With age, I’ve become easily bruised What can I do to avoid bruising?
Bruising typically occurs when the tiny capillaries near the surface of the skin break after blunt trauma. As we age, our skin gets thinner and these blood vessels become more fragile, which can result in being easily bruised from the slightest bumps and scrapes.
Aging aside, bruising easily can be due to a number of factors.
A common cause is drugs, especially blood-thinning medications (Coumadin/warfarin), anti-clotting drugs (Plavix), corticosteroids and aspirin. Bleeding disorders and other diseases may also be an issue, so you should discuss these things with your doctor. (Do not stop taking any drugs unless advised to do so by your physician.)
Severe vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) is also marked by pervasive, easily bruised skin as collagen breaks down. So if you’re not getting at least 1,000 mg of Vitamin C daily, that may be the cause of your bruising.
Deficiency in Vitamin K, which is involved in blood clotting, is another potential but rare cause of easily bruised skin. The best way to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin K is to eat more broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and other leafy greens. Bioflavonoids such as rutin, hesperidin and quercetin are also helpful because they decrease capillary fragility. Look for combination products in your health-food store and take as directed, along with Vitamin C. (Do not take Vitamin K if you are taking Coumadin or another blood thinner.)
Topical Vitamin K Cream Speeds Healing of Easily Bruised Skin
In a recent study, patients who had received laser treatment had significant reductions in bruising after applying Vitamin K to the affected areas. Arnica montana is another tried-and-true remedy for healing bumps and bruises; we use Heel’s Traumeel cream at the clinic, and this homeopathic remedy is also available as sublingual tablets. And don’t overlook bromelain, a pineapple enzyme that has been shown to reduce trauma-related inflammation and swelling. All of these are available in health-food stores or through online retailers.
The best solution, albeit a pricey one (about $80 a week), is human growth hormone (HGH).
Like other hormones, HGH production declines with age. Raising your levels to those of a young adult with supplemental HGH confers multiple health benefits. It boosts bone and muscle mass growth, reduces body fat and increases skin thickness—in one study by an average of 7.1 percent! Thicker skin means less easily bruised skin. To find a physician in your area who prescribes this therapy, visit the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) at worldhealth.net, or the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) at acam.org.