It can be confusing to suddenly find a bruise on your body yet not recall ever bumping into anything to cause it. People commonly bump into things yet do not remember them, so this is rarely alarming. The bruise eventually disappears along with your concerns, but it is important not to dismiss bruising so easily, especially if they occur unprovoked.
How bruises happen
Bruises occur from an injury that affects the skin or the tissues underneath it without causing any cuts or surface damage. While there is no external bleeding from a bruise, the blood vessels below the skin get damaged and rupture. This causes blood to leak and pool, leading to the characteristic skin discolouration of bruises. The bruised area initially takes on a purplish or red colour that eventually turns green, brown, or yellow as it heals. Apart from discolouration, the area may also feel painful, tender, or swollen.
Potential reasons why you bruise easily
Minor accidents like dropping something on your leg, falling, and running into furniture are the most common causes of bruising. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications like blood thinners, ibuprofen (and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), aspirin, and antidepressants increase your tendency to bruise. Even supplements like fish oil, ginseng, and garlic can make you bruise easily as they inhibit normal platelet function.
Age is another factor, as seen in older people, who tend to get bruised easily compared to young adults due to having less fat under their skin that can cushion the blood vessels. Of course, there are many other causes for bruising, such as:
- Severe alcohol abuse that could also lead to the harming of kidneys
- Certain blood conditions like Von Willebrand disease, platelet function defects, haemophilia, or other blood clotting disorders
- Deficiencies in certain vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B12, or vitamin K
When to be concerned about bruising
Bruises caused by minor accidents or injuries generally disappear on their own in one to two weeks and will change colour throughout their healing process. That said, it is recommended to consult a virtual doctor in Singapore if you notice any of the following about your bruise:
- Shows no signs of recovery after a week
- Located somewhere in the body where experiencing an accident or injury is highly unlikely
- Keeps coming back
- Develops unprovoked and is unusually large
When doing an office visit, your healthcare provider will review your personal medical history and family history and ask questions regarding things such as:
- Inherited blood disorders (if any)
- Experiencing bleeding from the oral cavity or nose
- Past surgeries that caused above-average bleeding
- Current supplements and medications
- Noticed a heavier menstrual flow
- Experienced other types of blood loss, such as through urine or stool
- Unusual bleeding in locations like the brain, muscles, or joints
If your healthcare provider determines that your medication is causing the bruising, they will conduct a risk-benefit analysis and discuss your other options. If the bruising is severe and interferes with your daily life, they may speak to your prescriber to replace your medication. Otherwise, they could keep you on the drug if it is essential to controlling another disease you may have.
However, if the cause of the bruising is not identified, your physician may recommend getting some blood work to check for blood clotting abnormalities or platelet problems.
Getting a bruise is mostly not a cause for concern and will resolve itself with time. But suppose you notice something unusual about your bruises, such as showing no signs of recovery or developing in places that normally would not get bruised. In that case, checking with your doctor for underlying issues like serious bleeding disorders is recommended.
If you have any concerns requiring immediate medical attention, download the MYCLNQ app to connect with the healthcare provider that best addresses your condition. As the leading app for telemedicine in Singapore, you can reach professional medical assistance in just a few clicks and access key medical services from the comfort of your home, including booking private ambulance services, online medical consultations, and more.