You’ve undoubtedly seen bruises on others and likely yourself. Bruising is natural and common. Those black and blue splotches happen when a bump or injury causes blood to leak out of blood vessels. It then flows under the skin and results in the dark colors you see. Over time, the body reabsorbs the blood and the bruise disappears. Most bruises last about two weeks. Some can last for months.
Women tend to bruise more easily. And we tend to bruise more easily as we age. Our skin gets thinner, and we lose the protective fatty layer that cushions the blood vessels.
Some activities age the skin more quickly and can cause skin problems such as more bruising. Smoking and excessive sun exposure by tanning or working outdoors without adequate protection from the sun can age the skin prematurely.
Some drugs, such as aspirin, anti coagulants and corticosteroid medications used for inflammatory diseases, allergies and asthma, can cause additional black and blue spots.
You can reduce the chances for bruising by eliminating clutter you might bump into around your home and workplace. If you’re prone to injuries from falls leading to bruising, you should discuss this with your health care provider.
Elevating the injured area and applying ice can help. The bruise will eventually go away on its own. The process might take longer as you age.
Yes, you should see your health care professional if you:
Domestic violence can also result in bruising. If you notice someone you care about with bruises on the face or arms, you might ask about their welfare.
Chances are, bruising is nothing to worry about, but if you have concerns or your bruise appears to be infected, see your health care provider.