The most common cause of arm bruising is a trauma or direct impact that leads to bleeding under the skin. This commonly occurs during athletic activities, though it can also happen during normal daily activities in which a person comes in harsh contact with a solid object. Arm bruising can also be caused by a twisting motion, and it is sometimes known as an indicator of child abuse in certain situations. If a bruise occurs without an impact taking place, some common causes include heart issues and vascular problems. It is best to see a doctor if such unexplained bruising occurs.
When an arm undergoes a trauma, blood vessels within the arm may break, leading to bleeding beneath the skin. The color of the arm bruising is likely to change over time; initially, the bruise will have a dark red or black color, since the blood underneath the skin is red. After the bruising begins to heal, the color may change from black or red to green, and even shades of yellow. Eventually the bruise will disappear entirely. Some swelling may accompany the bruise as well, and if this swelling or discoloration lasts longer than a few days or weeks, or if pain worsens, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.
The narrowing or hardening of blood vessels in the arms can also lead to bruising. Such bruising as a result of hardening or narrowing blood vessels is often a concurrent condition along with high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and heart disease. People who suffer from these conditions may notice bruising, especially after exercise, and if this occurs, it is advisable to see a doctor immediately to get a thorough diagnosis as to what may be causing it. Some of the problems may be quite serious and may require immediate medical attention.
As people age, the capillaries in the skin tend to become weaker and more sensitive, so it is likely that arm bruising will occur more frequently in older people. This is not necessarily anything to be worried about, though if persistent or mysterious bruising occurs, it is still wise to see a doctor. Women tend to be more susceptible to bruising than men, though this is not the case across the board. Children can also bruise fairly easily, especially since children tend to be far more active than adults.