What Is A Bruise?
A bruise is a skin injury that causes blood cells to be damaged and collect near the surface of the skin, making it appear blue or black. Sometimes, it starts off reddish and becomes yellow or green as it heals.
What Causes Bruises?
Generally, people get bruises when they bump into something or when they get hit by something. However, sometimes vigorous exercise can cause microscopic tears underneath the skin that appear as bruises. Bruises that appear for no reason can be a sign of a bleeding disorder and you should ask your doctor to investigate, especially if the bruising is accompanied by frequent nose bleeds or bleeding gums. Elderly people often bruise more easily because their skin is thinner. Bruises are also more likely if you are taking medication that thins the blood.
You should consult a doctor if a bruise is painful, if there is also swelling, if it affects your vision or if you think there could also be a broken bone or concussion (e.g. if the bruise is on your head). If the bruise takes more than 2 weeks to start healing or more than 4 weeks to disappear, you should consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: The statements made on this page have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.