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Why Do We Bruise More as We Age?

Woman wearing a band-aid

Bruises are a common thing for everyone. We bump into things without noticing routinely and end up wondering how precisely we got a given bruise when we don’t even remember bumping into anything. The body is good at minimizing and repairing such a simple level of damage. It does get harder for the body to keep up as we age though and we gradually end up bruising more easily as we age. There are a number of reasons for this. Whether you’re dealing with this yourself or wish to be prepared in the future, it seems best to discuss the whys of this common aging issue to ensure it is clearly understood. There are a lot of things you can do to age gracefully, but you will still age.

Feeling A Little Thin
One of the biggest reasons that we bruise more easily as we age has less to do with our skin reacting differently and more to do with the fact that it is thinner. The skin loses collagen and other structural components over time. These get damaged routinely throughout our lives and our skin can usually keep up and replace the damaged areas. It has much more difficulty with it as we age. As a result, our skin gets thinner. This makes it easier to see below the skin. Most people are familiar with the fact that veins become more apparent with age. These two are symptoms of the same issue ultimately. You can use collagen boosting products on your skin to minimize how thin your skin gets, but it is only part of the problem.

Delicate Threads
Your skin isn’t the only part of your body that becomes frailer with age. The countless blood vessels in your body also begin to wear out. Bruises are actually where the smallest vessels in your body rupture and bleed beneath the skin. That’s what most bruises tend to be an uncomfortable blue/purple color for fair-skinned people. You’re actually seeing blood just below your skin. Since the skin gets thinner with age, these incidents actually become more visible. Even the most careful have likely run across a few “invisible” bruises in their lifetime where a clear area of skin feels like it is bruised. As we age, this is less possible. Similarly, the increasing fragility of blood vessels means that more incidents are likely to cause rupturing below the skin. This combination of effects leads to greater numbers of bruises as we age.

What Can I Do?
The best steps you can take as you age are proactive. Create a home environment that is less cluttered and easy to move through without any furniture at odd angles. Favor decorating your home with comfortable furniture and add cushions to harder seats. Additionally, you may wish to consider making sure any staircases or similar areas you have in your home have support available. There are products available to round off sharp-edged surfaces without damaging the furniture itself. The overall goal is to minimize unexpected, jutting surfaces that can lead to accidental bruising and situations where distractions could lead to bruising as well. As your body becomes more delicate, you must remember to treat it as such to ensure you continue to get the most out of life.

Easy bruising is just one of the symptoms of age and is in some ways one of the less pronounced. It does become a quality of life issue for some who are used to being less careful in their day-to-day lives. Acquiring too many bruises can leave you feeling sore all over and make it difficult to move around easily. So prepare before things become an issue. An healthy lifestyle means being prepared for what is to come so you can keep caring for yourself.

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