Avoiding and treating bruises on your paper thin skin


Have you been noticing dark patches or bruises on your skin that don’t seem to go away? This is actually very common, especially in women over 60.

It’s due to having less collagen and thinner skin as we age. Collagen supports our skin tissues, whilst women as a whole seem to have less thick skin. According to leading dermatologist Dr Andrew Miller, age also affects how our bodies bruise. We gradually have less fat deposits under our skin, which can lead to drooping. As a result, the internal structures of our skin aren’t able to hold blood vessels firmly in place.

“When you bump against things, the skin moves more,” explains Dr Miller. “The shearing is greater and that results in more mechanical stress and more bruising”.

Exposure to certain medications and even the sun can also impact how we bruise too. Sun exposure reduces the firmness of our skin, which means that our blood vessels are less durable. Meanwhile, medications like Aspirin, Heparin or Warfarin can interfere with blood clotting, making us more susceptible to bruises.

These dark spots can be frustrating because you mightn’t remember bumping into anything however if you bruise easily, a minor bump — one you might not even notice — can result in a substantial bruise.

Another name for these symptoms is ‘Bateman’s Purpura’ which is bruising on the back of a person’s hands and arms. It can look like flat blotches that begin with a red coloration, then turn purple and darken, although they eventually fade. The bruises also last longer than regular ones do, many times for a period of a few weeks.

Don’t panic if this is happening to you. There are a number of ways that you can improve your skin and say goodbye to unsightly bruises.

1. Vitamin C

As we all know, Vitamin C is one of the most easily recognised and we have all taken it at some time in our lives.Apart from helping improve collagen in your skin, it actually stops your blood cells from ‘leaking’. Taking a daily supplement will help your bruising dramatically.

Therefore, eat oranges and apples to quickly cure the problem.

2. Vitamin K cream

Bruises are formed when a bang or a knock breaks capillaries, causing them to leak blood close to the skin’s surface. Medical studies show that smoothing vitamin K cream onto the affected area can limit the leaking. Gently rub the cream onto a bruise twice a day to help break down the blood and assist the body in absorbing it.

3. Witch Hazel

This natural astringent helps improve circulation. You can either take a warm bath using a few drops of witch hazel or apply directly on a cotton bud to your bruise.

4. Cayenne Pepper and Vaseline

Do you like it spicy? Even if you don’t, your skin does. This strange pairing works well to stimulate blood flow, working away the pooled blood from your bruise. Take 1 part of cayenne pepper and 5 parts of melted Vaseline. Mix it well and apply it on the bruise daily. Use gentle circles.

5. Lavender oil

Put several drops of lavender oil in a dish of water and apply it on the bruise. Lavender oil will reduce the swelling and cold water will provide pain relief.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is an age old remedy that’s been used for thousands of years. In fact, many of us have this plant in our gardens and ignore its spiky leaves – but we should really be taking more notice! This anti-inflammatory can be applied on the bruised skin.

7. Garlic

Eat fresh and raw garlic as much as possible to harness the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This will heal up the bruise really fast and will also have other benefits to your health.

Other ways to heal bruises quickly:

  • Do not massage directly on the bruise.
  • Consume supplements which contain arnica.
  • Ask your doctor about medication side effects.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Take protein.
  • Eat healthy food.

Do you find you bruise easily or have bruises you can’t explain? Have you ever used any of these remedies? 


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