What is bleeding into the skin?
When a blood vessel bursts, a small amount of blood escapes from the vessel
into the body. This blood may show up just beneath the surface of the skin.
Blood vessels can burst for many reasons, but it usually happens as a result of
Bleeding into the skin can appear as small dots, called petechiae, or in
larger, flat patches, called purpura. Some birthmarks can be mistaken for
bleeding into the skin. Normally, when you press your skin it becomes pale, and
when you let go, the redness or color returns. When there is bleeding into the
skin, the skin will not become pale when you press down on it.
Bleeding beneath the skin often results from a minor occurrence, such as
bruising. The bleeding can appear as a small dot the size of a pinprick or as a
patch as large as an adult hand. Bleeding into the skin may also be the sign of
a serious medical condition. Always see a doctor about bleeding into the skin
that is not related to an injury.
causes bleeding into the skin?
Common causes of bleeding into the skin are:
- allergic reaction
- infections of the blood
- autoimmune disorders
- medication side effects
- chemotherapy side effects
- radiation side effects
- normal process of aging
Certain infections and diseases can cause bleeding under the skin, such as:
- meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes covering
the brain and spinal cord
- leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells
- strep throat, a bacterial infection that causes a sore
- sepsis, a body-wide inflammatory response to bacterial
If you experience any of the following symptoms seek medical care
- pain in the area of bleeding
- significant bleeding from an open wound
- a lump over the bleeding into the skin
- darkening of the skin affected
- swelling in the extremities
- bleeding gums, nose, urine, or stool
a doctor determines the cause of bleeding into the skin
If you develop bleeding into the skin with no known cause or that doesn’t go
away, contact your doctor immediately, even if the patches of blood are not
Bleeding into the skin is easily identified through a visual inspection.
However, to determine a cause, your doctor will need more information about the
bleeding. After reviewing your medical history, your doctor will ask the
- When did you first notice the bleeding?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- When did these symptoms begin?
- Do you play any contact sports or use heavy machinery?
- Have you recently injured the affected area?
- Does the area of bleeding hurt?
- Does the area itch?
- Do you have a family history of bleeding disorders?
Your doctor will also ask if you have any medical conditions or if you’re
being treated for anything. Make sure to let your doctor know if you are taking
any herbal supplements or medications. Drugs such as aspirin, steroids, or
blood thinners can cause bleeding into the skin. Answering these questions as accurately
as possible will give your doctor clues about whether the bleeding under the
skin is a side effect of medication you are taking or was caused by an
underlying medical condition.
The doctor may give you a blood or urine test to check for the presence of
infection or other medical conditions. If necessary, the doctor will also
perform an imaging scan or an ultrasound of the area to diagnose any fractures
or tissue injuries.
for bleeding into the skin
Depending on the cause, there are many different treatment options available
for bleeding into the skin. Your doctor will determine which treatment option
is best for you.
If you have any infections or medical conditions, prescription medication
may be offered. This may be enough to stop the bleeding. However, if
medications are causing the bleeding, your doctor may recommend switching
medications or discontinuing the use of your current medication.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience a recurrence of bleeding
into the skin after treatment.
If the bleeding into the skin was caused by an injury, there
are at-home treatments that can help you heal.
- elevate the injured limb, if possible
- ice the injured area for 10 minutes at a time
- use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief
Make an appointment with your doctor if your injury hasn’t
started to heal.
Outlook for bleeding into the skin
Bleeding into the skin caused by minor injuries should heal
without treatment. A doctor should evaluate bleeding into the skin that wasn’t
caused by an injury. This could be a symptom of a serious condition.