March 2, 2024

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The Mystery of Bruises on Women: Exploring the Science Behind Unexplained Bruising

The Mystery of Bruises on Women: Exploring the Science Behind Unexplained Bruising



The Mystery of Bruises on Women: Exploring the Science Behind Unexplained Bruising

Have you ever noticed a peculiar phenomenon: women seem to have more unexplained bruises on their bodies than men, and the bruises always come in various colors.

Why is that? Shouldn’t active men be more prone to injuries than women? Why do women tend to have more bruises?

To answer this question, we first need to understand how bruises form.

Bruises occur due to subcutaneous bleeding, caused by the rupture of numerous tiny blood vessels beneath our skin.

Just like their name suggests, capillaries are the smallest and most widespread blood vessels, with a diameter of only 6-9 micrometers (μm), while the diameter of male hair strands is around 80 micrometers.

They connect micro-arteries and micro-veins, with thin and permeable walls.

Due to the fragility of capillaries, even minor bumps can cause them to rupture. In this case, platelets and clotting factors in the blood adhere together to block the vessel. However, some blood still seeps under the skin, forming a bruise.

Various factors contribute to the appearance of bruises, such as external force, skin thickness, and hormonal conditions.

The main reason women have more bruises than men is that female skin is thinner.

Female skin is more delicate, and with the same level of impact, women’ capillaries are more likely to rupture compared to men, making the leaked blood more visible under the skin, resulting in bruising.

Moreover, males, due to higher secretion of androgens, have thicker skin than females, providing better protection to capillaries and making bruising less likely.

Additionally, estrogen, acting as a vasodilator, can cause capillary dilation and, to some extent, impede the repair of capillaries after rupture. This can lead to more blood leakage before the capillaries are repaired, slowing down the healing process in women compared to men, and prolonging the time it takes for bruises to fade.

Why do bruises come in various colors?

Although bruises are associated with a bluish color, the skin may display bruises of different colors after an impact. This happens because as the body repairs damaged capillaries, the color of the bruise changes over time.

When a blood vessel initially breaks, the leaked blood is fresh and oxygen-rich, appearing red. At this stage, the bruise is purplish-red.

After a few hours, as the blood coagulates and oxygen is lost, the color darkens, turning into a blackish-blue hue.

Sometimes, the initial color may be greenish-blue, indicating a deeper injury where oxygen is depleted as the blood travels from the capillaries to the skin’s surface.

As the bruise heals, macrophages engulf dead red blood cells. Hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells, oxidizes into biliverdin, a deep green substance, giving the bruise a greenish tint.

Biliverdin continues to metabolize into bilirubin, causing the bruise to appear yellow. The yellow color gradually lightens until the bruise disappears completely.

Are Bruises Dangerous?

The occurrence of occasional bruises – commonly described as “blue here, purple there” – is a normal physiological phenomenon. If you notice bruises on your body occasionally, there’s no need to worry excessively, as minor bumps and bruises are inevitable in daily life.

However, if you frequently find unexplained bruises on your body, it’s crucial to pay attention.

Conditions such as thrombocytopenia, a decrease in blood platelets, can lead to increased bruising. Thrombocytopenic purpura, characterized by a decrease in platelets, is a disease that results in excessive bruising.

Hemophilia and vascular hemophilia are also blood disorders that can easily lead to bruising. Additionally, a deficiency in vitamins C or K, or the use of certain anticoagulant medications, can cause abnormal blood clotting and result in unexplained bruising.

Typically, bruises will fade within one to two weeks.

However, if you want to expedite the recovery of a bruise, there are simple and effective methods.

Firstly, applying ice within the first 48 hours can significantly reduce bleeding and minimize bruising.

After 48 hours, using a warm compress can promote blood circulation and help dissipate the bruise. You can use a hot water bottle or a warm towel on the affected area, aiding in the resolution of the bruise.

It’s essential to ensure that the temperature during the warm compress is not too high, and the duration is not excessive to prevent skin burns.

Moreover, elevating the injured area above the level of the heart immediately after a bump can reduce capillary bleeding to some extent.

The Mystery of Bruises on Women: Exploring the Science Behind Unexplained Bruising

The Mystery of Bruises on Women: Exploring the Science Behind Unexplained Bruising

(source:internet, reference only)


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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.