Ouch! There could be a reason why you bruise more easily than others

We can all go black and blue every now and then, but for some of us bruises present a more
Health

We can all go black and blue every now and then, but for some of us bruises present a more vivid and constant problem. Turns out there’s a medical reason why some people bruise easier than others!

A bruise occurs when we break the blood vessels throughout our bodies. Red blood cells leak out from around the bruised area, but cannot survive without proper vessels. As these blood cells dissolve, a colourful bruise forms in blue, black, brown, purple, green and even yellow.

Women seem to bruise more easily than men, due to having less collagen and thinner skin. Collagen supports our skin tissues, whilst women as a whole seem to have less thick skin. According to leading dermatologist Dr Andrew Miller, “The fibrous layer of the skin is thicker in men, as a rule, than it is in women”.

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.

Dr Miller explained that medications themselves aren’t the problem. “They won’t necessarily make you bruise easily but you’ll bruise excessively”, he said. “There has to be some sort of trauma there instead of, ‘oh my goodness, I can’t remember anything to give myself that'”.

Certain disease such as leukaemia and haemophilia can lead to excessive bruising, so Dr Miller believes we should always be mindful of our bodies. “People who get big bruises with relatively little trauma… that is an indication that they should probably speak to their doctor about it”, he said.

Do you bruise easily? Could these explanations be the reason why you’re black and blue? How do you avoid getting a nasty bruise?

  1. This paragraph caught my eye. “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”.
    Well in that case, an item is needed to put on and hold the loose skin copping the most damage in place. I noticed in my late father, from just above the elbow down to the wrist and from just above the knee to ankle.

    • Oh that’s true actually Leone O’Sullivan, good idea! I’ve got a relative who wears a support stocking of sorts. – Jess

  2. I’m on Warfarin and the slightest knock results in red marks which take an age to disappear despite twice daily applications of lotion with Aloe Vera. Can be unsightly but just have to live with it. I’m an 80 year old male so not desperate to impress anymore.haha

  3. I find in the last vouple of years if i knock my arm catch it on something i get a big purple bruise which ladt about 5 or so days.

  4. Yes, I,m on prednisone (steroids) and have many red marks on my arms and hands…they just appear day by day…gotta live with it! Small price to pay for the alternative! X

  5. Kay  

    As an asthmatic on prednisone my bruising is becoming more and more obvious.
    Even my little dog jumping on me or pulling at my arm results in a bruise

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