JUN 03, 2016 7:36 AM PDT

Why Do Some People Bruise like a Peach?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Bruises - we all get them, though some more than others. Active or clumsy people who fall or get hit come away with bruise, as expected. But bruises seem to also appear on people who may not have sustained any injuries to provoke the blue and black spots. What are bruises and why do some people "bruise like a peach?"

Medically known as a contusion, a bruise forms when the blood vessels underneath the skin tear, causing blood to collect near the skin surface. As this pool of blood darkens, we see the telltale skin discoloration. When fresh, the bruise may appear red or purplish. It darkens to a blue or even blackish hue within a few days. And as the bruise is on its way out, it changes to a greenish or yellowish tinge.

For people whose bruises appear inexplicably, other internal factors may be at play. The aging process thins out the skin and the protective fat cushion for the blood vessels. As such, older people get bruises easily even with minor bumps. Certain medications also make bruising easier and more frequent. These meds include blood thinners and anticoagulants that make it easier for bruises to form. Other odd reasons may include other health conditions like blood disorders or diabetes, excessive straining during heavy lifting or exercise, and even sun damage. In any event, severe and/or frequent bruising should be consulted with a medical physician.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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