Bruises

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A bruise is a mark on your skin caused by blood trapped under the surface. It happens when an injury crushes small blood vessels but does not break the skin. Dr. Edward Hill discusses bruises in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Bruises, or contusions, develop when small blood vessels under the skin tear or rupture, most often from a bump or fall. Blood leaks into tissues under the skin and causes the black-and-blue color.

As bruises, heal, usually within two to four weeks, they often turn colors, including purplish black, reddish blue or yellowish green. Sometimes the area of the bruise spreads down the body in the direction of gravity. A bruise on a leg usually will take longer to heal than a bruise on the face or arms.

Most bruises are not a cause for concern and will go away on their own. However, severe bruising, swelling and pain that begin within 30 minutes of an injury may mean a more serious problem, such as a severe sprain or fracture.

Older adults often bruise easily from minor injuries, especially injuries to the forearms, hands, legs and feet. As a person ages, the skin becomes less flexible and thinner because there is less fat under the skin.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.