Unexplained Bruising on Legs
Unexplained bruising on legs can develop after an injury that you had trouble remembering, but it can also be a side effect of a more serious condition. Evaluating your other symptoms will help determine the cause of this condition.
Bruising on the legs is not necessarily dangerous, but if you begin to notice bruises on the legs when you do not recall injuring yourself, then it can be a bit alarming. Since bruises often take a few days to appear, it can be easy to forget a minor incident that might have caused it. However, if these unexplained bruises begin to appear on the legs quite frequently then there may be an underlying ailment that could be disrupting your circulation. This is especially concerning if your bruises take an especially long time to heal after they appear.
Causes of Unexplained Bruising on Legs
Causes of unexplained bruising on legs are ranging from injuries to underlying diseases and lifestyle factors. Here shows the detailed information that causes excessive bruising.
Aging- The skin and tissue in the limbs becomes thinner and less flexible as the body ages. This makes it easier to cause a tear during a minor injury, leading to excessive bruising on the arms or legs.
Injury- If you recently experienced an injury on your leg such as a severe bruise you may have done damage underneath the skin. Excessive exercise can also damage the tissue underneath the skin. As this tissue heals, you may be more susceptible to leaking blood near the tears in the blood vessels, leading to unexplained bruising.
Vitamin Deficiency- If the body lacks in the nutrients necessary to build tissue properly, the tissue can become worn and more susceptible to injury. Deficiencies in vitamin B12, C or K can lead to poorly formed tissue. Women are more likely to experience these deficiencies than men, especially when they are dieting. As the body loses the excess fat, the thin tissue becomes more exposed and easier to injure.
Excessive Medication Use- Using medications that disrupt the circulation can increase your chance of bruising. Ibuprofens, anti-inflammatories, aspirin or some birth control medications can lead to blood thinning which increases your risk of bleeding. This side effect should be listed on the prescription information.
Diabetes- Diabetes can disrupt the circulation, making it easier for your skin to bruise. You may also notice brown or black patches appearing in areas where the skin folds or creases. Hyper-pigmentation may also appear in areas where you inject your insulin. If you have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, watch for blurred vision, excessive thirst, fatigue or difficulty fighting off infections in addition to increased bruising on the legs.
Graves' Disease- This is an autoimmune disease that damages the thyroid, causing it to produce an excessive amount of hormones. This overstimulates the thyroid gland, causing the body to burn calories more quickly than it should, leading to excessive weight loss. An overactive metabolism can cause the capillaries below the skin to become damaged, leading to red or bruised skin. Side effects of this condition include rapid heartbeat, irritability, difficulty sleeping, light menstrual flow or physical weakness.
Cirrhosis- Cirrhosis of the liver is caused when healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue. This scar tissue can develop due to injury or disease, and will disrupt proper protein production, digestion, immune system function and blood health. This can lead to a lack of energy, unexplained weight gain or excessive bruising. Those with this condition are also more susceptible to developing liver cancer.
Leukemia- Leukemia is a form of cancer which grows in the bone marrow, disrupting the production of red and white blood cells. As these tissues become damaged you may begin to experience excessive bleeding from wounds or unexplained bruising on the limbs. You may also notice bone aches, red blotches on the skin, excessive perspiration or unexplained fever or chills.
How to Treat Bruising on Legs
When you are undergoing bruising on legs, there are some tips that may be helpful for you to combat this condition. Apply the optimum one for yourself.
- Applying a cold compress to the bruise can help constrict the blood vessels, decreasing the size and tenderness of the bruise. Do not apply an ice pack directly to the skin as the excessive cold can cause the skin to become damaged. Wrap a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack in a towel and place it on the bruised area for 20-30 minutes.
- Taking an anti-inflammatory drug can help take down swelling associated with a bruise on a leg. Restrict your drug intake to medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen rather than aspirin as aspirin can slow blood clotting, increasing your risk of bruising or bleeding further.
- Restricting blood flow. When bruising appears on a limb such as the leg, then restricting the blood flow can help the swelling go down more quickly. Keep the affected leg elevated as much as possible within the first 24 hours after the bruise appears. Be sure the leg elevated above the heart as much as possible by staying in a lying position.
- Applying a warm compress.If the bruise persists after two days then applying a warm compress can help relieve the discomfort. Apply a warm washcloth to the area for approximately ten minutes two to three times a day as needed. This will increase the blood flow to the area, helping to clear away the damaged blood cells which have collected underneath the skin. Take care not to use a compress that is too warm as this can burn the skin.
- Seeking medical help. If you have been experiencing frequent unexplained bruising, talk to your doctor about the other symptoms you are experiencing. You may require medical attention to relieve an underlying condition which is contributing to your injuries. Your doctor may also recommend safety tips or alterations to your diet that can help you avoid bruising on the legs or help those you have developed heal more effectively.