A bruise or contusion is caused by the breaking of small blood vessels known as capillaries that are located just beneath the surface of the skin. This happens any time you experience an injury or bump or fall.
Some people bruise more easily than others and some people recover from bruises more quickly.
Generally speaking a bruise will start out being black and blue or purple in coloration.
As your body works to clear the leaked blood away from the area, your bruise will fade and become green, yellow or brownish in color. Then it will disappear completely.
Why do some people bruise more easily and recover more slowly? In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of bruising and answer these questions. Read on to learn more.
Your Skin Thins As You Age
Older people tend to bruise more easily. The reason for this is that as we age the fatty layer that protects and cushions the skin tends to become thinner.
In fact, the skin, itself, thins because of reduced collagen production. For the both of these reasons, older people tend to bruise more easily than younger people.
Certain vascular conditions such as purpuric dermatosis can also cause easy bruising. This condition is far more common in older people than in younger people.
People who have purpuric dermatosis often find completely unexplained tiny bruises on their skin. These very frequently occur on the shins.
Why Do Bruises Just Show Up?
Inexplicable bruising may be a symptom of a serious condition.
People who have a blood disorder such as leukemia or hemophilia may experience bruising that seems to be completely without a cause. The reason for this is that, inefficient blood clotting is a symptom of these disorders.
Keep in mind that hemophilia is usually genetic. It is handed down from one generation to the next.
If you have a family history of relatives who tend to bruise easily, you may also bruise easily. If hemophilia has not been diagnosed in your family, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor and get a proper diagnosis.
Another serious condition that is marked by inexplicable bruising is diabetes. People who have diabetes may often find dark, discolored blotches in areas where skin rubs against skin.
These are not actually bruises. These dark patches are symptoms of problems caused by insulin resistance.
Excessive Physical Stress Can Cause Bruising
Working out excessively can cause a great deal of pressure and strain that results in burst blood vessels. When this happens, bruises may appear inexplicably.
If you strain excessively while exercising, you can cause microscopic tears to form in your muscles.
Naturally, vigorous participation in exercise or sports can also cause genuine bruising. If you are involved in contact sports or very active, energetic sports such as gymnastics you can expect to get a few bruises.
Your Medication May Be Causing Bruises
Medications and other substances that thin the blood and act as anticoagulants can also cause frequent bruising. Among the medications that may cause this are:
- Oral Contraceptives
Antiplatelet medications may also cause inexplicable bruising.
Ultraviolet Rays Compromise The Skin’s Strength
If you spend too much time in the sun and get a sunburn, your skin may become less pliable and resilient. When this happens, easy bruising is a result. Additionally, when your skin is damaged, bruising is more noticeable.
How Can You Prevent Easy Bruising?
When capillaries are fragile, they are damaged easily. Luckily, you can help build up the strength of your capillaries and make them more flexible by adding lots of bioflavinoids to your daily diet. Some of the best sources are:
- Alliums such as onions, garlic and their cousins
- Dark berries and other deep purple and red fruits
- Dark green leafy veggies
If you are eating a healthy and balanced whole foods diet that consists of more than half fresh fruits and vegetables, you can be fairly certain of protecting yourself against easy bruising.
Supplement For Strong Capillaries and Healthy Skin
If you are just now beginning to improve your diet and resolve the problem of easy bruising, you may wish to add some supplements. Some of the best are:
#1 Vitamin C is a supplement that is generally positive for all people at all times. If you do not have enough vitamin C, you are very likely to bruise easily and suffer a number of other health consequences.
You may have seen that the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is only about 65 milligrams. This is sorely inadequate. This amount is only enough to prevent you from getting scurvy.
According to Dr. Linus Pauling, human beings need as much vitamin C daily as gorillas in the wild. This is well over 10,000 milligrams a day! Generally speaking, most people do pretty well on 1000 milligrams of vitamin C daily.
#2 Rutin is often prescribed as a support supplement for people suffering from hemorrhoids and varicose veins. This bioflavonoid has been found to be very helpful for people who have skin lesions caused by progressive pigmented purpura.
When used in combination 1000 milligrams of vitamin C daily, rutin at a dose of 50 milligrams two times daily effectively hastens the healing of bruising.
#3 Hesperidin is another bioflavonoid that is very effective in strengthening the capillaries. In combination with vitamin C, hesperidin has been shown to be of great value to women going through menopause who are also experiencing inexplicable bruising.
How Can You Heal Bruises Quickly?
While it is certainly best to avoid getting bruised, the fact is some bruising is inevitable as we go through life. When you do get a bruise, there are a few things you can do to help resolve the symptoms quickly. Among them are:
1. Massage with Arnica Oil
The Arnica plant is a well-known traditional medicinal plant. Its roots and flowers have many uses in herbal medicine. The anti-inflammatory properties of the Arnica plant help reduce swelling and pain.
Massaging the bruise gently with Arnica oil will help to stimulate blood flow to wash the congested blood away.
2. Apply Warm Cabbage Compresses
If you have suffered a bruise to your face, try dipping a cabbage leaf in hot water and applying it to the bruise as a compress.
3. Put a Slice of Onion On It
If cabbage doesn’t work, try placing a slice of fresh onion directly on the bruise. Leave it for 15 or 20 minutes.
4. Apply Cool Compresses or Ice
Bruises accompanied by swelling can benefit from the application of a cool or cold compress. Icing an injury will help reduce swelling and minimize pain. Never apply ice directly to your skin.
Always place a towel or other cloth between the ice and the surface of your skin. Generally speaking, 15 minutes of icing at a time is sufficient.
5. Apply an Apple Cider Vinegar Compress
Soak a facecloth or piece of Terry toweling in a cup of hot or cold apple cider. Place the poultice directly on your bruise and leave it in place for 15 or 20 minutes.
6. Apply Aloe Vera Gel Topically:
The healing qualities of aloe vera gel can help resolve irritation and facilitate recovery. It is best to use fresh gel directly from an aloe vera plant rather than bottled gel.
7. Massage with Calendula Salve
Calendula is a time-honored herbal treatment that is very helpful in resolving bruises. You can make calendula salve by warming an ounce of dried calendula leaves and/or flowers in an ounce of lard or coconut oil.
Allow the mixture to cool and massage it gently into the bruise. This salve is also effective in treating sprains and strains, boils and sores.
8. Apply a Warm Fenugreek Poultice
Fenugreek is another very effective herb that is frequently used to treat bruises and minor injuries. You can make fenugreek tea by boiling half an ounce of crushed fenugreek in a cup of water.
Strain the mixture while it is still warm and soak a facecloth or piece of terry toweling in the tea. Wring this out to be slightly damp and apply it to the bruise. Leave it in place for 15 or 20 minutes.
9. Take a Garden Thyme Soak
You can also make a very strong tea of time and water to add to your bath. To do this, boil a cup of fresh thyme in two cups of water for about four minutes. Strain out the solid time and add the liquid to your bath.
10. Make a St. John’s Wort Tincture
Add approximately 15 drops of St. John’s Wort to an ounce of water and paint the bruise with it
11. Paint It with Vitamin K
Applying liquid vitamin K directly to the skin may improve circulation and reduce your bruise.
The Ideal Diet for Overall Good Health
As mentioned, eating right is the basis of all good health. When you take good care of your body by feeding it correctly, you can expect to avoid all manner of problems such as easy bruising.
Here is a basic outline of the best diet to help your body detoxify and build strong defenses against the slings and arrows of daily health challenges!
#1 Be sure that your diet consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Organic produce from your own garden is best, but if this is not available do the best you can by purchasing the highest quality fresh fruits and veggies from your local farmers market or grocery.
Optimally, your diet should consist of at least half fresh fruits and veggies.
#2 Add fermented vegetables to your diet. This can count as part of your veggie content in your diet, but it comes with an added benefit. Fermented vegetables provide beneficial bacteria and enzymes that promote the growth of positive intestinal fauna.
This helps to improve your digestion and balance your overall gut health. Good gut health is the basis of a healthy body.
#3 Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which work to support every system in your body. You need omega-3 fatty acids to coat the myelin sheath of your central nervous system for better nerve conductivity. You need them to help reduce inflammation and promote good joint health.
Omega-3 fatty acids help boost your brainpower and keep your entire system properly lubricated.
For example, people suffering from dry eye report a marked improvement in their condition when omega-3 fatty acid supplements are added to the diet.
There are many good dietary sources, and good supplements include cod liver oil, or if you are a vegetarian, flaxseed oil.
#4 For good skin health supplement with the powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin. This supplement helps protect your skin against the ravages of the sun.
When To See Your Doctor
If you find yourself frequently black and blue and experience long healing times, give the ideas presented here a try. You should see some improvement within a month or so.
If you do not, consult with your doctor or other health care practitioner to figure out why you bruise so easily.