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
Chronic kidney failure
End stage kidney disease
Factor II deficiency
Factor V deficiency
Factor VII deficiency
Factor X deficiency
Hairy cell leukemia
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.
Written by: JC Jones MA, RN Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD Written: November 5, 2007 Last Updated: November 30, 2007 Published By:
Healthline Networks Inc.