You accidentally walk into the corner of your coffee table and the next day there’s a huge bruise on your leg. Or maybe bruises show up and you don’t even remember hurting yourself. Bruising with the slightest bump doesn’t mean you have a serious health problem| especially if your bruises tend to be small and don’t show up often.
A bruise develops when small blood vessels under the skin tear or rupture. Blood leaks into tissues under the skin and causes the oh-so-attractive black and blue color. They can also become bumpy| which is called hematoma| which happens when blood collects and pools under the skin. As bruises heal (usually within two-four weeks) they often turn all colors of the rainbow| including purplish-black| reddish-blue| or yellowish-green. Sometimes the area of the bruise even spreads down the body in the direction of gravity. A bruise on a leg usually will take longer to heal than a bruise on the face or arms.
A tendency to bruise easily sometimes runs in the family| so you might have inherited this trait from one of your parents. Women bruise more easily than men| especially from minor injuries on the thighs| upper arms| and butt. The amount of fat covering your body may also play a part ¡ª?if you don’t have much| there’s less cushioning protection| so bruises will appear with the slightest knock. If you notice more bruises now than you did several years ago| it could be due to all those hours spent outside without sunblock| as sun-damaged skin causes blood vessels to break more easily.
Sudden unexplained bruises| bruising that happens frequently| or bruises that don’t go away after a month| could be a sign of a health issue| such as an infection or a vitamin deficiency of B12| C| or folic acid| so if you’re concerned about it| it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart