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Bruises: Causes and Treatments

Causes for Bruising

Although everyone is susceptible to bruises, some people are more likely than others to bruise easily. Here are some factors that contribute to bruising:

  • Medication: If you take medicine to prevent blood clotting, you might bruise more easily because the medication will cause more bleeding into your skin or surrounding tissues. Drugs such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Playix) and warfarin (Coumadin) decrease your blood's clotting abilities. So, if you take these drugs, bleeding from a damaged capillary will take longer to stop, and more blood will be able to leak out to form a bruise. Additionally, corticosteroids cause your skin to become thinner, leaving you with less protection for your capillaries. Cortisone medicines such as prednisone make blood vessels very fragile and increase the chances for bruising.
  • Dietary Supplements: If you take supplements such as fish oil or ginkgo, you might be increasing your risk for bruising. These supplements thin your blood, so make sure your health care professional is aware you're taking them, particularly if you're also on a blood thinning medication.
  • Medical conditions: People with blood clotting problems such as hemophilia and liver diseases are at risk for severe bruising.
  • Age: Blood vessels become more fragile as you age, so older people bruise much more easily than younger people. Additionally, as your skin thins with age, your blood vessels will have less protection and cushion from injury. While it might take a lot of force for a kid to bruise, an elderly person might bruise as a result of a mild bump.

Read on to learn how you can treat a bruise and what you can do to prevent bruising.