Home Senior Safety Easy Bruising in Seniors – Prevention and Treatment

Easy Bruising in Seniors – Prevention and Treatment

by Donna Schwontkowski
easy bruising in seniors feature

Bruising in seniors happens easily and occurs all too often. Why?

Don’t fall for this reason for your bruising – it’s because you are more prone to bruising than others. This is a reason given when someone doesn’t know much about how the body works.

The reasoning goes on to say that as you get older, your skin becomes thinner. It loses the protective fatty layer that helps cushion your blood vessels from injury, and that’s surprisingly from Mayo Clinic.

Interestingly, this top medical clinic still states on their website, “Unfortunately, once a bruise has formed, not much can be done to treat it.”

There is another viewpoint – one from alternative healthcare practitioners who have eliminated bruises rapidly.

Why Seniors Bruise Easily

The truth is there are many reasons why you could be bruising – and each one of them needs to be checked out. Each one is an indication that something needs to be corrected.

Here’s a list of the most common causes of seniors bruising easily:

  1. You suffered from a blow. You fell, hit a body part, or someone hit you with an object, or a pet bumped against you hard enough to break small blood vessels.
  2. You are taking aspirin.
  3. You are on anticoagulant medications and/or anti-platelet medications that reduce your blood’s ability to clot. The dosage is not correct.

All these are quite common. But let’s dig deeper to see what other reasons there might be that seniors bruise easily…

Vitamin deficiency

1. Vitamin C deficiency – Many people are low in vitamin C and don’t realize it. You might ask your doctor to check your blood levels and see where you stand. Whether your levels are high or low, you can still take vitamin C and benefit when there’s been a trauma to your skin.

2. Vitamin K deficiency, which results from anticoagulants – Medications cause nutritional deficiencies. Anticoagulants deplete the body of vitamin K, and vitamin K is needed for clotting. If you’re on anticoagulants, ask your doctor to test your vitamin K levels. Recent studies show that vitamin K supplements taken with anticoagulants help the anticoagulant work better, but the amount should be determined by your doctor.

3. Mold in the home – Mold, especially Stachybotrys, can be a cause of circulatory disorders and bruising for no reason.

4. Iron deficiency

5. Thrombocytopenia, a bleeding disorder by a low platelet count

6. Chemotherapy

7. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

8. Hemophilia

9. Cushing syndrome

4 Ways to Prevent and Treat Easy Bruising

Bruising is caused when capillaries are damaged. The blood seeps out into the tissues nearby beneath the skin. Bruises are painful because the blood builds up in one location and the congestion puts pressure on the nerve endings.

Bruises can last a while – even up to two weeks or greater if the bruises are from surgery. If you expect a bruise is going to develop, you may also use Arnica pills or sublingual tablets (source). Arnica also comes in an ointment form. For years, plastic surgeons have recommended Arnica ointments to their patients to prevent bruising after surgery.

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1 – Vitamin C

Vitamin C and the vitamin C complex (bioflavonoids, rutin, hesperidin and quercetin) may be lacking if you bruise easily. The capillaries become fragile when these nutrients are missing. Vitamin K levels should be checked by your doctor if you bruise easily.

vitamin C

If you’re addressing a bruise from a nutritional point of view, then you would increase your vitamin C and vitamin C complex nutrients. Many people do well with 1000 mg vitamin C two or three times daily. If you get one that has rose hips in it, it will contain the vitamin C complex as well.

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Solgar Vitamin C 1000 mg with Rose Hips, 250 Tablets - Antioxidant & Immune Support - Overall Health - Supports Healthy Skin & Joints - Non GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Kosher - 250 Servings
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  • Powerful Antioxidant And Energy Booster; Vitamin C helps fight free radicals, which can lead to oxidative stress and the premature aging of cells; This formulation provides pure Vitamin C along with Rose Hips fruit
  • Healthy Skin And Joints; Vitamin C aids in collagen (connective tissue) formation, which is important for healthy skin, joints and blood vessels

Remember that you have to be consistent when you take vitamin C. You can’t take 1 capsule one day and three the next, and then one the following day. Capillaries depend on vitamin C so skipping a dosage is like starving them.

Nutrition makes a big difference in healing a bruise as well as preventing a bruise from happening in the first place. For more information on vitamin C and bruising go here.

2 – PEMF

If you haven’t yet heard of PEMF, you must hear about it now. PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields. For over two decades, PEMF has been used for many different conditions. One of the earliest treatments was for healing bones that wouldn’t heal. And it worked very well for that.

PEMF works very well for bruises because it goes down to the root problem of bruises – there is often a big stack of blood cells in the area of the injury.

This is called the Rouleaux effect and it interferes with the efficiency of the blood in healing. When cells are stacked on each other, blood cells can’t pass through the capillaries. If the blood can’t pass through the capillaries, they can’t absorb or eliminate carbon dioxide or toxins – or nutrients or oxygen to heal. Thus, the blood can’t bring the necessary healing agents or remove any damaged cells.

PEMF removes the Rouleaux effect by positively charging the cells. This restores the ability of the blood cells to remove damaged cells and deliver nutrients, oxygen, water and healing agents. PEMF creates recovery without causing any side effects. Healing of a bruise occurs in record time from PEMF.

PEMF stimulates all the body’s tissue regeneration pathways with magnetic fields. One of the top PEMF experts, Dr. Pawluk, told this story on this website:

“My wife broke her toe. It was out at an angle and it was purple, black and blue, and of course painful. The traditional medical approach to this is to buddy tape the toes, you put tape over the two toes to brace it.  It’s like a cast…I buddy taped her toe, put her in a platform shoe, and then got her to use the micropulse continuously, 24/7.  Midday the fracture was black and blue, swelling.

The next morning she woke up, no swelling, bruising is completely gone, pain is completely gone.  So she did it for another 24 hours and the next morning there was still no pain, no swelling, no bruising, and she walked a mile in tennis shoes. Okay. Another 24 hours, and on the third day she’s now walking three miles in tennis shoes. And that was the end of the story.”

3 – Comfrey Cream

Comfrey Cream

Comfrey is an herb that is used for the topical treatment of pain, inflammation and swelling of muscles and joints in arthritis, sprains, bruises, and strains after sports injuries and accidents for hundreds of years.

When comfrey was tested on wounds, it reduced wound size 20% faster after 2 to 3 days compared to wounds without comfrey. The physicians even rated results as good to very good in 93.4% of cases when comfrey was used, but only 62% of the no comfrey cases received this rating.

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In another study, a comfrey ointment was used to treat 22 patients suffering from bruises of the knee. The ointment reduced pain significantly after only 4 days and all patients were completely pain-free after 10-14 days. 

4 – Ice

putting ice on a bruise

A cold compress or ice pack can reduce the size of a bruise. You can use an actual ice pack, a frozen steak or bag of frozen vegetables, or a Ziplock bag of ice cubes. When you do this, make sure you put a towel down on the skin before you add the ice pack to prevent a shock from the cold and also any potential frostbite.

Leave the ice pack on for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat several times during the day and whenever pain increases. Elevate the body part with the bruise so that it slows down blood pooling. This is a simple way to reduce swelling.

Compared to ice packs, comfrey ointment proved to improve symptoms much quicker. And the comfrey was easier for the patients to do than the ice packs, as well.

Summary and References

Bruising easily means it’s time to get to work to figure out what’s happening. There are many causes of bruising and each of them needs to be ruled out to determine whether or not it’s the main cause. Sometimes there are a few things going on simultaneously that need to be addressed.

Often the cause is nutritional with vitamin C and vitamin K deficiencies as the main reasons here. If a bruise is extensive, PEMF is the solution but if it is smaller, comfrey cream may also help.

If bruising persists, always consult your doctor to rule out any possible medical conditions.

References

Easy bruising: why does it happen. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/easy-bruising/art-20045762

Is it possible to prevent bruising? Accessed online. https://www.healthline.com/health/prevent-bruising-how-to

Staiger, C. Comfrey: A Clinical Overview. Phytother Res 2012 Ot;26(10):1441-1448. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491633/

Bowen, Jonathan. Healing Bruises and Wounds with PEMF. PEMF TECH. Accessed July 15, 2021. https://www.pemf-tech.com/wound-healing-with-pemf/

Does PEMF need to be used with breaks? DrPawluk.com Medical Authority on Magnetic Field Therapy. https://www.drpawluk.com/faq/does-pemf-need-to-be-used-with-breaks/ 

Symptoms of circulatory problems. https://moldbadger.com/mold-and-your-health/black-mold-symptoms/symptoms-circulatory-problems/

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