Bruises are a fairly common occurrence, especially in young children and older adults. Also called a contusion, a bruise is the result of blood pooling just below the skin after damage to a blood vessel or capillary. Simply banging into something can cause bruising. Bruising on thighs and shins is fairly common since it is a relatively easy area to bang up. Legs can be easily injured with a car door, a kitchen cabinet, a chair, a rambunctious toddler, and by many other daily activities that go virtually unnoticed.
Bruising on shins, thighs, and even arms is often no cause for alarm. Frequent bruising often appears on young children as their coordination is slightly less than adequate and they tend to be always in motion. In older adults, frequent bruising may simply be a sign of thinning skin and frailer capillaries. Of course, excessive and frequent bruising in children and the elderly should be questioned by a loved one or medical professional.
While even the slightest bump or pressure injury can causing bruising on thighs, legs, and arms, the contusion usually clears up on its own within a few days as the body reabsorbs the blood. Frequent bruising may simply be a sign of clumsiness, but can occasionally be a sign of something medical. Bruising can be caused by medication, nutritional deficiency, and possibly disease.
Blood thinning medications, especially in the elderly, can cause bruising to occur easily. This is simply because even a small rupture to a capillary causes more blood loss under the skin because thinned blood clots slower. It is also possible for nutritional deficiencies to make the body more susceptible to bruising. A lack of vitamin C or possibly an iron deficiency may be signified by bruising on the arms or thighs. Talk to a doctor, nutritionist or dietician about concerns regarding food, nutrition and supplements.
Rarer, but still a possible cause of bruising on thighs, shins, and arms is disease. Certain blood diseases and blood poisoning can cause easy bruising, as well as certain types of cancer, kidney disease, and even diabetes. The harder it is for the body to heal itself, the more bruising is present with even minor injuries. Frequent bruising with no obvious cause or memory of incident should be discussed with a physician. Blood tests can be ordered to check for certain diseases as well as nutritional deficiencies. As a matter of social conscience, frequent bruising on thighs and upper arms of children and the elderly should also be investigated, especially if disease or nutritional deficiency is ruled out.