Why do some people get bruises easier? An expert clarifies
Blue-green badges are recurring guest for many of us. But for some people, even the slightest bump can leave marks. We try to find the explanation why.
Why do bruises change color?
A stroke can cause blood vessels in the skin to burst so that blood seeps into the surrounding tissue. The hemoglobin in the blood initially colors the mark red, but when the substance breaks down, the color changes.
The blood with its red dye, hemoglobin, seeps from broken blood vessels into the epidermis. There it gives red marks.
The blood presses down into the leather skin. Seen through the thicker layer of skin, the hemoglobin gets a bluish color.
The immune system breaks down the hemoglobin into your liver. The substance gives the brand a greenish hue.
Biliverdin is now broken down into the substance bilirubin, which colors the mark yellow.
Bilirubin eventually breaks down into hemo-siderine, leaving a diffuse, brownish stain.
Macrophages remove the last dyes in the mark so that they are no longer visible.
Broken blood vessels cause bruising
Most of us have happened to hit a table edge or fall with the bike and then be aware of how blue-green ¬– sometimes even black – spots appear on the tender area of our skin.
This is because bumps and blows tear the small blood vessels that are under the skin and create bleeding where the red blood cells of the blood seep into the surrounding tissue.
As the tender area gradually changes color from red to blue/black as oxygen in the red blood cell protein, the hemoglobin disappears.
The blood cells die when the oxygen disappears, and it sends a signal to the so-called macrophage cells.
The task of macrophage cells is to break down and remove the red blood cells, and during this degradation process, the blood cells get a yellowish color.
As the blood cells break down, the bruise disappears.
Bruises get their color from the oozing blood. As the blood breaks down, the mark changes color.
There are several reasons why you often get bruises
For some people, it doesn’t take much for a bruise to show up. This can be due to many various factors – we outline some of the most common causes here.
1. You are a woman
If you were born with two X chromosomes, you are also more likely to have bruises all over your body.
Women’s skin is slightly thinner than men’s because it contains less connective tissue protein, called collagen.
In the end, this means that women’s blood vessels are less protected against bumps than men’s and thus result in several bruises.
2. You have grown older
As the candles on the birthday cake become more, the risk of bruising increases.
The connective tissue and fat in the subcutaneous tissue gradually decrease with age.
It makes you more vulnerable to bumps and strokes as your skin’s ability to retain blood vessels decreases – thus, the skin moves more, and it can cause greater damage.
At the same time, your blood vessels will also become more fragile and therefore burst more easily.
3. You take medicine
Few prescriptions may make you more vulnerable to bumps and strokes.
For example, blood-thinning medications cause the blood to more easily leak out of the blood vessels and form bruises in the tissue.
4. You have sunbathed too much
The sun can feel like a long-awaited friend, especially during the cold winter months.
But there are good reasons to arm yourself with large amounts of sunscreen and shade when it finally looks ahead.
Not only does sunbathing increase the risk of, for example, skin cancer – it also makes you more susceptible to bruising because it reduces the elasticity and suppleness of your skin.
It also means that the areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun, such as arms and lower legs, are more easily bruised as we change.
Go to the doctor if you are unsure
Bruises can, as I said, be due to a variety of causes – but if you are uncertain whether your bruises may be a sign of illness, you should contact your doctor.