Bruises appear when a blow to the skin causes blood vessels just below the surface to burst. As people age, skin and the protective layer of fat below become thinner, leaving the body vulnerable to bruising, reports Dorian Martin for HealthCentral. Aging leads to loss of collagen, especially after menopause in women. The tissues that support capillaries also weaken with age. Treat bruising topically with arnica gel, or take a 200-milligram vitamin C supplement daily.
The blood that leaks out of capillaries due to bumps or falls causes black, blue or purple discoloration of the skin. The body gradually reabsorbs this blood, notes Mayo Clinic. The harder the blow, the larger the mark, but people who bruise easily may see bruises without noticing the bump.
Medications and supplements such as aspirin, anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs, certain asthma or eczema treatments, ginkgo and fish oil thin the blood, which can increase bruising, explains Mayo Clinic. Visit a doctor or pharmacist to discuss the possibility of medications contributing to bruising. Easy bruising may indicate a blood disease or blood-clotting problem. See a doctor if you often develop large bruises, if bruising comes on suddenly or if you develop abnormal bleeding.
Prevent bumps and bruises by avoiding clutter in the home and wearing long sleeves and long trousers, advises Mayo Clinic. Ice and elevation may ease bruising. Other remedies include arnica gel and bilberry extract, as well as avoiding green tea and red wine, states Martin. Eating foods such as spinach, kale and broccoli, which contain vitamin K, helps make blood more viscous. Use arnica externally only and never on broken or irritated skin, according to WebMD.