According to the Mayo Clinic, skin becomes thinner with age, resulting in a smaller barrier between skin and the blood vessels that burst to cause bruising. Skin also loses some of its fatty layer as the body ages, and this fatty layer cushions blood vessels, allowing them to absorb impact rather than burst.
In rare cases, one of the following conditions may cause random bruising.
Some people — especially women — are more prone to bruising than others. As you get older, your skin also becomes thinner and loses some of the protective fatty layer that helps cushion your blood vessels from injury.
Deficiencies in vitamin C can cause a condition called scurvy. Scurvy causes bleeding gums, wounds that do not heal, and easy bruising. Vitamin K helps the body form clots to stop bleeding.
You’ve likely heard of the most common forms: leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Leukaemia and myeloma happen when there are too many abnormal cells in the blood and bone marrow (where blood cells are made). It means not enough normal blood cells are produced, which can cause anaemia, infections and bruising or bleeding.
Over time, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays weakens the connective tissues that hold the blood vessels in their place. This weakness makes the blood vessels fragile, which means that even after a minor bump, red blood cells can leak into the deeper layers of the skin, causing the distinctive purpura to appear.
If the skin does get injured, apply cold compresses and keep the area elevated. Then, apply warm compresses to increase circulation to speed up healing of the bruise. Over-the-counter medications, such as Vitamin K creams, may help bruises fade away quicker.
Some medicines can cause easy bruising and bleeding. Examples are aspirin, pain medicines like ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), and blood thinners. If you take one of these medicines, talk to your doctor to see if you should keep taking the medicine.
Vitamin C supplements have been shown to reduce bruising in people with low vitamin C intake. Doctors often suggest that people who experience easy bruising supplement with 100 mg to 3 grams of vitamin C per day for several months.
High blood pressure can often occur without related symptoms. Easy bleeding and easy bruising can be due to problems with blood clotting or other illnesses. Fatigue may accompany many physical and psychological conditions. Keep track of your symptoms.
Small, pinhead-sized red spots on the skin (called “petechiae”) may be a sign of leukaemia. These small red spots are actually very small bruises that cluster so that they look like a rash.
Leukemia cutis appears as red or purplish red, and it occasionally looks dark red or brown. It affects the outer skin layer, the inner skin layer, and the layer of tissue beneath the skin. The rash can involve flushed skin, plaques, and scaly lesions. It most commonly appears on the trunk, arms, and legs.
Call the doctor if the bruise is accompanied by swelling and extreme pain, especially if you take a blood-thinning medication for a medical condition. Call the doctor if bruising occurs easily or for no apparent reason. Call the doctor if the bruise is painful and under a toenail or fingernail.