Bruises occur on the skin when there is an injury that causes a blood vessel to damage or break. The injury causes blood to leak into the adjacent tissues and this results in the formation of a bruise. Bruising is a way in which the body responds to an injury, and a contusion is a medical term that refers to a bruise.
There are many reasons bruises occur on the body, and some of them include:
Older adults are likely to experience more bruising than young people. Aging increases the risk of bruising because, as collagen decreases, the skin becomes thinner and more susceptible to bruising. The bruises that occur in older adults are usually on the back of arms and hands, and they are called actinic purpura.
These bruises start with a flat, red blotch, turn purple, deepen, and then gradually fade off. The bruising that occurs in older adults is also caused by a lifetime of sun exposure that has caused blood vessels to weaken.
Some older people may have chronic conditions that require them to take drugs that cause thinning of the blood. Aspirin is likely to cause one to bleed more easily, leading to the formation of bruises. Other substances likely to worsen the condition include the prescription blood-thinner, Coumadin, as well as the excessive consumption of alcohol.
When one has nutritional deficiencies, they are likely to bruise more easily.
The nutrient deficiencies that are likely to cause random bruises include:
Vitamin K – This is a vitamin helps the body’s clotting mechanism. It is also important in the formation of bone structure. When there is a deficiency in this vitamin, the blood-clotting process does not work efficiently, and this can cause one to bleed easily.
Vitamin C – This vitamin is important in the manufacture of collagen and other compounds that help the skin stay firm and supple. When there is a deficiency in this vitamin, healing becomes poor and one is likely to find strange bruises appearing on the body.
Minerals – Minerals that help with wound healing include iron and zinc. Iron deficiency leads to a condition called anemia, and this can cause strange bruises. Zinc deficiency can lead to a delay in wound healing, resulting in easy and prolonged bruising.
Bioflavonoids – These are compounds that help the body after bruising, and if one is deficient in them, the condition worsens. These compounds include catechin, rutin, quercetin, and citrine, and are available in the foods that we eat. Some of these foods include mousambi, beetroot, sesame seeds, amla, bananas, and citrus fruits.
Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease is a genetic condition that occurs in families, and it affects the ability of the blood to clot, resulting in random bruising. The condition is likely to occur when Von Willebrand factor is low in the blood or in cases where the protein is not working well. People with this condition are likely to experience strange bruises and severe bleeding, seemingly without cause.
Cancer and Chemotherapy Treatment
People who have cancer undergo a treatment called chemotherapy. This treatment causes the reduction of platelets, which is likely to affect the clotting mechanism. Cancer and its treatment may cause underproduction of platelets, and when they are under 400,000, one is likely to bruise easily.
Thrombophilia is a condition that presents with reduced platelet count, and this occurs secondary to bleeding disorders. One condition that is likely to cause thrombophilia is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, which lowers platelet count and makes blood clotting difficult.
Hemophilia is a condition that presents with increased tendency to bleed easily. Hemophilia occurs when there is an abnormality in the blood clotting factor that prevents the formation of clots. When there is a compromise in the blood clotting system, the individual may present with strange and random bruises. Hemophilia also presents with excessive, strange, and unexplained bleeding.
Supplements and Medications
There are some medications that cause thinning the blood, and these are likely to cause strange bruising. These medicines include warfarin, aspirin, corticosteroids like cortisol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
There are also natural supplements that cause easy bruising. These include fish oil, garlic, ginger, Ginkgo biloba, and turmeric.
However, research shows that cases where supplements cause blood thinning are rare, and this is because supplements alone do not usually cause noticeable blood thinning unless used in combination with other blood-thinning drugs.
There are many causes of random bruises. The causes of strange bruising include aging, hemophilia, thrombophilia that causes a malfunction in the clotting mechanism, deficiency in certain nutrients, and some medications that cause thinning of the blood. Whenever the blood is thin, one is likely to bleed and bruise easily.
Meighan Sembrano is an author at Consumer Health Information. She has a keen interest in writing and has contributed many beauty-related articles on many popular websites. She has done her Mass Communication degree and lives in Washington DC. She is a social worker who spends her free time researching life, healthy, beauty and lifestyle fitness related articles. She is fond of travelling and trekking. To know more about her, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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