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When you bump your arm or shin unto something hard, you do not mind it since there is no scratch or wound. However, the next day, you can feel pain on the part where you have been hit. As you examine it, you can see a light discoloration on your skin. This skin discoloration is called a bruise, which turns to different colors during its process of healing. The first time that you have noticed the bruise, it might have been a slightly pinkish color. After a few days, it will turn to bluish then slightly yellowish. The skin discoloration will fade away once the bruise has healed completely.

A bruise is also known as “contusion” in medical terms. Whenever the skin suffers from a blow, small blood vessels get ruptured or damaged. Bruising leads to skin discoloration because blood leaks from the broken blood vessel to the skin tissues. When you experience a flat bruise, which has a purplish color, it is due to the blood leaking out to your skin's top layers.

For each person, the degree of the injury, which results to bruising, differs according to age. Children do not bruise easily than the older people. It takes more than a mild bump from the table to produce a bruise in kids. On the other hand, the elderly suffer bruises from scrapes and mild blows. This is due to the fact that as a person ages, blood vessels tend to get more sensitive and fragile. As you age, you will probably experience bruises even if you have not been injured.

Sometimes, bruising also differs according to the medications that a person is taking. When you are prescribed with a medication for your arthritis, you are more likely to bruise easily. This is due to the interference of the medicines with the clotting of your blood. This leads to much bleeding to the skin's top layers or tissues. Even over-the-counter drugs, like Warfarin, cause a person to bruise more. When the dosage of your medication is high, severe bruising can be among the skin problems, which you might have to go through.

If ever you suffer from blows to your arm or legs, you might need to follow first aid steps. These will lessen and, even, prohibit bruises from appearing. The first step, which you have to do, is to apply a cold compress on the injury. You can buy a compress pack from pharmacies. But if you do not have one, you can just opt for ice inside a plastic bag and wrapped with a towel. When you apply a cold compress to your injured skin, the blood flow to that area is reduced. Hence, the amount of bleeding is limited. Your bruise will not appear as big as the time when you have not placed a cold pack on your injury.