When you find bruises on your skin, this means that small blood vessels under the skin have ruptured after a hit, fall or bump. When this happens, the blood leaks into the tissues under the skin and this is what causes the black and blue color. The bruises heal usually within two to four weeks. They can turn into all sorts of other colors like purple, reddish blue, yellowish green, and so on.
Fracture or Sprain
Most bruises will go away on their own and should not be a cause for worry. There are also home treatment methods that you can do to speed up healing as well as relieve the soreness and swelling that come with it.
However, if you experience severe pain and swelling with the bruises 30 minutes after an injury, it's important to see the doctor right away as this may be indicative of a serious problem like a fracture or sprain.
For people who bruise easily, it shouldn't also raise an alarm. Bruising easily doesn't indicate that you have a serious health condition unless the bruising becomes severe and painful. Older people are usually more prone to bruising even from minor injuries. That's because the skin becomes thinner and less flexible as there is less fat underneath. Therefore, there is less cushioning. Apart from that, exposure to the sun can also cause blood vessels to break more easily.
After an injury, the blood will pool under the skin and appear as a lump. This is called a hematoma. It shouldn't worry you. It's not like a blood clot in the vein.
Sign of Abuse
Now if bruises that appear are not caused by an accidental injury, this can be caused by abuse. If you know someone who has unexplained bruises, report it immediately and encourage the person to seek help to prevent further abuse.
Bruises Not By Injury
Some bruises can appear suddenly not caused an injury. They are due to:
- medication such as aspirin or anticoagulants (blood thinners)
- infection of the blood or tissue such as sepsis
- bleeding or clotting disorder like hemophilia
- von Willebrand's disease
- chronic inflammatory diseases like lupus
- liver disease such as cirrhosis
- some types of cancer like Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, or multiple myeloma
- deficiency in vitamins B12, C, K or folic acid