Bruises may appear on any parts of your body. They are purplish patches visible on the skin as a result of ruptures of the tiny blood vessels known as capillaries beneath the skin. Eventually, these purplish patches may develop into blackish ones, although some contusions do appear brown and black initially. There are some groups of people that are potentially more prone to bruises compared to the others, such as women, the elderly, and people with certain health complications. There are different types of bruises; the ones beneath the skin, in the underlying muscles, on the bones, and in more severe cases, on the brain.
Risk factors causing contusions
Sometimes, unexplained bruises appear on one or more body parts. While most of the times this is normal, frequent bruising should be anticipated as it may lead to more serious health complications. Almost all the time, bruises occur from direct or repeated blows from a blunt object to parts of the body. This blow crushes underlying muscle fibers and connective tissues beneath the skin without actually breaking the skin itself. Some common causes of contusions that may possibly occur all over your body are:
- Sport injuries
- Blows from fists
- Car accidents
- Skin injuries
- Certain medications
Contusions developing after cuts, falling, or skin injuries are normal and generally disappear within days or weeks without any specific medications or treatments. These bruises are caused by ruptured blood vessels, wherein the seep of blood does not make it way to the skin surface and instead, only appear as purplish or bluish patches. Apart from these primary causes, bruises may also be spotted after you get an injection. In some cases, people who are prone to bruises may get bruised as a result of wearing tight clothes. This type of clothing inhibits proper blood circulation beneath the skin, which results in bruises on the skin surface.
Contusions on the skin can also possibly be caused by certain medications and supplements. Blood-thinning medications and corticosteroids commonly inhibit blood clot, which may lead to seepage of blood beneath the skin surface. In addition, fish oil supplements also trigger blood-thinning and may lead to bruises.
Another cause of contusions, which is unavoidable is aging. Thus, older people tend to bruise more easily than the younger one. This is possible since as people get older, the skin gets thinner. This cause the capillaries beneath the skin to be more prone to breaking. They can be ruptured easily with even effortless daily chores. These rupturing results in sudden bruises on the skin surfaces.
Although mostly contusions are caused by mild risk factors, some cases might be a response to more severe health complications, such as:
- Malnutrition or nutritional deficiencies of vitamins B12, C, or K, and folic acid in pregnant women.
- Inflammation of blood vessels under the skin surface.
- Liver dysfunction or disease that causes degraded digestive functions.
- Bleeding or blood clotting disorder.
- Sepsis in the blood or tissues caused by infection-causing organisms trapped inside the bloodstream, muscles, or tissues.
- Severe accidents that causes injuries to the head.
- Certain types of cancer, such as leukemia.
Symptoms of contusions
Contusions can be easily spotted as discolored skin area. Some common symptoms of this skin disorder include:
- Patches in blackish blue or purple that can be locations in any parts of the body. Bruises are more common in legs and arms, although may occur almost anywhere all over the skin. The muscles around the injured area might feel weak and stiff.
- Contusion also causes swelling and pain on the affected area. In more severe cases, contusion might be accompanied with joint dislocation, sprain, and broken bones. In some other cases, seepage of blood might seem trapped inside the inflamed area, known as hematoma. The inflammation often affects cut or injured area and will disappear within days or weeks. Because of this inflammation, the skin around the affected area may be lumpy.
- Pain that increases when the affected area is touched or pressed lightly. The pain might also occur when you use the area around the bruise. However, this pain should subside eventually.
In addition to muscle contusions, this health problem might also affect the brain, known as brain contusion. However, brain contusion can show minimal symptoms and can either be harmless to the brain or be quite severe. Severe brain contusions commonly occur as a result of major accidents, wherein the victims get unconscious after the injuries take place and eventually wake up feeling confused, tired, emotional, or even aggressive.
Other common symptoms of brain contusions include:
- Memory loss, which can be either temporary or permanent.
- Attention problems, where concentrating upon something becomes impossible and the victim can be easily interrupted by another thing or event.
- Motor coordination problems, which make it difficult to do certain motions and activities.
- Emotional disturbances, such as extreme sadness and depression to uncontrollable anger.
- Difficulty in communicating, which can also be signed by loss of words and inability to express speech.