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The Possible Causes of Easy Bruising

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Apr 05

The Possible Causes of Easy Bruising

You’re silently doing your chores when you notice it: a purplish patch on your arm. Oddly enough, you don’t remember getting hurt in that area. Looking closely, it seems like you bruise more easily than other people, and it’s now worrying you. What causes easy bruising, and when should you seek medical help for it? Find out here.

How do bruises happen?

Before we talk about the possible causes of easy bruising, let’s first have an overview of what a bruise is.

A bruise or what we commonly call “pasa” is a patch on the skin that happens when tiny blood vessels on the skin burst. The blood vessels then leak blood into the tissues under the skin, resulting in discoloration that may appear swollen at first and feel tender.

People with fair complexion often develop purplish or bluish patches. Those with darker complexion tend to have black, brown, or dark purple bruises.

Please note that bruising commonly happens after an injury or trauma, but some people are more likely to bruise than others.

Case in point: seniors tend to bruise more easily because their blood vessels are weaker and their skin, thinner. Additionally, easy bruising can also run in families.

What causes easy bruising?

Now, what if you’re fairly young but still feel as though you bruise easily? What causes your easy bruising?

Reports say there are several possible reasons behind easy bruising; they include:

Some medications 

Medications that thin the blood can make a person bruise and bleed more easily. Examples of these drugs include aspirin and warfarin.

Some herbal medicines and antidepressants may also increase a person’s risk of bleeding and bruising.

If you’re taking some medicines, ask your doctor if it could be causing your bruises, so you can discuss alternatives or other interventions.

Excessive alcohol consumption and liver disease

If you’re a heavy drinker, your liver may be sustaining some damages that lead to easy bruising and bleeding.

You see, the liver produces proteins that help in blood clotting, a process where blood cells clump together to prevent excessive bleeding. Worsening liver disease may prompt the organ to stop producing the proteins, leading to an increased risk of bleeding and bruising.

What causes easy bruising: Vitamin deficiency

Sometimes a deficiency in certain vitamins also causes easy bruising.

For instance, people with deficiency in vitamin C may develop scurvy, a disease that causes bleeding gums, easy bruising, and wounds that don’t heal. Likewise, a severe deficiency in vitamin K may also prevent blood clotting, resulting in increased bruising and bleeding.

Finally, people with iron deficiency anemia may also develop bruises.

If you suspect vitamin deficiencies, talk to your doctor, so they can properly assess your condition and recommend appropriate supplements when needed.

Other possible causes of easy bruising

Besides age, family history, medications, liver disease, and vitamin deficiencies, other underlying conditions could also cause easy bruising.

For instance, cancers that affect the blood and bone marrow, like leukemia, can lead to increased bruising. Likewise, vasculitis, a condition where the blood vessels are inflamed may also result in bruising.

To be absolutely sure about your condition, it’s best to talk to your doctor.

When to seek medical help

Before you panic over what causes easy bruising or if you’re more prone to bruising compared to others, it’s important to assess the situation first.

Experts say you might have a problem with bruising or bleeding when you:

  • Develop large and painful bruises after minor injuries.
  • Notice large or frequent bruises but don’t remember being hurt or what caused them.
  • Bleed for more than 10 minutes after an injury.
  • Experience 5 nosebleeds in a year.
  • Have family members who also experience bleeding and bruising problems.
  • Experience a period that lasts for more than 7 days or heavy periods that require you to change your sanitary pad more than every 2 hours.

If you notice the symptoms above, set an appointment with your healthcare provider. Consult a doctor, too if your bruises appear on areas of your body where injuries are unlikely to happen or they show no signs of improvement after a week.

Disclaimer

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD

Pediatrics


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Apr 05

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