What causes bruises easily? 20 possible conditions
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Bruises easily is when the capillaries (small blood vessels) beneath the skin break easily and frequently and leak blood into the surrounding tissue, creating discolorations.
Easy bruising, increased tendency to bruise.
Most of us get bruises from bumping into something from time to time. Bruising sometimes increases with age, especially in women as the capillary walls become more fragile and the skin becomes thin. Some medications such as aspirin, warfarin, steroids and clopidogrel may increase one’s tendency to bleed. The occasional bruise is not much concern medically speaking, but if you are bruising easily, with large bruises or bleeding elsewhere (like your gums when brushing your teeth), it could be a sign of a serious medical condition and warrants attention.
It is important to be aware that unexplained bruising may be a sign of domestic violence or abuse. Your health providers are required by law to ask you questions to make sure you are safe in your domestic situation.
- Acquired platelet function disorder
- Brittle bone disease
- Celiac disease
- Christmas disease
- Chronic kidney failure
- Cushings syndrome
- End stage kidney disease
- Factor II deficiency
- Factor V deficiency
- Factor VII deficiency
- Factor X deficiency
- German measles
- Hairy cell leukemia
- Hemophila A
- Low platelet count
- Medullary cystic disease
- Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
- Von Willebrand disease
Diagnosis and Treatment
Blood tests to measure the level of platelets and the time it takes your blood to coagulate will likely be done. If there is swelling and pain with bruising, elevate it and apply a cold compress for 20 minutes until the swelling is reduced. After the swelling is reduced (after 72 hours), you may apply a warm compress to help reabsorb the blood.
Call your provider if:
You are bruising more frequently than usually and if bruising is accompanied by bleeding from any where else, such as in the urine.
See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.
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