Wound care is a constant focus and dedicated effort at the Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. For the most part, that refers to skin tears, open sores, and lacerations, but the aging process also often comes with an increased amount of bruising. For patients and loved ones not used to dealing with the unique characteristics of aging, this can sometimes be momentarily alarming. In the hopes of providing our friends with a bit of comfort, Bannister Center has put together some information on bruising below.
Increased bruising in elderly patients is not necessarily the result of an increase in damage or accidents. There are a number of tissue changes that come with age and that can contribute to bruising as a result of normal and previously harmless activity. One reason that bruising becomes more prevalent is that the skin itself thins as we enter into our twilight years. This combines with an additional reduction in fat and moisture in the skin, which compromises its elasticity. The result is less protection for the blood vessels underneath that have themselves also become more fragile.
Bruising is the evidence that a blood vessel has broken and leaked blood under the skin. The good news is that aside from being careful not to further bump or irritate the area, a bruise really doesn’t usually require any interventive treatment. The blood vessel will heal on its own, and the spilt blood will be reabsorbed by the body. Bruised areas can be a little tender, though, so feel free to consider padding the area a little if pressure is bothersome. As is true with any type of injury, it’s also important to notice and monitor bruises and their healing timelines to ensure they are not an indicator of a more serious medical situation.