By Gary M. White, MD


A bruise (medical term ecchymosis--plural, ecchymoses) is discoloration of the skin caused by the leakage of blood out of the blood vessels.

Differential Diagnosis for Easy Bruising

The chronic use of steroids, either topical or systemic, can lead to easy bruising (steroid purpura). Getting older is associated with easy bruising as well (solar purpura).

If workup is needed, laboratory testing with a focus on platelets, bleeding times, and coagulation factors may be done.

Various inherited disorders may be associated with fewer and larger platelets (macrothrombocytopenia); these disorders are grouped together as inherited giant platelet disorders. For more information, see Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2015;81:633-5.

Additional Pictures

A woman who fell and hit her arm three days before showing a range of colors and an interesting follicular pattern.
Bruise Bruise

Bruise on the shin of an elderly man showing a range of colors.


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