As we age we tend to have bruising more easily. The layers of fat beneath our skin become thinner. This leaves blood vessels more vulnerable. When we become seniors, a small bump can cause them to break open and leak. This turns the skin black and blue. We also lose collagen as we age. Our skin loses its elasticity and becomes more fragile. This makes elderly skin rip easier which also causes blood vessels to break and leak.
There are other causes for bruising as we age. These can include:
- Vitamin deficiencies. Both Vitamin C and D are needed to keep your skin healthy. They strengthen the skin which helps to keep it from bruising easily. Spending more time in the sun and eating more citrus fruits are two ways to get these vitamins. You can also ask your doctor about needed supplements.
- Prescription and over the counter medications. Quite a few medications can cause a senior’s skin to bruise easily. Two of these are aspirin and blood thinners. Corticosteroids thin the skin and should only be taken at low doses.
- Elder abuse. If you notice frequent bruises on a loved one or patient, that are in unusual places or appear to be from a violent confrontation, speak with them about the possibility of elder abuse. As you head home to visit your parents this year for the holidays here is a handy checklist to help you determine if there is any abuse occurring.
Frequent bruising that appears for no reason could be due to a medical condition such as an infection. Inflammation, liver diseases and some cancers can also cause frequent unexplainable bruising. In these cases you should see your medical professional to find out the cause of the bruising.
Not all bruises can be prevented but there are some ways to keep from bruising often. Arrange your home so it is easier to navigate and get rid of clutter. You can also wear tops with long sleeves and pants to protect thinner skin. To read more on senior bruising, click here.