What Is Ecchymosis Definition? Ecchymosis vs Bruising

by Mouli Chakraborty
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Have you ever gone through a wound in any part of your body that left a purple mark over that spot? You have not taken it seriously, thinking that it might be some kinda common leftover mark or scar. Then, for your information, it might not be a common leftover mark of a scar but Ecchymosis. Confused! Right? Didn’t heard the medical term before! Well! Let us make you aware, what is Ecchymosis & also the details about it. Just stay tuned with us.

Ecchymosis Definition

The ecchymosis medical term is used generally for indicating a kind of bruise that is common. Bruises formed when the blood vessels near your skin’s surface get damaged as a result of an injury. Because of the injury, the blood vessels burst open & blood leaked out of it. This very blood then gets trapped beneath your skin & forms a little pool, which turns your skin black/purple/blue.

As soon as the blood vessel faces an injury, the blood platelets start the process of clotting, which in turn stops the leakage of any more blood from the wounded blood vessels. Also, some proteins, called clotting factors, in your blood that aids to stop your bleeding, thus helping the tissue start healing.

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Ecchymotic Symptoms

Ecchymotic Symptoms
Ecchymotic Symptoms

Ecchymosis’s primary symptom is the discoloration of a larger than one-centimeter skin area. It might be sensitive or painful to touch that particular area. As the body again absorbs the blood pooling beneath your skin, the color of Ecchymosis begins to change & gradually disappears. The color changes from red or purple to black or blue, then to brown & finally to yellow, before ultimately disappearing forever.

The most common places where ecchymoses occur are your arms & legs, as these are the most probable places for getting injuries. Besides that, you can also face bruising if you somehow strain a bone or sprain it, especially that if your wrist/ankle.

Ecchymoses are more common with older adults. They may notice sudden painless bruises over their hands’ back or forearms. This is because as one age, his skin starts becoming thinner.

And, when one has thin skin, your body’s blood vessels are susceptible to bursting more easily, which ultimately leads to more frequent bruising. As these types of injuries are not so large, these types of bruises are usually not so painful.

Apart from that, Ecchymosis is also likely to occur on the skin surrounding our eyes. This is because the area around our eyes is very much thin & thin areas are likely to get more bruises than thick areas. When Ecchymosis happens around the socket of your eye, it is called the black eye.

Spontaneous Ecchymoses

Spontaneous Ecchymoses
Spontaneous Ecchymoses

It is a type of ecchymoses that happens spontaneously, primarily on one’s forearms & hands. However, they can also arise on the legs. What happens is basically some tiny blood vessels rupture inside your skin, leaving black, red, or purple patches, which can easily tear. Spontaneous Ecchymoses is also known as actinic Purpura.

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Causes Of Ecchymosis

Usually, Ecchymosis happens due to an injury (like a bump, fall, and blow). This injury induces the blood vessel of that area to burst open, thus trickling blood under your skin & developing a bruise. Bruises are indeed extremely common among all types of people & among all ages. Still, it is seen that women get such bruises more easily than a man gets them.

Sometimes, you are regularly finding abrasions on your body; however, you cannot recollect when you got the injury. If such things happen, there’s definitely an underlying cause behind it.

Many medicines actually increase bleeding & bruises on your body. Such medicines are blood thinners (like aspirin & warfarin such as Coumadin, Jantoven, etc.), corticosteroids, ginkgo Biloba like dietary supplements & antibiotics.

At times, an easy bruising may result in a more serious condition like a bleeding disorder. Likewise, easy bruising can cause at least twenty-eight conditions. If you are seeing the following conditions, consult your doctor immediately:

  • Having frequent & large bruises
  • Having large & unexplained bruises
  • Getting bruises easily & have a family/personal record of severe bleeding
  • Unexpectedly start bruising easily, particularly if you have started a new medication

Ecchymosis Vs.Bruising

An ecchymosis is used generally for indicating a kind of bruise that is common. It is caused because of bruising.

Bruises formed when the blood vessels near your skin’s surface get damaged as a result of an injury. Because of the injury, the blood vessels burst open & blood leaked out of it. This very blood then gets trapped beneath your skin & forms a little pool, which turns your skin black/purple/blue.

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Through What Process Ecchymosis Is Diagnosed?

When you visit your doctor’s chamber with a bruise that looks like Ecchymosis, your doctor will confirm it is Ecchymosis by just seeing into it. Or, he may also order you for an X-ray to ensure that no broken bones have caused it.

Still, if nothing can be figured out regarding the bruise, he may order you for a blood test to check your platelets’ level. Or, he may also prescribe a coagulation test for seeing how well your blood is clotting & at what time it is clotting.

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Related Conditions

Some similar-looking conditions look just like Ecchymosis but are not the same. They are Purpura & Petechiae. Purpura is the purple-looking spots/patches with a diameter of 4-10 millimetres. The border of this condition is more defined than that of Ecchymosis. It sometimes appears similar to a rash & not a bruise. Purpura is caused by any infection, blood clotting problems, or medications.

On the other hand, Petechiae are extremely small-looking spots over your skin. Their colour may be either brown, red, or purple. They originate because of the bursting of capillaries, the bursting of the small blood vessels. They occur in groups. Just as Purpura, it sometimes appears similar to a rash & not a bruise. Also, it happens because of medication or other underlying conditions.

Treatment Of Ecchymosis

Most of the time, Ecchymosis recovers on its own & for that, at least 2-3 weeks are required. However, if a broken bone is involved in the injury, the bruise takes a much longer time to heal. Some home remedies speed up your process of healing & they are:

  • Applying a pack of ice within the 1st 24-48 hrs of the initial injury
  • Giving rest to the affected area
  • Lifting injured limbs even above the heart for preventing painful swelling
  • Employing a heat pack numerous times of a day (within 48 hrs of injury)
  • Accepting nonsteroidal medications that are also anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen for reducing painful swelling.

How To Prevent Ecchymosis?

Ecchymosis can be prevented in the following ways:

  • Wearing protective equipment at the time of playing sports
  • Keeping all the floors & walkways far from debris for preventing falls
  • By not leaving any item on the stairway
  • By rearranging furniture in such a way that the possibility of bumps gets reduced
  • Keeping a night lamp on in your bathroom & bedroom
  • Using your cell phone flashlight or attaching a minor light with your keys to see the phone in inadequately lit areas.

The Final Words

So, from the above, you can comprehend that Ecchymosis is very much common, just like any other bruise, but that doesn’t mean that we can ignore it as a non-serious injury. It may sometimes convert into a serious one if ignored for a long time or left untreated. So, the next time, in case you are experiencing any uneasiness because of any bruise in your body, have a check through your doctor. And go for any medical test it needed. Who can say you might have any other underlying condition for which treatment is vital!

FAQs

Q1. What causes Ecchymosis?

Answer: Usually, Ecchymosis happens due to an injury (like a bump, fall, and blow). This injury induces the blood vessel of that area to burst open, thus trickling blood under your skin & developing a bruise. Bruises are indeed extremely common among all types of people & among all ages. Still, it is seen that women get such bruises more easily than a man gets them.

Sometimes, you are regularly finding abrasions on your body; however, you cannot recollect when you got the injury. If such things happen, there’s an underlying cause behind it. Many medicines increase bleeding & bruises on your body. Such medicines are blood thinners (like aspirin & warfarin such as Coumadin, Jantoven, etc.), corticosteroids, ginkgo Biloba like dietary supplements & antibiotics.

Q2. What is the primary difference between bruise and Ecchymosis?

Answer: An ecchymosis is used generally for indicating a kind of bruise that is common. It is caused because of bruising.

Bruises formed when the blood vessels near your skin’s surface get damaged as a result of an injury. Because of the injury, the blood vessels burst open & blood leaked out of it. This very blood then gets trapped beneath your skin & forms a little pool, which turns your skin black/purple/blue.

Q3. How do you treat Ecchymosis?

Answer: Some home remedies speed up your process of healing & they are:

1. Applying a pack of ice within the 1st 24-48 hrs of the initial injury
2. Giving rest to the affected area
3. Lifting injured limbs even above the heart for preventing painful swelling
4. Employing a heat pack numerous times of a day (within 48 hrs of injury)
5. Accepting nonsteroidal medications that are also anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen for reducing painful swelling.

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