We all get bruises from time to time, but if you're someone who always finds that a purple splotch arises with every accident, you might be wondering, "why do I always bruise so easily?" There are a number of surprising things it means if those black and blues crop up for seemingly no reason, and although getting a bruise doesn't always mean something is up in your body, frequent bruising can indicate a bigger issue. If you suspect you're bruising more than what is common, it can be useful to know if you are experiencing any underlying issues.
"When you fall or you’re involved in some type of injury, the small blood vessels that are near the surface of your skin break and allow red blood cells to leak," Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C. tells Bustle. "This is exactly what causes a bruise. Sometimes, the cause of a bruise is mysterious because you don’t remember hurting yourself. But a bruise can develop as a result of any injury to the blood vessels in your skin, and there are some reasons why you may bruise more easily than others."
If you find yourself constantly covered in bruises, you might want to get yourself checked out. Here are seven surprising things it can mean if you bruise easily, according to experts.
1. You've Had A Hard Workout
Bruising can occur as a result of a strenuous workout. "When you lift heavy weights, you are actually causing microscopic tears in your muscle fiber, which can cause a bruise to develop," says Dr. Axe. "If this happens, it’s best to rest and let the bruise heal before working that area again." While this is nothing to worry about, it's something to be mindful of.
2. You Have A Collagen Disorder
When your body isn’t producing enough collagen, your capillary and skin elasticity can be compromised. "Some lifestyle factors can slow down collagen production, such as smoking, eating too much sugar and spending too much time in the sun," says Dr. Axe. While it is still not proven that collagen supplements can help, protecting the collagen your body is producing by applying sunscreen can help.
3. You're Deficient In Vitamin K
Bruising easily is one of the major warning signs of low vitamin K. This is usually accompanied by excessive bleeding, painful menstrual periods, and bone density loss. "A vitamin K deficiency usually occurs when you don’t eat enough foods high in vitamin K (like leafy greens, broccoli and sea vegetables), you can’t properly absorb it, or you can’t store it as a result of liver disease," says Dr. Axe. "A poor diet, taking antibiotics long-term, taking cholesterol-lowering medications and blood thinners, and having intestinal problems can increase your risk of developing a deficiency." If you believe you are deficient in vitamin K, speak with your doctor about what lifestyle changes can help you maintain a healthy balance.
4. You Have A Clotting Disorder
If you easily bruise, this could be a signal that you may have a clotting disorder. "There are various disorders due to missing clotting factors that cause bruising," Carrington College Dean of Nursing Shawna Higgins, PhD, RN tells Bustle. This can be due to issues such as hemophilia, liver disorders, the use of certain drugs, and more. Once again, the best way to find out the root of the problem is by going to your doctor for a checkup.
5. You're Aging
Bruising easily can just be indicative of getting older. "As we age, we lose our fat stores, our muscles atrophy, and our vascular system weakens," says Higgins. "This creates an environment ripe for creating bruises at the slightest bump." Your collagen production also begins to slow down naturally with age, which makes bruising is more common among older adults, says Dr. Axe.
6. You Have Sun Damage
If you spend a lot of time out in the sun, your skin may have sun damage, which can lead to more bruising. According to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, skin damage from exposure to the sun causes blood vessels to break easily, which results in bruising.
7. Your Blood Platelet Count Is Low
If you tend to bruise easily, have trouble stopping cuts or wounds from bleeding, and frequently get nosebleeds or bloody gums, there’s a chance you have a low platelet count. "Having a low platelet count — a condition called 'thrombocytopenia' — is a problem with normal blood clotting and bruising that results from having low levels of thrombocytes, colorless blood cells produced by bone marrow."
Bruising easily can mean a number of things, so it's best to see a doctor who can help you narrow down your issues.