A bruise gets its deep color from a blood vessel or vessels that break under the skin and leak blood into the surrounding area. As it heals, it becomes paler in color and less painful to the touch. Depending on how many vessels were broken, bruises can be the size of a pencil eraser or 6 or more inches across. A black eye is also bruise-if there is no accompanying eye damage or nose breakage, it can be treated just like any other bruise.
Bruising is bleeding that occurs underneath the surface of the skin. Normally, it is usually caused by injury. In patients with bleeding disorders, however, spontaneous bruising may occur or a bruise may appear with minimal injury. Since bruises are formed from clotted blood, they tend to start out as dark or reddish shadowing close to the surface of the skin. As the trapped blood is broken down and absorbed by the body, it changes color — typically to green and yellow — because of chemical changes in the blood. Eventually the body reabsorbs the blood and the mark disappears.
The injury required to produce a bruise varies with age. While it may take quite a bit of force to cause a bruise in a young child, even minor bumps and scrapes may cause extensive bruising or ecchymosis in an elderly person. Blood vessels become more fragile as we age, and bruising may even occur without prior injury in the elderly.
Bruising (medical symptom): Bruising is the body’s normal response to local trauma or damage. Local bruising needs investigation to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of the bruising. Certain medical conditions such as bleeding disorders can also lead to more generalized or excessive bruising. People with these conditions bruise easily and more than normal. Some possibilities include hemophilia (genetic disease) and the lesser known and often undiagnosed Von Willebrand’s disease. Any unexplained bruising needs medical investigation.
Bruises, on the other hand, do not involve the opening of the skin. While bleeding is present it is kept inside the skin thus creating the black, blue, and purple hue that you see when experiencing a bruise. Bruises are caused by bumping into objects, by being hit with blunt objects, and from falling. The symptoms of a bruise include pain at the site of injury and skin discoloration discoloration from a build up of blood under the skin.
Signs and Symptoms:
Bruises can last from days to months and usually occur in several stages. A bruise generally starts out as a pinkish-red area or as tiny red dots or blotches on the skin. The bruise may be very small and may blend in with the texture of the skin, or it may be large, swollen, and painful. Within days to a week or so, the bruise becomes more purple. As it heals, it becomes brownish-yellow. Generally, bruises heal and disappear within 2 to 3 weeks.
During the first 24 to 48 hours after injury (acute phase), you will probably need to continue using rest, ice, compression bandages, and elevation of the injured area to control bleeding, swelling, and pain. While the injured part heals, be sure to keep exercising the uninjured parts of your body to maintain your overall level of fitness.