Healthy Q & A: Excessive Bruising

Q: I bruise so easily!  It’s embarrassing and I’d like to do something about it, do you have any suggestions?


A: Bruising is normal from an injury, but if you feel like you are bruising more than normal there can be several factors at hand.  Often people who bruise easily do not consume enough fresh, uncooked produce.  Nutritional deficiencies, particularly of vitamin C, can thin blood vessel walls and make the body more prone to bruising.  Also, heavy menstrual bleeding or frequent smoking can be related to increased bruising.  It would also be a good idea to mention it to your physician at your next checkup, to rule out a more serious condition.

Both vitamin C and bioflavanoids can be helpful in preventing bruising.  Both supplements, particularly bioflavanoids, antioxidants found in citrus fruits, help to strengthen vein and capillary walls, which in turn can help to reduce bruising.  Since bruises are caused when veins and capillaries are broken underneath the skin, strengthening those same veins and capillaries will make them less likely to break upon an injury.

We also have a supplement called Bruise Free by the company Dream Quest (a division of Nature’s Plus).  It has both vitamin C and bioflavanoids along with other specialized antioxidants to help with preventing bruising.  I couldn’t recommend another supplement that I think would work better for people who bruise easily.

Vitamin K cream can help to fade bruises.  In one recent study, patients who had undergone laser treatment had significant reductions in bruising after applying Vitamin K to the affected areas. 

Many of our customers have also found arnica cream to be very effective in reducing the pain and discoloration of bruising.  Arnica cream should be applied as soon as possible after an injury to prevent bruising.

Other recommendations would be to use an ice pack on the affected area of an injury as soon as possible for twenty to thirty minutes.  Ice can help to stop the bleeding under the skin by constricting blood vessels.  Elevating the injury above the level of the heart can also help.

One folk remedy says to rub a shredded, raw potato on a bruise for an hour.  Most of us have potatoes in the house, so while it may or may not work, it certainly won’t hurt!