What is it?

Ecchymosis refers to the discoloration of the skin due to the rupture of the blood vessels below the surface of the skin. Ecchymoses are typically described as purpuric and do not blanch when pressure is applied. Generally, they are greater than one centimeter in size and take approximately one to three weeks to completely heal.

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Spontaneous ecchymoses.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Petechiae

Signs & symptoms

Ecchymosis turns the skin a dark purple color. As the bruise heals, it may turn green, yellow, or brown.
The bruise symptoms you're probably familiar with include:
* Pain over the bruise
* Tenderness when you press on it
* Swelling

Signs that your bruises could be from a bleeding disorder, rather than an injury, are:
* Trouble stopping the bleeding when you cut yourself
* Frequent nosebleeds
* Heavy or very long periods
* Red or purple spots on your skin

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine your skin and the bruises. Expect to answer questions about:
* Your overall health
* What medicines you take
* Whether anyone in your family has a bleeding or clotting disorder
* What you were doing when the bruises appeared

A blood test can help your doctor find the cause of ecchymosis. Tests can find abnormal blood cells or too few of the platelets that normally help your blood clot. You may need to have other tests if your doctor suspects that liver disease, cancer, or another condition caused your bruises.

Treatment

If a minor injury like a bump caused your ecchymosis, the mark should clear up within a week or two. Hold ice to the bruise a few times a day for the first day or two.
If your bruising is due to age, your doctor may suggest that you avoid medicines like NSAIDs that could make you bleed more easily.
Which treatment you might need depends on the cause of your bruises. Your doctor has medicines for liver and kidney disease, HIV, and cancer. If a drug caused ecchymosis, you may need to stop taking it or change medicines. Taking supplements can correct a vitamin deficiency.
If you bleed a lot, you may need to get fluids through a vein or a blood transfusion. Platelet transfusions treat a low platelet count.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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