Bruising happens to everyone. Sometimes, you inadvertently run into a door that you’ve avoided a thousand times before and wake up with a black-ish, blue-ish bruise in the morning. Other times, though, you wake up with a bruise that you aren’t sure how you acquired.

There are several explanations as to why this happens, and our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team explains why below.

What Is a Bruise?

Before learning what may cause frequent bruising, it’s important to know what a bruise actually is first—it’s a mark on the skin caused by blood trapped under the surface. It happens when an injury crushes small blood vessels so that they break open and leak under the skin, but the injury doesn’t break the skin itself.

Most bruises last for about two weeks, but deeper bruises can take months to go away. If you get a bruise, we’ve listed some helpful ways to treat it below.

Ways to Treat a Bruise

  • Cold compress. If bruising has caused pain and swelling, applying a cold compress is step one. Remember to put a barrier, such as a towel or cloth, between the cold object and skin. Place the compress on your child’s skin for up to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Elevation. If an arm or leg is involved, elevate the limb and apply a cold compress for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, or until the swelling is reduced.
  • Over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen.

What Causes Frequent Bruising?

There are many answers to this question. You could simply be bumping into things more often than others do, or there could be other aspects at play.

One simple explanation is that you could be an older adult. Your skin thins as you age, and the protective layer of fat that acts as a cushion when you bump into something is lost. Your blood vessels become more fragile as well, which can lead to more bruising than when you were younger. We’ve listed a few other common explanations of bruising below.

Reasons You May Bruise Easier

  • Medications. Certain medications, like blood thinners, antibiotics and steroids, can contribute to your blood not being able to clot as well, which can leave you prone to bruising.
  • Family history. Not only do things like freckles and moles run in the family, but frequent bruising can, too. Plus, women usually have more delicate blood vessels, which can lead to more bruising.
  • Too much sun. Years and years of spending lots of time in the sun without adequate sunscreen protection can weaken the walls of your blood vessels, which can make them vulnerable to damage that leads to bruises.

In rare cases, underlying blood disorders can lead to more bruising. Our AFC center offers CBC and blood panel tests, so don’t hesitate to visit today if you believe you need one!