We’ve all heard the cute little expression “bruise like a peach.” But if this frequently happens to you, you probably don’t think it’s that cute, and your bruises probably aren’t all that little. Bruising easily can be a real pain (literally). When even the slightest bump leaves you with a large, black and blue mark, it’s not only frustrating – it’s concerning.
Bruises occur when blood becomes trapped under the skin, usually due to an impact that damages a blood vessel. And some people bruise more easily than others. Wondering what’s causing you to wake up with bruises you don’t remember getting? Here are seven not-so-obvious reasons for your easy bruising.
You’re getting older
For those 60 and older, bruising may be a common occurrence. As you age, your skin gets thinner and your blood vessels get weaker, making you prone to easy bruising. This is due to the loss of fat and collagen that would normally protect your blood vessels. Your blood vessels also lose elasticity as you age, making them more susceptible to breaks.
You’re a woman
As if it wasn’t enough for Mother Nature to give women the lovely gift of bleeding once a month, she’s also made it easier for us to bruise. Women typically bruise easier than men, as men have thicker skin and higher amounts of collagen that protect their blood vessels from trauma. Women, on the other hand, have higher levels of estrogen, which can prevent blood vessel walls from building as well as open up blood vessels, allowing more blood to slip out before it’s able to clot.
Your medications are the problem
Certain medications thin the blood, which may cause a person to bleed or bruise more. Popular blood thinners include aspirin, warfarin, and heparin. Other medications may also change or weaken the behavior of blood vessels, worsen inflammation, or increase your risk of bleeding. These types of medications typically include antidepressants, topical steroids, and even herbal remedies like ginseng, ginger, and large quantities of garlic.
You have a vitamin deficiency
Certain vitamins in the body help your body heal and your blood clot. If you don’t have enough of these vitamins in your system, you could be prone to easy bleeding. A vitamin C deficiency may lead to scurvy, a condition that causes bleeding gums, wounds that don’t heal, and easy bruising. Vitamin K helps the body form clots to stop bleeding, so a deficiency can mean a sudden increase in bruising and excessive bleeding.
Your drinking is to blame
Those who abuse alcohol could end up with liver diseases such as cirrhosis, which slowly undermine liver function. As liver disease gets worse, the liver may stop producing proteins that help the blood clot, causing excessive bleeding and easy bruising. If you’re experiencing easy bruising along with swollen legs, dark urine, or yellowing eyes and skin, you should see a doctor.
You have a bleeding disorder
Bleeding disorders are genetic conditions that cause a person’s blood to clot slowly or not at all. Hemophilia and von Willebrand disease are two blood disorders that can result in easy bruising, though both are rare. They can also cause excessive bleeding from slight injuries, nosebleeds, or blood in the urine or stool.
You have vasculitis
If you can’t easily pinpoint the cause of your easy bruising, it’s possible that you may have vasculitis. Vasculitis refers to a group of conditions that cause inflamed blood vessels, and it can range from mild to life-threatening. In addition to increased bleeding and bruising, vasculitis may cause shortness of breath, numbness in the limbs, and purple spots on the skin.