Unexplained, random bruising on the legs is an issue that some people may experience again and again. If you’re one of these people, you’re in the right spot. Our article details the common causes of leg bruises, and then features some of the various options available in treatment for these bruises.
When you wake up in the morning with more bruising on your legs than you went to bed with, it’s natural to wonder, “What are the causes for unexplained bruising on legs?” Actually it could be one or more of several factors. They are detailed below.
Bruising on your legs may develop after injury to the leg(s) that you don’t remember. Alternately, it may be only a side effect of a condition that could be more serious. If you evaluate your other accompanying symptoms, this is helpful in determining the precise cause of your condition.
Unexplained bruising on legs is not always dangerous, but if you start noticing bruises on your legs and you don’t recall any injury to them, it can be somewhat alarming. Since most bruises take several days to appear, you may easily forget minor incidents that could have caused the bruises.
If you get bruising frequently on your legs, with no recollection of injury, an underlying medical condition could be affecting your circulation. This is of particular concern if your bruises take a very long time to heal.
Causes behind Unexplained Bruising on Legs
The possible causes of bruising on your legs range from injury to lifestyle factors and underlying medical conditions. Here is some detailed information about what causes this excessive bruising.
If you have recently had an injury to your leg like severe bruising, damage can be done beneath the skin. Excessive exercise may also damage tissue under the skin. As the tissue heals, you may have blood leaking near the blood vessel tears, which leads to bruising.
The tissue and skin in your limbs becomes less flexible and thinner as you age. This makes it likely that you could experience a tear, even during a minor injury, which can lead to more excessive bruising on your legs or arms.
- Excessive Use of Medication
Using medicines that disrupt circulation could increase the chances that you will bruise. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, ibuprofen and some types of birth control medicines may lead to a thinning of the blood, which increases bleeding and bruising risk.
- Vitamin Deficiency
If your body lacks the necessary nutrients to properly build tissue, your body tissue may become worn more easily, and thus be more likely to become injured. Deficiencies in vitamin C, K or B12 may lead to tissue that is poorly formed. Women experience this deficiency more often than men, particularly if they’re dieting. As your body loses excess fat, thin tissue is easier to injure, since it’s more exposed.
- Graves’ Disease
Grave’s Disease is a type of autoimmune disease. It causes damage to the thyroid gland, which leads it to over-produce some hormones. This in turn overstimulates your thyroid gland, which makes the body burn calories more readily than it really should. That leads to dramatic weight loss.
If your metabolism is overactive, this can cause subdermal capillaries to be damaged, which can cause red skin or bruises. Side effects of Grave’s Disease include physical weakness, light menstrual flow, difficulty in sleeping, irritability and rapid heartbeat.
This disease may disrupt your circulation, which makes the skin more prone to bruising. You might also see black or brown patches in skin creases and folds. If you are taking insulin injections, these areas can become prone to hyper-pigmentation.
If you think you may have diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed yet, the symptoms include difficulty fighting off any infections that may develop. In addition, you may experience fatigue, excessive thirst and blurred vision, along with bruising of the legs.
This is a cancer that grows within the marrow of bones. It disrupts your body’s production of white and red blood cells. As the tissues are damaged, you may experience unexplained bruising on legs, arms, hands and feet or bleeding from wounds in amounts larger than normal. You might also experience unexplained chills or fever, excessive perspiration, red blotches on your skin and aches in the bone.
Cirrhosis affects the liver, replacing healthy tissue with scar tissue. The scar tissue may develop because of disease or injury, and will soon disrupt your proper blood health, immune system, digestion and protein production. This may lead to excessive bruising, as well as unexplained weight gain and lack of energy. People who have cirrhosis are more susceptible to the development of cancer in the liver.
Treatment for Bruising on Legs
When you experience unexplained bruising on your legs, here are some tips that could be helpful for you. Try them out and see if they help.
- Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Taking these drugs helps to bring down the swelling that comes with bruising. Use drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen rather than aspirin. Aspirin may slow the clotting of blood, which increases the risk for further bleeding or bruising.
- Cold Compresses
When you apply cold compresses to your bruises, this helps in constricting blood vessels, which decreases the tenderness and size of your bruises. Don’t apply ice directly on your skin, since excessive cold may damage your skin. Wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen veggies inside a towel and then place that on your bruised areas for a half hour or so.
- Warm Compresses
If your bruises persist after two days of using ice, warm compresses are helpful in relieving any discomfort. Use a warm washcloth on the area for about 10 minutes, several times each day. This increases blood flow to that area, which helps to clear away damaged blood cells that collect under the skin. Don’t use a hot compress, to avoid the risk of burning your skin.
- Restriction of Blood Flow
If you have unexplained bruising on legs or arms, restricting the flow of blood may aid in the reduction of swelling. Elevate the affected leg as much as you can for the first day after you notice the bruising.
- Seek Medical Help
If you experience frequent bruising that is unexplained, speak with your physician about any other symptoms you may also be experiencing. You may need medical attention in order to relieve the underlying condition that is causing the bruises. Your physician may also recommend diet alterations and safety tips to help you in avoiding bruises on the legs. These steps may also help in healing your existing bruises more quickly.