Why Do You Have Unexplained Bruises? 9 Unexpected Causes Of Easy Bruising, And When To See Your Doctor ASAP

Date June 12, 2018

Have you been noticing bruises that appear on your skin seemingly out of nowhere lately? The skin can start to bruise easily for many reasons. Most causes of easy bruising are relatively harmless, but some are serious. Luckily, the serious causes are uncommon.

Below, we list some possible reasons why you bruise easily and what can be done about it.

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9 causes of easy bruising

Here’s what can lead to easy bruising:

1. Use of certain medicines and supplements

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Aspirin and other blood-thinners, antibiotics, and steroids can make it harder for your blood to clot. If you're taking these medicines, it means you’ll be more likely to get a visible bruise after bumping into something, even if it was low-impact. Some supplements, such as ginkgo and fish oil, may also contribute to easy bruising. If you have this symptom, you shouldn’t just stop taking your meds. Talk to your doctor instead.

2. Vitamin C deficiency

Your body needs vitamin C for healing, and if your levels of this nutrient are low, you may notice that bruises don’t heal as fast as they are supposed to. Severe vitamin C deficiency is uncommon, but you may want to revise your diet and certain lifestyle habits (such as smoking, as it can contribute to the deficiency).

3. Aging

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It’s normal to bruise more easily as you get older, and get bruises that take longer to heal. With age, your skin becomes thinner, the protective layer of fat underneath your skin recedes, and blood vessels become weaker. All these factors make you more likely to bruise.

4. Heredity

If a close blood relative (say, your mother or sister) gets bruises often, you are more likely to get them too. Thin skin and thin blood vessels may run in families, but it’s nothing to worry about, unless you have other symptoms.

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5. Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare clotting disorder in which the blood lacks clotting factors. People with hemophilia bleed easily. If you have symptoms such as frequent nosebleeds, bleeding gums, profuse bleeding from small cuts and during dental procedures, and easy bruising, discuss them with your doctor.

6. Liver damage

The liver produces proteins that are necessary for clotting. If your liver isn’t working right, you’ll bleed and bruise easily. This symptom may be a sign of cirrhosis, when the degree of liver scarring is already advanced. Other liver conditions may also cause easy bruising, so talk to your doctor about it.

7. Sun damage

Skin damaged by the sun loses its elasticity and becomes more prone to bruising. To protect yourself from UV damage, apply sunscreen before going outside in the sun.

8. Intense physical activity

If you’ve been exercising too hard, you may see your skin get bruised. This results from tiny tears in muscle fiber and broken capillaries. To recover after intense exercise, do this:

  • give yourself some rest;
  • apply ice to the area;
  • lightly wrap your sore muscles;
  • keep your arms and legs elevated when lying down.

9. Blood cancer

Although it’s rare, easy bruising may be a sign of leukemia. Other symptoms of this type of cancer include persistent tiredness, weight loss, bone pain, frequent infections, swollen lymph nodes, and fever and chills. If you have these symptoms, see your doctor soon.

Source: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, Women's Health

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.