What Causes Bruising for No Reason?

Those with blood disorders may develop bruises even from minor accidents.
A person who takes blood thinning medications may experience bruising.
Blood testing can determine various diseases and conditions caused by bruising for no apparent reason.
A person with a bruised toenail.
Ginko appears to have possible side effects such as blood thinning and preventing blood from clotting.
A diagram of the effects of leukemia. Bruising can be an early warning sign of leukemia.
Article Details
  • Written By: Deborah Walker
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

When someone runs into an object, falls down, or gets hit, it is not too surprising if a bruise erupts. Sometimes, however, bruises appear for no apparent reason. This can be puzzling and sometimes worrisome. The reality is that there is always a reason for a bruise, even if the reason is not known at the time. Some of the causes of bruising for no reason include age, medication, or serious disease. Bruising for no reason may be a signal to consult a healthcare professional.

As people age, capillary walls become less able to withstand the bumps and jostling of daily activities. At the same time, the skin thins and does not provide as much protection to the fragile capillaries. In addition, the elderly and others may be on certain medications that make them more prone to bruising for no reason. One side effect of taking corticosteroids, for example, is thinning of the skin. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, as well as anti-coagulants, can thin the blood and increase clotting time, making bruising easier. Dietary supplements such as fish oil, ginkgo biloba, garlic, and ginger may also have have blood-thinning properties that may make people bruise more easily.

Ad

Bruising for no reason can in some instances indicate more serious problems. Meningoccocal diseases, such as meningitis and meningococcemia, are potentially fatal conditions that can cause easy bruising. Hemophilia and other genetic conditions that impair blood clotting make one prone to bruising and internal bleeding that can be life-threatening. Clotting problems can also be an acquired condition, as in the case of cirrhosis of the liver. Leukemia, von Willebrand disease, and other platelet disorders also make people more likely to have bruises for no reason, while bruising around the belly button may indicate pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.

If a person is suddenly prone to bruising for no reason or has bruises that are very large and painful, an appointment with a doctor is most likely in order. Unexplained bruising, sometimes combined with bleeding gums, bleeding from the nose, or bleeding from the intestinal tract, are other symptoms that may require prompt medical attention. Many of the causes of unexplained bruising can be identified by simple laboratory tests. If there are concerns that medications are the cause of easy bruising, continue taking prescriptions until a doctor says otherwise. As with any health concerns, the prudent choice is to see a medical professional.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon968588
Post 12

I have a bruise on my back. I have and had carpal tunnel in my left arm and shoulder. No trauma. What could this be?

anon957589
Post 11

I have bruising on both arms that extends from the wrist to the elbow. My general health is not good (prostate and mantle cell lymphoma) and my RBC, hemoglobin and platelet counts are all low. The bruising almost encircles both arms and is a dark black splotchy color. What could be the cause?

anon951531
Post 10

I have an unexplained bruise on my eye. I am a little fatigued and the side of my face aches. Any idea what could be the cause? Many thanks.

anon352435
Post 9

My daughter's 14 and she's started getting random bruises for no reason. She hasn't gone to the doctor. Should she get antibiotics?

anon344697
Post 8

I have what looks like a bruise at the central joint of my arm. It just appeared out of nowhere. I have no pain, no itching, no nothing. I inject insulin twice daily. --Kevin

anon327218
Post 6

I have noticed tiny capillary type purple spots and red specks all over my body for years now, but now I have a large area on my right knee and just below it that is deeper in purple color and bunched closer together whereas all the other spots are more spread out.

I haven't bumped my knee on anything; this just suddenly appeared. I have been very sick since February of this year with diarrhea on and off nausea, stomach pain and insomnia, besides my chronic pain from spine and muscles that I've had for years now.

I just found out that my liver enzymes are elevated once again and I am scheduled for an endoscopy and colonoscopy in April. I do have a metabolic liver disease and I am diabetic and have hypothyroid, but these purple bruises and red and purple specks seem to be getting worse. What could be causing this?

I don't take a lot of nsaids due to my stomach problems. Also, I had most of my colon removed in 2004, but I'm still with the same pain but now the diarrhea is every day most of the time. I still have a small amount of the colon left.

I'm also going to be checked for celiac disease with a biopsy during my scopes. Can anyone give me any ideas on what these purple and red spots could be? I don't feel sore like a bruise does.

anon316669
Post 5

I need advice urgently. I've got smallish bruises like spots that are itchy. They're on my bum and hips. I've got diarrhea and I'm very sleepy. I feel extremely weak. I'm also having cramps. What could this be?

anon271495
Post 4

I have a bruise on the top of my big toe that just suddenly appeared - haven't injured it or anything. I am on antibiotics and a medrol dosepak for upper respiratory cold/sinus stuff. My toe feels sort of numb where the bruising is. It is not painful, though. Any ideas on what might have caused this? I haven't noticed any other bruises any place else.

anon264211
Post 3

I have recently been getting really tender spots that feel like deep bruises. The first one on the heel of my right foot that I thought was a stone bruise and it took about two weeks for it to come to the surface and now it is purple-red. I don't remember injuring it. I do not wear tight shoes, either.

Now I have another spot on my right leg just below my buttock. It is extremely tender just like a stone bruise and I can't recall injuring it either. Now that I have found the second one, even though there is no color to it yet, because of the tenderness of it, I am getting very concerned about it. Should I see my doctor about these spots or am I overreacting?

Denha
Post 2

While on another end of the spectrum entirely from things like cancer, meningitis, and hemophilia, getting bruises you don't remember could be a sign of sleepwalking, night terrors, or something else relating to sleep cycles. In that case, especially with children, it is important to try to observe their sleep schedules and if you see evidence of sleepwalking or another problem, going to a doctor to see what can be done.

Catapult
Post 1

While hemophilia is generally thought to be an inherited disease, there is a small number of people in the population who get it through random genetic mutation; if you or someone in your family have the symptoms, it is worth being tested even if there are no known carriers in the family.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email