Ecchymosis Bruising Easily

Skin | Dermatology | Ecchymosis Bruising Easily (Symptom)


Ecchymosis is a bluish discoloration of an area of skin or mucous membrane caused by the extravasations of blood into the subcutaneous tissues as a result of trauma to the underlying blood vessels or fragility of the vessel walls. An ecchymosis is the medical term for a subcutaneous purpura larger than 1 centimetre or a hematoma, commonly called a bruise. It can be located in the skin or in a mucous membrane.

In the skin, bruising can be seen as a reddish-purple discoloration that does not blanch when pressed upon. A bruise can sometimes be associated with a temporary raised area in the skin. When a bruise fades, it becomes green and brown as the body metabolizes the blood cells and bilirubin pigment in the skin. A bruise is best treated with local application of a cold pack immediately after injury.


Bruise shapes may correspond directly to the instrument of injury or be modified by additional factors. Bruises often become more prominent as time lapses, resulting in additional size and swelling. Bruising present in a different location than the site of impact is called ectopic bruising and occurs when the tissue at the site of injury is loose, allowing blood to travel under the skin to another location due to gravity or other forces, such as in a black eye.


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