We’re all prone to a little bruising once in a while, and they’re often just the result of clumsiness or our sporting endeavors.
More often than not a bruise will be gone within a weak or two and, at worst, be a little uncomfortable.
But what if you’re beginning to notice more bruises than usual, or your not sure how they’re getting there.
Let’s take a look at when you should have a bruise checked by a doctor
Different Types of Bruise
The most common bruise (contusion) comes as the result of falling over or bumping into something and occurs because of the blood vessels under the skin being ruptured. This allows blood to leak from the blood vessels, thus creating a bruise.
At first the area may appear red or purplish, and as the bruise heals it goes through the motions of the bruise rainbow, taking on a brown, green, and yellow appearance before fading.
Three other types of bruising to look out for are:
- Hematoma: After the injury, the blood can actually pool underneath the skin forming firm lumps.
- Purpura: Is a more serious case and occurs when severe bruises appear without an injury. They can be in one spot or more sporadic. Purpura is often the result of a blood clotting disorder.
- Petechiae: These occur when small blood vessels, close to the skin’s surface break, causing small red or purple spots that can be seen on the skin or often in the lining of the mouth.
When Should You Have a Bruise Checked out by a Doctor?
Most bruises aren’t a reason to worry and will go away in a couple of weeks.
However, if you experience any of the following, its time for you to have your bruise checked out by your doctor:
- The bruising appears without any obvious injury
- The bruising is accompanied by severe pain and swelling, especially if you are taking any blood-thinning medication
- The bruise feels different from past bruises
- The bruise does not improve within two weeks or completely clear after 3-4 weeks
- The bruise is painful and underneath a fingernail or toenail
- If you suspect that you might also have broken a bone
- If you have a bruise around the eye and your vision is affected or you cannot move your eye in all directions
Other Factors That Might Contribute to Bruising
Be aware that certain medications and conditions can make people more prone to bruising.
As you age you become more prone to bruising as your skin gets thinner and your blood vessels become more fragile.
Medications such as blood-thinners can make you bruise more easily. Even taking a fish oil supplement has been found to have an effect on bruising.
Certain blood disorders, such as hemophilia can make it more difficult for your blood to clot.
Heavy drinking can even make you more prone to bruising. The liver is responsible for making the proteins that your blood needs for clotting. If your drinking is causing liver damage this might be one of the signs.
Is Your Bruise Serious?
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above and you’re concerned about a bruise then the answer to ‘when should you have a bruised checked’ is ‘now.’