatory properties can be consumed. Aloe vera too can be applied to the affected area.

Bruise Prevention:

– Always use protective gear while riding and involved in physical activities. Hockey, football, cricket and all sports have specific protective gears. It is essential to use them. This not only prevents bruises but also prevents other injuries.

– The floors should be dry. Any damp space can lead to slip and fall. Keep the floor clutter-free. Furniture should not stand abruptly on the walkways or near the door.

– A small light that can help to find the right way during the nights is a must. This prevents slip and fall

– No wires or cords should be on the floor, and they should not lead to falling or trip.

– When blood thinners are part of medication get the do’s and don’t’s from the doctors. Adjusting the medication might be on the cars when injured.

– Vitamin C keeps one’s immune system strong and prevents easy bruising.

Identifying the difference between bruises and blood clots is crucial.

Blood clots are often associated with redness and inflammation. When there is a blood clot in the artery of the leg, one can experience cold feet. Pain and irritation are also experienced. Usually, diagnostic tests like X rays and ultrasound scans can tell if your pain is due to the blood clot or bruises.

Applying extra care is what one need to do when bruises are often occurring. The medical conditions can be the reasons behind the bruises, and in such cases, care is not only what you need to do. The medications should also be adjusted when there are bruises.

Unexplained bruises can be because of various deficiencies too. In such cases, only healthy food habits can help. When unexplained bruises are often happening, it is essential to speak to the doctor. The health care professional can analyze lots of things and can bring in the right treatment options. Checking if this runs over the family is what you need.

Myths about Bruise:

Myth #1: Bruises are always associated with blood clots:

This is a myth. Both are different. Blood clots can have severe complications.

Myth #2: Colours of bruises are because of the blood getting trapped under the skin:

This again is a myth. The colour is due to the healing process.

Myth #3: You are healthy if you bruise often:

No, on the contrary, they are signs of underlying medical conditions.

Myth #4: Bruises can happen only when you are too fragile:

It is a natural process and does not overthink unless they are occurring often.


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