Five things you need to know about bruising right now

As the UK’s leading leukaemia charity, we’re here to help you learn a little bit more about bruises - and the types of bruising that you should be worried about.

Do you feel like you’re bruising easily? Worried that your bruises are unexplained? When to worry about bruising in adults?

Here are the five things you need to know about bruising right now.

1. Bruising is common

Bruising is defined as bleeding that occurs underneath the skin, causing black, blue or purple marks to visibly appear on the skin’s surface. Most of the time there is no reason to worry about bruising as it is the body’s natural response to injury. However, because bruises from leukaemia are very similar in appearance to ordinary bruises, they can be too easily dismissed as harmless.

2. Bruising is less common in unusual places

You’ll be aware of the places you normally get a bruise – perhaps an arm where you’ve knocked yourself getting out of bed. However, if you spot bruises in more unusual places including your back, unexplained bruising on your legs and even on your hands, it might be a reason to seek medical support.

In children, we’d classify it as unusual if there were bruises on their bum, face, ears, chest or their heads.

3. Normal bruising disappears in under a month

A typical bruise will last somebody two to four weeks so if you have bruises that are lingering beyond that, it’s probably worth getting checked over.

4. The number of bruises is key

We’re all used to having the odd bruise here or there, but if the number significantly increases in a short period of time, speak to a GP and make sure they’re aware that you are bruising easily. 

5. Bruises and other symptoms together can indicate other things

Bruising easily and bleeding? Well, that would make sense as bruising is excess bleeding – but just under the skin. You may be reading this article thinking you’ve been experiencing bruises but other unusual bleeding too. How about frequent nosebleeds which you struggle to control? Burst blood vessels in your eyes? A period that is far heavier than normal?

  • Bruising and losing weight? 
  • ‘Rashes’ on your body as well as bruising? 
  • Feel like you’re pale and have more bruises? 
  • Unexplained bruising and fatigue? 

Some of you will be reaching this article because you’re googling about bruises as well as itchy skin – which can also be indicative of other things going on in your body. 

If you notice that you are bruising easily or rashes appear on your body, there is no need for immediate concern. In most cases, the cause will not be serious. However, it is for this exact reason that leukaemia can be hard to spot, as the signs and symptoms are so easily confused for more common illnesses. If your bruises occur frequently or are not disappearing, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Knowing what other symptoms are typical of leukaemia is crucial for helping you to make the decision to visit your GP sooner for a blood test. Connect the dots between the symptoms of leukaemia and #SpotLeukaemia sooner.

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