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Ecchymosis is the medical term that is generally attributed to identify a municipality bruise on the skin surface.
By virtue of this, it is therefore easy to remember that most of the bruises are formed when i blood vessels near the surface of the skin are damaged, and as such damage is usually the result of trauma, such as the impact of a physical injury.
The force of the impact in turn causes the blood vessels to open and blood loss. Again, as a result the blood is "trapped" under the skin, where it forms into a small patch that turns the skin purple, black or blue.
After the blood vessel has been injured, platelets come into play: their role is to help the body in the coagulation process. The clotting in turn prevents the injured blood vessels from losing more blood and making the bruise even larger than it appears. Some blood proteins, called precisely clotting factors, they will also have the role of stopping the bleeding so that the tissue begins healing.
But how does bruising appear? What are the symptoms of this condition? What are the causes? And how can it be correctly diagnosed by the doctor?
Symptoms of ecchymosis
The main symptom of bruising it is evidently the presence of an area of skin discoloration larger than 1 centimeter around the area where the trauma or injury occurred. The area can also be sensitive and painful to the touch, depending on the nature of the trauma.
It should be noted that the color of the bruising is not constant, and that it will change color and disappear when the body is able to reabsorb the blood it was collecting under the skin.
The progression of colors that can usually be seen during the formation and healing of an ecchymosis generally follows this order:
- red or purple,
- black or blue,
As regards the areas in which it is more easily possible to find bruising, we point out that this phenomenon is more common on arms is legs, as they are more likely to be prone to various trauma and injury. However, bruises can also happen when you strain or injure your bones, especially your wrist or ankle.
Still, older adults may notice painless bruises on the forearm and back of the hands. Again, there is generally nothing to be surprised about, given that with age the skin becomes thinner, and that when the skin is thin, blood vessels break more easily, causing more frequent bruising. Because the wound is small, these bruises usually don't hurt, they only appear as blemishes.
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The skin around the eyes is also very thin, which makes bruising likely. Bruising around the eye socket is more commonly known as "black eye".
Causes of bruising
L'bruising it is usually caused by an injury, such as a bump, blow, or fall. This impact can cause a blood vessel to rupture, and blood to leak, which collects under the skin, creating a bruise. Although bruises are very common and can affect everyone, in reality statistically it is women who are most affected, compared to men.
If you then regularly experience bruises on your body, but don't remember being injured, there may be an underlying cause that is worth investigating with your referring physician. For example, keep in mind that many medications are associated with increased bleeding and bruising in the body, such as:
- blood thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin,
- food supplements, including ginkgo biloba.
Still, although it is a much rarer situation, sometimes common and widespread bruises on the body are a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as a bleeding disorder. However, there are dozens of conditions that can cause recurrent bruising and, therefore, it is not possible to summarize this argument too superficially.
In general, what we recommend that you do is consult your doctor if:
- you have frequent and large bruises,
- you have large and unexplained bruises,
- you bruise easily and have a personal or family history of severe bleeding,
- you suddenly started getting bruises on various parts of your body, especially after starting treatment with a new drug.
Diagnosis of ecchymosis
Normally the doctor will be able to diagnose ecchymosis simply by looking at the skin that is affected by this phenomenon. If you notice any particularly severe injuries, your doctor may order an X-ray to make sure there are no broken bones or other trauma that have left deeper marks.
If they finally can't figure out the cause of your bruise, your doctor can then do a blood test to check your platelet levels. It may also require you to undergo a clot test to see how well the blood clots and how long it takes.
Having remembered the above, we can therefore only advise you to talk to your doctor about any bruising that has abnormally occurred on your body, or if you are starting to suffer from bruises in various parts of the body, without however remembering that you have suffered trauma or specific injuries. In this way you will be able to understand the origins of these bruises, which are generally not worrying, and arrive at the identification of an effective basic treatment in a timely manner.