Bruises are considered relatively minor hematoma of tissue. They develop as a consequence of damage to capillaries and venules. The blood from the damaged blood vessels seeps into the nearby interstitial tissue and leads to a change of the color of the affected skin or mucous membrane. All bruises can be classified according to their size. Ecchymosis is a bruise with size between 1 and 3 cm. Pupura is the type of bruises in which skin changes range from 3mm to 1 cm and finally, a petechia is a bruise smaller than 3mm.
Easy bruising refers to quick development of bruises in case of not so intensive injury (an injury which in healthy people never leads to bruising) and spontaneous bruising when there is no injury but a bruise still develops. Easy bruising can occur all of a sudden or it accompanies chronic medical conditions.
Causes of Easy Bruising
Easy bruising can be associated with the process of aging, certain medical conditions and intake of some medications.
The process of aging leads to many changes in the body. Majority of functions are either reduced or significantly affected. The patient's age is a major factor associated with bruising. As the body becomes older the capillaries age as well and become more fragile and susceptible to bleeding. This subsequently increases the risk of bruising. Even the skin loses its elasticity and becomes prone to injuries.
There is a connection between easy bruising and some medical conditions. Easy bruising generally affects patients suffering from liver diseases (liver cirrhosis, hepatitis etc), coagulopathies (hemophilia etc), Marfan syndrome, Von Willebrand's disease, bone marrow disorders and Cushing's syndrome. Easy bruising may be an indicator of leukemia and other cancers.
Certain medications may increase one's susceptibility to bleed. This is a characteristic for the following medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, thinning drugs (warfarin, heparin etc), clopidogrel and Aspirin, corticosteroids and certain dietary supplements (fish oil, ginkgo biloba etc).
Treatment for Easy Bruising
If one notices spontaneous formation of bruises or they occur due to mild injuries he/she is due to consult a doctor and report the problem. The doctor will perform examination and certain tests in order to detect the underlying cause. After the cause is identified the treatment may start. In case easy bruising occurs due to an underlying medical condition it can be reduced once the primary condition is brought under control. If bruising is caused by medications the doctor will replace current drugs with appropriate alternative. And finally, easy bruising caused by the process of aging can be slightly controlled with zinc, folic acid or vitamin C supplements.