What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily

What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily – Easy bruising is common as we age. As you age, your skin thins and loses some of the protective layer of fat that helps protect blood vessels from damage. Although most bruises are harmless and go away without treatment, sometimes easy bruising can be a sign of a more serious problem. Here’s what you need to know.

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What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily

What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Alzheimer’s disease affects people of all races. With $41 million in new federal funding, Mayo Clinic researchers and colleagues from… Dear Doctor: I am 75 years old and have bruises on my hands that seem to come whenever anything is touched them. I don’t take blood thinners or aspirin. I occasionally take Aleve and it seems to make it worse.

Dear Reader, Attorney Aaron Lee: As our bodies age, such bruising is an annoying but common problem. Many of my patients are confused by the bruises on their skin and don’t even remember any trauma that caused the purple marks. Easy bruising with age can be traced to several factors.

What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily

First, fat distribution changes. This is one of the cruelest aspects of aging. Older bodies store more belly fat and less subcutaneous fat. It is most easily seen on the face, arms and backs of the hands. Skin that loses subcutaneous fat loses most of its cushioning layer that absorbs trauma. Without this cushion, the small blood vessels in and under the skin are more susceptible to direct trauma, leading to bleeding under the skin.

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Second, the skin loses collagen, which is the most common protein. After age 20, a person produces 1% less collagen in their skin each year. As a result, at the age of 75, there is a significant loss of collagen. This can cause the skin to become thinner and more fragile. Without this protection, the blood vessels under the skin are more prone to damage.

Third, the elasticity of the skin decreases. This means that the skin loses its ability to stretch and absorb external forces.

Eventually, the small blood vessels within the skin layer also lose their elasticity. The increased fragility allows them to snap off with very little force.

To minimize the effects of these skin changes, you should know that prolonged exposure to the sun can worsen the loss of elasticity and collagen. Applying sunscreen to your arms and the backs of your hands will help protect the collagen and elastin in your skin. Additionally, topical vitamins such as vitamins A, E, C, and B3 may also help prevent sunburn. Finally, smoking also reduces collagen and elastin, so I would advise against it.

Understanding Elderly Skin Bruising

You mentioned that you don’t take any blood thinners, but you do. Aleve (naproxen) is an NSAID, and like all NSAIDs, it thins the blood by reducing the ability of platelets to stick together. So your symptoms are worse with Aleve. Oral supplements such as vitamin E or fish oil can also thin the blood, making you more prone to bruising.

If your bruise is accompanied by a decrease in your blood’s ability to clot — something you’ll notice if you make a small cut — you should talk to your doctor. This can be due to blood thinners, but it can also be caused by a blood disorder.

In your case, I recommend wearing sun protection on the back of your hands to minimize sun damage to your skin. Also, you should consider discontinuing Aleve and switching to Tylenol for pain relief; it does not have the same blood-thinning effect.

What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily

Robert Ashley, MD, is a physician and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA. Send your questions to [email protected], or write to: Ask the Doctors, c/o Media Relations, UCLA Health, 924 Westwood Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA, 90095. Due to the volume of emails, individual responses cannot be provided. Ever wonder why some people get bruised like peaches, while others don’t seem to get any black and blue marks? We asked the experts to break down the common causes of persistent bruising — and reasons why you should see a doctor.

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What we call a bruise, what doctors call a “contusion,” says Michael Grosso, MD, chief medical officer at Huntington Hospital in New York City. “Usually, contusions are caused by trauma to the skin,” he explains. Everything from hitting a baseball to crashing into something can do this.

PTSD that occurs under the skin can cause dark discolorations that we know as bruises. “When you have a bruise, the blood vessel bursts,” says Arielle Levitan, MD, author of

.Its contents (blood and its by-products) ooze out and appear as a purple discoloration on the surface of the skin.

When a blood vessel first bursts, red blood cells release hemoglobin — a substance that carries oxygen throughout the body, Grosso said. Hemoglobin, which has a red pigment, is broken down into other pigments. “The bruises can be different colors—red, purple, brown, green, yellow—depending on what stage they are at.” Eventually, the body removes the pigments from the blood.

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Most bruises are nothing to worry about. Aside from not walking into things, the best way to prevent them is to avoid over-the-counter blood-thinning drugs and take a daily multivitamin, Levitan says. (We’ll explain why shortly.)

However, “if you feel like you’re bruising more often or bleeding without obvious irritation, see your doctor,” she says. When bruising occurs without explanation, one of these health-related issues may be to blame.

“The most common factor that causes people to bruise and bleed easily is overuse of ibuprofen or aspirin,” says Levitan. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are intended for short-term use—three days or less for fever and 10 days or less for pain. When you use them more often, they can affect your blood’s ability to clot, making it harder for your body to stop internal or external bleeding.

What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily

Because prescription blood thinners, such as warfarin (often prescribed to treat blood clots in heart patients), have similar effects, they can also make you bruise more easily.

The Causes Of Bruising Easily: Anemia, Vitamin Deficiency, And More

Another reason to eat a healthy, balanced diet and take a daily multivitamin is that deficiencies in some vitamins can lead to easy bruising.

One of the most common: vitamin C deficiency. “The body can’t make vitamin C or ascorbic acid, but needs the nutrient in small amounts,” says Grosso. In fact, vitamin C is a blocker of blood vessels; without it, they are more fragile and you bruise and bleed more easily.

Occurs in healthy individuals who do not eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and peppers.

Because vitamin D, vitamin B1 (aka thiamine), and vitamin E play important roles in skin repair, low levels of any of these vitamins can also lead to increased bruising or bruising duration, Levitan adds longer.

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More bruises. However, “discoloration is more visible in fair-skinned people (such as blondes and redheads), so they bruise more easily,” says Grosso.

Regardless of your skin type, know your own health history, and talk to your doctor if you start noticing bruises more often for no apparent reason.

Having a sunburn will not make you more prone to bruising.

What Causes A Person To Bruise Easily

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