Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
A bruise is a traumatic injury of the soft tissues that results in breakage of the local capillaries and leakage of red blood cells. In the skin, bruising can be seen as a reddish-purple discoloration that does not blanch when pressed upon. This discoloration leads to the classic "black and blue" appearance. When a bruise fades, it becomes green and brown as the body metabolizes the blood cells and bilirubin pigment in the skin. A bruise can sometimes be associated with a temporary raised area in the skin and is usually associated with some tenderness. A bruise is best treated with local application of a cold pack immediately after injury.
A bruise is medically termed a contusion. Bruises are typically a result of some degree of injury to the blood vessels in the skin. Easy bruising may be a result of a seemingly insignificant compression of skin or there may be no skin injury recollected. Easy bruising can occur when the blood vessels are weakened by diseases (such as scurvy), medications (such as aspirin, prednisone, and prednisolone), and aging. Easy bruising can also occur because of absent or deficient blood-clotting elements. Local leakage of blood into the skin from the capillaries that occurs spontaneously, without injury, and results in a flat, purplish discolored area is referred to as ecchymosis. Ecchymosis is usually not associated with tenderness.
Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Main Article on Easy Bruising
Causes of Easy Bruising
In This ArticleChildhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Article
- What is childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
- What are causes and risk factors for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
- What are symptoms and signs of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
- How is childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) diagnosed?
- What is the prognosis for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
- What are the stages of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
- What is recurrent childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
- What is the treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
- What treatments are being tested in clinical trials?
- What is the treatment for recurrent childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?
In This ArticleCirrhosis (Liver) Article
- Cirrhosis facts
- What is cirrhosis?
- Why does cirrhosis cause problems?
- What are the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis?
- What are the complications of cirrhosis?
- What are the common causes of cirrhosis?
- How is cirrhosis diagnosed and evaluated?
- How is cirrhosis treated?
- What is new and in the future for cirrhosis?
In This ArticleDengue Fever Article
- Dengue fever facts
- What is dengue fever?
- What geographic areas are at high risk for contracting dengue fever?
- How is dengue fever contracted?
- What are dengue fever symptoms and signs?
- How is dengue fever diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for dengue fever?
- What is the prognosis for typical dengue fever?
- What is dengue hemorrhagic fever?
- How can dengue fever be prevented?
- Where can people get more information on dengue fever?
In This ArticleHemophilia Article
- Hemophilia facts
- What is hemophilia?
- What causes hemophilia?
- What are the signs and symptoms of hemophilia?
- How is hemophilia diagnosed?
- Is it possible to know if you are a carrier of hemophilia?
- What are treatments for hemophilia?
- What are complications of treatment?
- Can hemophilia be prevented?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for hemophilia?
- What are possible future treatments for hemophilia?
In This ArticleLeukemia Article
- Leukemia facts*
- What is leukemia?
- What are the types of leukemia?
- Who is at risk for leukemia?
- What are symptoms of leukemia?
- How is leukemia diagnosed?
- How is leukemia treated?
- How does someone get a second opinion about leukemia treatment?
- What happens after treatment for leukemia?
- How important is nutrition and physical activity for leukemia patients?
- What sort of follow-up care do leukemia patients need?
- What are some sources of support?
- What research is being done for leukemia?
- What resources are available to patients with leukemia?
In This ArticleLichen Sclerosus Article
- Lichen sclerosus facts*
- What is lichen sclerosus?
- Who gets lichen sclerosus?
- What are lichen sclerosus symptoms and signs?
- What causes lichen sclerosus?
- How is lichen sclerosus diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for lichen sclerosus?
- Can people with lichen sclerosus have sex?
- Is lichen sclerosus related to cancer?
- What kind of doctor treats lichen sclerosus?
- Where can I find more information about lichen sclerosus?
In This ArticleLiver (Anatomy and Function) Article
- What is the liver? Is it a gland or an organ?
- What is the functional purpose of the liver?
- What does the liver look like, and where is it located in the body?
- What diseases affect the liver?
- Fatty liver disease
- Genetic disorders
- Abnormalities of bile flow from the liver
- Decrease in blood flow draining from the liver
- What are symptoms of diseases of the liver?
- How is an examination of the liver performed?
- What is a liver biopsy?
- Can diseases of the liver be prevented?
In This ArticleMarfan Syndrome Article
- Marfan syndrome facts*
- What is Marfan syndrome?
- What are the symptoms of Marfan syndrome?
- What causes Marfan syndrome?
- How is Marfan syndrome diagnosed?
- What types of doctors treat Marfan syndrome?
- What treatment options are available for Marfan syndrome?
- What are some of the emotional and psychological effects of Marfan syndrome?
- What research is being conducted on Marfan syndrome?
- Where can people find additional information about Marfan syndrome?
Other Causes of Easy Bruising
- Aging Skin
- Bone Marrow Disorders
- Liver Disease
- Platelet Disorders (Thrombocytopenias)
- Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription, Especially Aspirin, NSAIDs, Prednisone)
- Von Willebrand Disease
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
Find out what women really need.