Why Skin Bruises Easily for the Elderly

It happens to everybody at one point: you are cleaning up around the house or walking to another room. Next thing you know, you accidentally bump into an object. Many people don’t think much of it, but if you are an older adult, you may notice a purple blotch on your skin where the impact happened. For senior citizens, it’s easier for their skin to have a bruise following an incident. Here is why it happens and how it can be prevented.


How is it Caused?

Skin bruises in the elderly can be the result of a number of factors. The biggest cause is the skin itself thinning, which can typically happen in older people. Due to this thinner skin, there is less of a barrier between the skin and blood vessels, which can burst to cause bruises. In addition, skin can see a reduction in its fatty layer as it ages. These layers serve as a cushion to the blood vessels, preventing bursting.

There are additional factors to consider as well. Vitamin deficiencies, such as a reduction in vitamins C and D, impact your body’s ability to have healthy skin. Excessive weight also plays a role, as it can lead to overstretched skin and difficulty moving, both of which may cause higher stress on the skin.


Treating Bruises

While there is not a specific cure for skin bruises, there are proactive steps that can be taken to reduce their likelihood. Small tasks like applying a moisturizing lotion to areas susceptible to dryness can help keep skin hydrated. Also, do an assessment of their living environment to make sure that walkways are clear and free from hazards that can lead to stumbles and falls. You can also get seniors to wear long sleeves or pants while doing activities that can injure or stress skin. Also, watch for certain drugs that can increase the risk of bruising, like NSAIDs and anticoagulants.


When to Call a Doctor

Certain drugs that can increase the risk of bruising, like NSAIDs and anticoagulants. If you have a senior taking these, it may be helpful to reach out to a doctor to look into changing medication or lowering the dosage. This is especially true if the prescriptions are causing serious discomfort. If larger bruises appear, these should be looked at by a physician as well. In addition, if a senior does remember how a bruise occurred, it can be a sign of memory issues.

While it’s not possible to completely eliminate the risk of bruises for older adults, there are steps available to prevent them, as well as minimize its potential.