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What Can Cause Bruising on Thighs?

By J. Beam
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Bruises are a fairly common occurrence, especially in young children and older adults. Also called a contusion, a bruise is the result of blood pooling just below the skin after damage to a blood vessel or capillary. Simply banging into something can cause bruising. Bruising on thighs and shins is fairly common since it is a relatively easy area to bang up. Legs can be easily injured with a car door, a kitchen cabinet, a chair, a rambunctious toddler, and by many other daily activities that go virtually unnoticed.

Bruising on shins, thighs, and even arms is often no cause for alarm. Frequent bruising often appears on young children as their coordination is slightly less than adequate and they tend to be always in motion. In older adults, frequent bruising may simply be a sign of thinning skin and frailer capillaries. Of course, excessive and frequent bruising in children and the elderly should be questioned by a loved one or medical professional.

While even the slightest bump or pressure injury can causing bruising on thighs, legs, and arms, the contusion usually clears up on its own within a few days as the body reabsorbs the blood. Frequent bruising may simply be a sign of clumsiness, but can occasionally be a sign of something medical. Bruising can be caused by medication, nutritional deficiency, and possibly disease.

Blood thinning medications, especially in the elderly, can cause bruising to occur easily. This is simply because even a small rupture to a capillary causes more blood loss under the skin because thinned blood clots slower. It is also possible for nutritional deficiencies to make the body more susceptible to bruising. A lack of vitamin C or possibly an iron deficiency may be signified by bruising on the arms or thighs. Talk to a doctor, nutritionist or dietician about concerns regarding food, nutrition and supplements.

Rarer, but still a possible cause of bruising on thighs, shins, and arms is disease. Certain blood diseases and blood poisoning can cause easy bruising, as well as certain types of cancer, kidney disease, and even diabetes. The harder it is for the body to heal itself, the more bruising is present with even minor injuries. Frequent bruising with no obvious cause or memory of incident should be discussed with a physician. Blood tests can be ordered to check for certain diseases as well as nutritional deficiencies. As a matter of social conscience, frequent bruising on thighs and upper arms of children and the elderly should also be investigated, especially if disease or nutritional deficiency is ruled out.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By cloudel — On Aug 07, 2012

My thighs used to bruise easily when I had poor eating habits. I would eat mostly potato chips and chocolate, and I rarely ingested a fruit or a vegetable.

The bruises started happening frequently, and they looked really bad. I couldn't even remember how I had gotten them, so I went to my doctor for advice.

She told me that I needed more vitamin C in my diet. So, I started eating things that were on a list of foods that she had given me with a high vitamin C content, like spinach and oranges. Before long, I stopped getting bruises for no reason.

I still get the occasional bruise, but the bumps that cause them are always severe enough that I remember how I got the bruise. So, I know the vitamin C is working.

By feasting — On Aug 07, 2012

@lighth0se33 – I don't know how you stand it! I wouldn't be able to play with those dogs, knowing that they would be causing me injury.

I have enough trouble dealing with my hyper niece. She starts bouncing up and down really hard whenever I put her in my lap, and she has been bruising my thighs.

Sometimes, she will just be running around the house and ram into me, and this will cause a bruise. I've tried telling her to slow down, but she is just so full of energy that it's like she can't stop.

By lighth0se33 — On Aug 07, 2012

My big dogs often cause bruises on my thighs. They are sweet but extremely playful, and when they start running and playfighting at the same time, they can be dangerous.

They often ram into me hard, and since they are so big, they sometimes hit my thighs. I have also gotten bruises from them standing on my lap with their front legs to lick my face, because they are so heavy!

By Kristee — On Aug 06, 2012

I fell while climbing up the monkey bars on the playground at school when I was six, and I landed on one of the bars below with my thighs. I had a long bruise straight across both thighs, and this made it painful to sit down.

The teacher didn't send me to the nurse, because the fall didn't break the skin. So, I didn't get any ice packs to prevent swelling and discoloration.

I went home after school that day with a big, dark bruise on the back of both legs. My mother gave me a cushion to take to school so that I could at least sit on something soft. The hard seats of the desk chairs at school were just too much to take.

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