A bruise is a traumatic injury of the soft tissues that results in breakage of the local capillaries and leakage of red blood cells. In the skin, bruising can be seen as a reddish-purple discoloration that does not blanch when pressed upon. This discoloration leads to the classic "black and blue" appearance. When a bruise fades, it becomes green and brown as the body metabolizes the blood cells and bilirubin pigment in the skin. A bruise can sometimes be associated with a temporary raised area in the skin and is usually associated with some tenderness. A bruise is best treated with local application of a cold pack immediately after injury.
- A bruise is medically termed a contusion.
- Bruises are typically a result of some degree of injury to the blood vessels in the skin.
- Easy bruising may be a result of a seemingly insignificant compression of skin or there may be no skin injury recollected.
- Easy bruising can occur when the blood vessels are weakened by diseases (such as scurvy), medications (such as aspirin, prednisone, and prednisolone), and aging.
- Easy bruising can also occur because of absent or deficient blood-clotting elements.
- Local leakage of blood into the skin from the capillaries that occurs spontaneously, without injury, and results in a flat, purplish discolored area is referred to as ecchymosis. Ecchymosis is usually not associated with tenderness.
Other Causes of Bruises
- Aging Skin
- Bone Marrow Disorders
- Platelet Disorders (Thrombocytopenias)
- Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription, Especially Aspirin, NSAIDs, Prednisone)
- Von Willebrand Disease
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Causes of Easy Bruising
Amyloidosis is a group of diseases resulting from abnormal deposition of certain proteins (amyloids) in various bodily areas. The amyloid proteins may either be deposited in one particular area of the body (localized amyloidosis) or they may be deposited throughout the body (systemic amyloidosis). There are three types of systemic amyloidosis: primary (AL), secondary (AA), and familial (ATTR). Primary amyloidosis is not associated with any other diseases and is considered a disease entity of its own. Secondary amyloidosis occurs as a result of another illness. Familial Mediterranean Fever is a form of familial (inherited) amyloidosis. Amyloidosis treatment involves treating the underlying illness and correcting organ failure.
Approximately 40 million children suffer abuse every year around the world, and more than 1,500 children die of abuse in the U.S. every year. Symptoms and signs of child abuse include poor school performance, physical injuries, regression, anxiety, and panic. Treatment involves ensuring the safety of the child and tending to any physical injuries.
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children. Symptoms and signs include fever, easy bruising, bone or joint pain, weakness, loss of appetite, and painless lumps in the neck, underarm, stomach, or groin. Treatment depends upon staging and may include chemotherapy, radiation, or stem cell transplant.
Cirrhosis of the liver refers to a disease in which normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue caused by alcohol and viral hepatitis B and C. This disease leads to abnormalities in the liver's ability to handle toxins and blood flow, causing internal bleeding, kidney failure, mental confusion, coma, body fluid accumulation, and frequent infections. Symptoms include yellowing of the skin (jaundice), itching, and fatigue. The prognosis is good for some people with cirrhosis of the liver, and the survival can be up to 12 years; however the life expectancy is about 6 months to 2 years for people with severe cirrhosis with major complications.
Dengue fever is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms and signs of dengue include headache, fever, exhaustion, severe joint and muscle pain, rash, and swollen glands. Since dengue is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine to treat it. Treatment instead focuses on relieving the symptoms.
Domestic violence, or intimate partner abuse, is when one person in an intimate relationship uses any means to control the other person. It may take many forms, including emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, or economic abuse. Risk factors for domestic violence include drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment, and having a relationship with the victim. Part of treating domestic violence involves keeping the victim safe and developing a safety plan for home and the workplace.
Falls or blows are the most common cause of gluteal injuries. Symptoms and signs of a gluteal injury include swelling, inflammation, bleeding, and redness. Treatment options may incorporate ice application, elevation, rest, physical therapy, and on occasion, surgery.
Hematoma vs. Bruise
A hematoma is a localized collection of blood in the tissues of the body outside of the blood vessels. A bruise is a discoloration of the skin that is a result of leakage of blood from capillaries into the skin. Bruises and hematomas are most commonly caused by injury to the tissues. Both minor hematomas and bruises are common results of activities from daily living and usually require no specific treatment. Seek medical care for any hematoma or spontaneous bruising that occurs without any known cause.
Hemophilia A and B (Bleeding Disorders)
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Liver (Anatomy and Function)
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Marfan syndrome is hereditary (genetic) condition affecting connective tissue. A person with Marfan syndrome may exhibit the following symptoms and characteristics: Dislocation of one or both lenses of the eye A protruding or indented breastbone Scoliosis Flat feet Aortic dilatation Dural ectasia (a problem with the sac surrounding the spinal cord) Stretch marks Hernia Collapsed lung Though there is no cure for Marfan syndrome, there are treatments that can minimize and sometimes prevent some complications.