When you were younger, you probably only noticed a bruise when you hit your body part hard against something. But as you get older, you probably notice bruises coming on more easily. Maybe a significant bruise forms from a gentle bump, or you may not even realize how some bruises come to be. This is a normal and common experience, as bruising happens more easily as we age.
In this post, we share how to treat skin bruising, so you can learn more and know how to manage this concern. Easily bruising is generally not a problem for seniors, because aging skin is prone to bruising. But there may be cases where someone who bruises often or has an underlying condition could use some extra care. We provide clinical care services at Daystar for seniors in the Seattle area. Our team is here to keep an eye on bruises to check whether they’re serious, to help them heal, and to solve problems contributing to them. Our continuous care can ensure that a serious concern doesn’t go unnoticed, while we also help manage regular bruising. Our services include focusing on contributors to bruising through medication management and clinical care services for underlying conditions or diseases. Our staff is skilled and caring, so they can help with these kinds of health issues for seniors while looking out for our residents as if they were family.
What Causes Bleeding Under the Skin in Elderly?
Bruises are composed of small blood vessels breaking underneath the skin’s surface, which gives the typical blue-black mark on the surface. Aging skin thins and a fatty layer that once gave protection becomes less substantial, which both contribute to the blood vessels more easily becoming injured. Exposure to the sun over time also damages the skin and impacts the blood vessels. Plus, medications can increase bruising, as can the rarer cause of an underlying health condition or disease.
What Helps With Bruising in Elderly?
There are steps you can take to help with bruising. Nonetheless, the steps depend on the causes and types of bruises.
It is common for seniors to take medication, and various medications play a role in bruising. For example, medications that impact the blood’s clotting can create larger bruises, because the bleeding from the blood vessels does not stop properly. Also, corticosteroids that create skin-thinning make bruising easier. Even some supplements have an effect on bruising.
Also, some medications may indirectly lead to bruises if they cause side effects like sleepiness or dizziness, which could cause you to fall or bump yourself.
Consider all of the prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as supplements, you take. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about their possible role in bruising and whether anything should be changed in your medication regimen.
An Underlying Disease or Health Condition
In many cases, additional bruising with age is not a problem. However, there are cases when it becomes a sign of a disease or health condition. Get checked out by a doctor if your bruising suddenly comes on or if easy bleeding or bruising is part of your medical history or family history. Also, get checked if you regularly have significant bruises, especially unexplained bruising or bruises on the face, trunk, or back.
Also, some bruises indicate a fracture or sprain that requires treatment. This may be the case if there is severe bruising with swelling and pain that comes on quickly after you experience an injury.
Normal Bruises in Elderly
If your bruises aren’t explained by medication or an underlying health problem, it’s likely they are from aging. In this case, certain tips can help you treat your bruises when they show up.
How do you get rid of blood bruising under the skin? Your body will generally take care of the bruise by itself, as it absorbs the blood in the bruise. It will often take a bruise two to four weeks to heal, yet bruises in the elderly and bruises on legs may take longer to heal. If you see the bruise changing colors, you can feel confident that it’s in the process of healing.
Nonetheless, you may be able to heal bruises faster or manage accompanying symptoms like pain through certain techniques.
Try the RICE method that is commonly used for healing injury. The letters in the acronym stand for:
- Rest: Keep the bruised area from too much activity.
- Ice: Use ice on the bruised area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, a few times each day.
- Compression: Lightly wrap an elastic bandage around the bruised area, making sure it is not too tight.
- Elevation: Place the bruised part of the body on pillows above the rest of the body. This technique is good to do while using ice or resting.
Other tips for healing bruises include:
- Massage: Gently rub the bruised area to increase circulation, but stop if the massaging results in pain.
- Natural Treatments: Consider applying witch hazel or arnica to the bruised spot for their healing properties.
- Vitamins: What vitamins should you take if you bruise easily? Low levels of vitamin C or vitamin K can contribute to easy bruising. Ask your doctor first before supplementing with these vitamins.
Gain Support Through an Active Adult Community
Hopefully, these home treatment tips help you prevent or get rid of bruises. It’s also worth considering whether an active adult community could help you manage your health and have caring staff to check on you. If you are looking for a solution like this for your parents, Daystar's services can reduce your worry and give you the peace of mind that experts are keeping an eye on your loved one’s health and well-being. At Daystar, we offer different levels of care for seniors in Seattle to fit varying needs. Contact us with your questions or to set up a tour.