What is easy bruising?

Easy bruising is the frequent appearance of purple, brown or red discolorations on your skin. Skin bruising from bumps, sprains, bites or trauma is normal and indicates that underlying blood vessels are broken or bleeding. This bleeding can take the form of pinpoint dots (petechiae), larger, flat areas (purpura), or broad areas of bruising (ecchymosis). Bruising can be a concern when it is not related to injury or it seems disproportionate to the injury or trauma that occurred.

Easy bruising can be symptomatic of medical conditions including autoimmune disorders, vitamin deficiencies, leukemia and other cancers, disorders of blood vessels and surrounding tissues, and blood clotting disorders. Clotting disorders are characterized by a failure of the blood to properly clot, indicating the possibility of absent or nonfunctional blood coagulation factors (substances in the blood that work together to stop bleeding). This can result in heavy or uncontrollable bleeding after injuries or trauma. Clotting disorders can be hereditary or due to medications, vitamin deficiency, or liver disease.

Platelet abnormalities can also cause easy bruising. Platelets (small fragments of cells that are present in the bloodstream) are another necessary component for blood clotting to occur. An abnormally low number of platelets is called thrombocytopenia. A number of conditions are known to cause thrombocytopenia, including any disorders affecting the site of platelet production (the bone marrow), cancer, aplastic anemia, liver disease, myelodysplasia (blood cell disorders), and malnutrition.

Easy bruising that persists could be indicative of a serious problem. Seek prompt medical care if you experience sudden bruising without explanation or if your bruising is persistent or causes you concern.


What other symptoms might occur with easy bruising?

Bruising may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Symptoms related to bleeding that may occur along with easy bruising

Bruising may accompany other symptoms related to bleeding including:


What causes easy bruising?

Situations that are known to cause bruising include allergic reactions, trauma, and injury. Bruising can be symptomatic of medical conditions, including autoimmune disorders; clotting disorders, such as thrombocytopenia; and medications, including those that inhibit clotting or platelet formation.

Frequent and easy bruising can also be attributed to bleeding disorders in which you... Read more about easy bruisingcauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails

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