Why Do I Bruise so Easily & When to Worry about Bruises in Adults?

• Cancer

Cancer cells

Cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases that are commonly characterized by the invasion of the surrounding tissue and spread to distal ones. Cancers can cause easy bruising by many mechanisms. Blood cancer or Acute Leukemia can cause thrombocytopenia due to the invasion of bone marrow by malignant cells, metastases from other cancers act by the same mechanism, liver cancer can cause bruising when liver functions are affected. On the other hand, some cancers such as chronic leukemia can cause increased platelet count, but since those platelets are dysfunctional and deformed, their function is null, and bruising can also result.

  1. Consumption coagulopathy: It is a rare condition that results from the aberrant activation of coagulation when there is no need and is better known as DIC or “Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy.” It can result from severe infections, dehydration, bleeding into body cavities, burns or some cancers. When the coagulation factors and platelets are consumed, the blood can’t clot anymore, and bleeding is seen from virtually all sites in the body including the skin.
  2. Normal bruising of the elderly: In many elderly patients, bruising can result from minor trauma, this is a benign condition that results from the weakness or “atrophy” of the supporting collagen of the skin, which is a normal senile process.
  3. In females: Many females seek medical care for what they think is easy bruising, and while some diseases that cause easy bruising are more common in females, it is mostly due to a normal variation between males and females owing to sex hormone differences. Females bruise more because they have fewer collagen fibers and a different distribution of fat, compared to men, which results in less support of their blood vessels.