Bruising Without Injury (Severe): Causes & What to Do

The skin normally turns purple or dark due to blood clotting beneath it. You would expect this after trauma or injury of some kind, such as a fall.

But sometimes, bruises can occur without any sort of injury or without any reason. The symptoms just occur suddenly and can be pretty severe. Though not common, it may be accompanied with pain especially in areas such as the knees and abdominal region.

What causes bruising without injury?

When the skin suffers trauma like in case we bump in to something, we are like to bruise. This is quite common and normal.

severe Bruising without injury on knees
Severe bruising without injury on knees.

However, it is also possible to suffer bruises for reasons we cannot explain. When certain bruises are not associated with any form of trauma, this is reason for concern. Some reasons for these require immediate medical attention.

Auto immunity: This is evidenced by the presence of multiple bruises. They also tend to be firm and raised.  These spontaneous bruises occur when the body attacks its own blood vessels. These require immediate medical attention.

Platelet abnormalities: platelets happen to be small fragment cells that are present in the bloodstream. They are a necessary component for blood to clot. At times, an individual could suffer a low platelet count.

This is known as thrombocytopenia and could be caused by a wide range of factors. These include blood cell disorders, liver disease and malnutrition. These could lead toeasy bruising.

Allergic reactions: another cause for bruising without injury could be allergic reactions.

Bleeding disorders: in some cases, there are disorders in which the blood does not clot easily.  This could be caused by a deficiency in the coagulating factors. This could be as a result of medication or hereditary disorders.

Medical treatments: There are some forms of treatments that are associated with easy bruising even where there is no injury. These include anti depressants, antibiotics, anticoagulants, anti inflammatory drugs, chemotherapy steroids and radiation treatments.

Abdominal bruises for no reason

It is possible to experience abdominal bruising without injury. These bruises may appear as though you have rib cage contusions and injuries. At times though, it could be caused by minor trauma that went unnoticed. Bruises without injuries can be caused by thinning of the skin which could be caused by a number of factors.

Some medication when taken for too long could lead to bruising without injuries. Aspirin is one such drug. It leads to coagulation changes which then lead to spontaneous hematoma. In such cases, one could apply cold compresses to make the bruises go away. Heparin gel could also help.

Another cause could be platelet disorder which as well has to do with platelet disorders. These are mostly manifested as tiny pinpointed bruises. In case of irregular bruises that are large in size, this could be a coagulation disorder.

To prove what the cause of abdominal bruises without injuries is, one ought to consult a hematologist. They will investigate what could cause it coagulation tests, platelet indices and hemogram. This way one can learn the factors causing the bruises and how to deal with them.

When sudden and severe

What causes bruising without injury
What causes bruising without injury?

Where one experiences sudden and severe bruising without injury, this could be indicative of some serious condition. Where the bruising is accompanied with the symptoms mentioned below, one should seek help immediately.

  • Bleeding occurring with no  reason
  • High fever
  • The bruising and bleeding take long without resolving
  • Hemorrhage and uncontrolled bleeding

Among some of the causes of this bruising include:

  • Blood diseases such as leukemia
  • Liver illnesses such as cirrhosis
  • Blood clotting disorders which could be hemophilia A or B
  • A disorder in bone marrow which leads to abnormal cell growth rate.
  • Deficiency in nutrition such as a lack of Vitamins K and C or inefficient folic acid.
  • Severe infection of the blood stream
  • Medical procedures such as surgery
  • Allergic reactions
  • Medication meant to thin blood

Skin bruising without  trauma

In general, there are three types of bruises:

  • Periosteal Bruise: this is a bone bruise and is the most severe bruise. It is therefore the most painful.
  • Intramuscular bruise: these occur in the underlying muscles. It becomes hard to make use of the bruised muscle.
  • Subcutaneous bruise: this is normally beneath the skin.

In most cases, bruises that occur on the skin without injury are subcutaneous bruises. There are a number of things that can be attributed to their presence. As people age, the layer of protective skin found beneath the skin thins.

The blood vessels on the other hand become fragile and are easily bruised. In case one gets exposed to the sun for long duration, it becomes easy for their skin to get bruised. There also is a heredity aspect in easy bruising.

The bruising on the skin could last for a few days or even months. It occurs in stages. At the start, it will appear as a pinkish or reddish blotch on the skin. After a few days, the bruise changes to purple. As it gets to healing, it becomes brownish yellow. Within three weeks it will have healed and blended in with the skin.

It is possible for one to avoid bruising by finding out and staying away from the cause. In case one still gets them, you could treat the bruise by rubbing some ice on it. This will help in reducing swelling in case there is some. Elevating the bruised area could as well help as it prevents blood from pooling around the area.

There are instances in which one should seek medical attention. These include:

  • Where the bruised area appears to be infected. This can be noted when it appears red, has pus or there is any other form of drainage.
  • The spontaneous bruises are way too many
  • There is a feeling of extreme pressure in the area of bruising.

Knee pain and bruising

In most cases, bruising and pain in the knee will occur after injury. This is common in athletes. However, this is not always the case. It is possible to experience knee pain and bruising without injury. This is caused by medical conditions leading to inflammation or infection of the knee tissues. These include:

  • Bakers cyst: This is a swelling filled with fluid occurring at the back of a knee.
  • Degenerative arthritis: This is common in persons over 40 years. It is caused by the wear and tear of the knee bones leading to their slow breakdown
  • Gouty arthritis: This occurs when there are crystals deposited in the knee joint causing inflammation and rapid swelling.


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