What Causes Easy Bruising?

Summer 2006 CSANews Issue 59  |  Posted date : May 28, 2007.Back to list

Easy and frequent bruising is very common in older adults, especially women. Many people find ominous-looking bruises on their arms and legs, but cannot recall suffering any blow or injury that caused them. That is because it doesn't take much for some of us to bruise. A bruise occurs when the small blood vessels beneath the skin are broken as a result of trauma. As we age, so do our capillaries by becoming more fragile and prone to breakage. Our skin also becomes thinner, thus diminishing the fatty tissue layer that helps to cushion any knocks and blows. Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can also contribute to easy and frequent bruising.

Sometimes, however, bruising can indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood-clotting disorder or blood disease. Pay attention to any changes in your "bruising pattern," such as bruises that are unusually large or painful, bruises which are accompanied by nose, gum or intestinal bleeding, or bruising that appears more frequently than before. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.