What Is a Bruise?

Video Transcript:

Here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Okay, so what’s a bruise? A bruise is a collection of blood underneath your skin. And bruises look different depending on how new they are, or how long they’ve had to mature. And so when you first get a bruise, they might be a little bit brighter, and then as time goes on maybe a little darker, and then as time goes on even further, they fade away. And it usually takes a couple of weeks before a bruise completely goes away.

When a Bruise Doesn’t Go Away

 The important thing, like all things in medicine and in dermatology, is if something is not behaving like it should, in other words, if you have a bruise that’s present and it’s been there for two months, and it hasn’t changed, it’s not a bruise. Bruises go away within a couple of weeks. And so if something’s been there for weeks and weeks, you have to have it checked out.

How Bruising Changes as You Get “Wiser”

Now I get questions all the time about, “What about the bruising on the tops of the forearms and hands that people who are wise tend to get a lot?” So people who are up there in wisdom or years, oftentimes get bruises on their forearms and hands, and they can’t remember any trauma. And what I try to tell them is, this happens from two main reasons. As we accumulate years, our skin starts to thin. We all kind of know that. We start to lose volume and the skin thins. And with prolonged sun exposure that actually thins the skin as well. And so what ends up happening is, you don’t have near as much padding as you used to have, and so things that would never cause a bruise now do.

People always ask me, “What can we do about that? How can we stop it? How we can we prevent it?” And guys, I just don’t know. There are some herbal things out there, but I don’t like them because they can cause other problems internally. The best thing I can tell you is prevention. Keep the sun off of forearms and hands for years, so that you’re at least eliminating one of the causes.