Bruises are incredibly common and are caused by trauma. A bruise appears when capillaries burst and become trapped under the skin’s surface, causing a black or blue mark.

According to the experts at House Call Doctor, most commonly bruises are caused by physical injury, but some underlying conditions can make bruising more common.

Older adults

As you get older, your skin becomes thinner and loses some of its protective fatty layer that helps to cushion and protect it.

Skin damage

Excessive sun exposure can also weaken the skin. UV light makes skin more likely to crack or chap.

Poor nutrition

It’s important to get enough Vitamin C which assists in tissue repair and Vitamin K which is an important vitamin for blood clotting.

Medication

Thin blood or a low platelet count can make you more vulnerable to bruising. This can also hamper your body’s ability to stop bleeding, making it more difficult for bruises to heal.

When should you be concerned?

Bruising can be a sign of an underlying condition such as blood disease or a blood clotting problem. It’s recommended that you see your doctor if:

  • you have frequent large bruises, especially on your torso, back or face
  • have a history of significant bleeding, possibly even during a surgical procedure
  • suddenly start to bruise, especially if you just started on a new medication
  • have a family history of bruising or bleeding.

Preventing bruises

You can prevent minor bruising by making sure your home and work environment is free of trip hazards and is well lit. Also ensure you arrange furniture in a way that makes it easy to walk around.

Make sure you know about the side effects of any medication you are taking and inform your doctor if they make you dizzy. Small changes to your hearing and sight can make you more prone to accidents, so it’s best to get regularly tested.