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What are Possible Diagnoses for Unexplained Bruising?

By Jacob Queen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The most common possible diagnoses for unexplained bruising are injuries the patient doesn't remember. It's not uncommon at all for an individual to suffer some minor bump during the day and forget about it ever happening. After that, they will be confused when they suddenly develop a bruise and they won't know why. There are also some very serious possibilities when a person has unexplained bruising, including various blood diseases and diabetes. Finally, old age is another possible cause of unexplained bruising, and some people get unexplained bruises because they workout too aggressively.

In the case of blood disease, many of them cause the blood to stop clotting properly, and this can result in bruising from very minor physical contact. Some of the disorders that might lead to this sort of unexplained bruising include hemophilia and leukemia. Many of these blood diseases are potentially deadly, and for that reason, it's generally considered very important for individuals to take unexplained bruises seriously.

Sometimes diabetics think that they're suffering with unexplained bruising, but in reality, the marks they find aren't actual bruises. Diabetics can develop patches of discolored skin on certain parts of their bodies, particularly in areas where the skin connects with other skin frequently. These patches are often darker, and the diabetic might think they are bruises, but these areas are actually related to an insulin-resistance-based condition.

In elderly people, the walls of their blood vessels are weaker than in younger people, and they generally have less fat to protect them from impact. This can make them very susceptible to bruising. Sometimes they can be bruised by very minor contact, and they won't have any memory of an injury. This kind of unexplained bruising is usually nothing to be concerned about, but it is generally considered wise for people to have it checked out as a precaution.

Body builders and other people who do a lot of weight lifting can injure themselves unknowingly, and that can result in bruises they can't explain. When people perform these kinds of exercises, they put a lot of strain on their muscles, and blood vessels can burst from the exertion. It's also generally true that any sort of vigorous exercise increases a person's chance for unexplained bruising. When people engage in physically taxing sporting activities, they tend to forget about minor physical impacts, and some of those impacts might be forceful enough to cause a bruise.

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Discussion Comments

By anon995502 — On May 05, 2016

Small bruises that come and go quickly are often a symptom of fluoride poisoning. They're really a type of hives called Chizzola maculae. You may only get one at a time, or perhaps a cluster of two or three on two of three spots on your body, so they are easy to dismiss, but do so at your own peril.

Chizzola maculae is an abnormal blood coagulation, an inflammatory autoimmune response to the fluoride. Drinking water or dental products can cause this reaction. Tea, grapes, and wine are also high in fluoride and can cause these symptoms. Chizzola maculae should not be ignored, as they are a warning that more sinister disruption and destruction is going on in your body.

By anon974570 — On Oct 19, 2014

Small blue and pink bruises can be "Chizzola Maculae" - early symptoms of chronic fluoride poisoning, most common in women and children. My doctor thought it could be an allergic symptom, but since they weren't really bothersome, we both dismissed it. That was a mistake.

Chizzola Maculae occur when kidneys can't get rid of fluoride. The excess fluoride can build up in your bones, kidneys and liver causing all sorts of havoc. It can also depress your thyroid and cause vertigo as well as CFS. Fluoride is not just in our toothpaste; it is in our water, in our food, and even in our air.

By anon943510 — On Apr 02, 2014

I was sitting with my mom at a dinner table, when she asked me, "What is that?" She said my chest area was blood red and instantly a huge raised bruise formed just under the collar bone of my chest. Strange.

By recluse — On Dec 03, 2012

Do bruises affect your liver? Can they cause the bilirubin levels in your liver to elevate?

By julies — On Nov 01, 2012

I am quite clumsy so it seems like I often have a small bruise somewhere. Sometimes I see a bruise and don't know how I got it, but it always goes away in a few days so I never worry about them.

I have an aunt who has diabetes and it looks like she has bruises, but this is from her skin being discolored. She says they aren't really painful, but she has probably just gotten used to them over the years. She has had diabetes for a long time and every time I see her she has areas of her skin that looks like they have been bruised.

I don't think there is anything she can do about this and has just accepted it as part of the disease. My aunt isn't that old and that is motivation to me to eat right and hopefully avoid ever having diabetes.

By Mykol — On Oct 31, 2012

My nephew was diagnosed with leukemia at a young age and there were certain times when he had excessive bruising. I don't know if this was from the leukemia and the treatments he was receiving, but it looked like all those bruises would be painful.

I usually get a small bruise any time I have an IV placed in my arm, and imagine how frustrating it would be for him as many times as he is poked.

By LisaLou — On Oct 31, 2012

I used to have unexplained bruising on my body, but think I probably had bumped it and just forgot about it. I went to a health seminar where they said if someone had easy bruising like this to take extra vitamin C.

I do think some people bruise more easily than others because I often had small bruises somewhere on my body and don't do much physical work. My husband, on the other hand, does physical work all the time and hardly ever bruises.

I think taking extra vitamin C over the course of time has made a difference as I don't notice nearly as many bruises as I used to.

By andee — On Oct 30, 2012

@animegal -- I feel the same way but don't have a good solution. I often visit my grandpa in a nursing home and notice that many of the residents have small bruises like this on their bodies. I just assumed it was a part of aging and common for older people to bruise like this.

Bruises like this are probably more from thin blood vessels as you age than from getting bumped or running into something.

By animegal — On May 06, 2011

My grandmother bruises very easily. While I know this is a part of aging, can anyone recommend a way to help reduce the amount of unexplained bruising she experiences? I feel quite bad seeing her with little marks.

By Sara007 — On May 03, 2011

I am always bumping into things and forgetting that I did it. With summer coming around, I find I really need to conceal my shins because they tend to have a few nasty bruises from unexpected encounters with my coffee table and other various low-lying objects around my house.

I have found that if you have unexplained bruising you can conceal the marks pretty easily with some light moisturizer or sunscreen, with a bit of your liquid face foundation mixed in.

To give your legs an extra flawless appearance without having to wear stockings, brush over the mixture with some bronzer or light shimmer powder (the kind you use for highlighting your face).

By popcorn — On May 02, 2011

Your diet could be at fault for unexplained bruising. When you don't get enough iron, vitamins and minerals, it sometimes results in lowering the quality and quantity of your red blood cells, which can result in the bruises.

A doctor can run a simple blood test and let you know if you are lacking anything essential to keeping yourself healthy.

I have found that adding a good quality protein to my diet as well as a multi-vitamin has helped to reduce my bruising.

If you are concerned about unexplained bruising, going to your doctor for a physical can weed out more severe causes.

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