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A patient with excessive bruising may need a medical evaluation to find out the cause and develop a treatment plan. Once bruises form they can be difficult to eliminate, but it may be possible to prevent further bruising by addressing the underlying issue. It is especially important to see a doctor for excessive bruising if it onsets suddenly or occurs in conjunction with fever, confusion, or a new course of medication.
Sometimes excessive bruising is the result of aging. Older adults have more fragile blood vessels and can be more prone to bruises. In other cases, it indicates that something is wrong with a patient's platelets or blood vessels. In the case of patients with coagulopathies, an increase in bruising may indicate that the condition is not under control or the patient needs to be more careful. A doctor can provide the patient with advice and information.
If a patient has no known history of excessive bruising and doesn't have any conditions associated with it, the appearance of large numbers of bruises can be a cause for concern. They may be caused by the emergence of a new disease, like a blood cancer, or they could be a reaction to medication. If bruising is accompanied by excessive bleeding, dark urine or stools, and symptoms like headaches and confusion, the patient may have a serious medical problem.
Doctors can evaluate a patient with excessive bruising to find out why it is happening. They may recommend medical imaging, blood tests, and other measures to collect information. If they can determine the cause, they can recommend treatments to get the issue under control. These could include measures like chemotherapy for cancer, surgery to address ruptured blood vessels, or medications to facilitate clotting. It is very important to receive adequate evaluation and treatment, as some conditions that cause excessive bruising can be fatal if they are not addressed.
When bruising is a medication reaction, the patient may need to stop and switch drugs. People should not stop prescription medications without discussing the situation with a doctor, as this could be dangerous. A doctor can decide if the medication is an issue and whether the patient needs an alternate drug or a decrease in dosage.
Patients in treatment for excessive bruising can apply cold compresses to bruises when they first start to appear. After the first day, they may want to switch to hot compresses. This can help reduce the size and intensity of the bruise. Topical applications of compounds like calendula may also help with bruising and tenderness. This will not resolve the problem that causes the bruising, but it can make the patient feel more comfortable and may minimize the unsightly appearance of bruises.