Ecchymosis is the medical term for a bruise, which happens when there is some bleeding under the skin. Most of the time, a bruise is nothing to be worried about. They tend to occur when there is some damage to blood vessels in an area of tissue, and this normally occurs in accidents like bumping your arm or leg or getting hit while playing sports.
People often go to their doctor if they get bruises with no obvious cause. Most of the time, we bang our shins and lower legs on things without noticing, and a surprisingly small trauma leads to a bruise. Most of the time, we just didn’t realize it.
If you feel that you have excessive bruising or bruising that continues to occur as a result of minimal or very light trauma, then you can discuss this with your doctor.
If you feel you have excessive bruising, there are a few lines of inquiry that your doctor will want to think about. Your doctor will want to know whether you have any family history of bleeding disorders, whether you take any regular medications that affect your blood, such as blood thinners or steroid medications, and if you take any medications over the counter or drink excessive alcohol that could affect your bleeding and clotting.
Your doctor will then consider whether it is necessary to look at blood tests that focus on your clotting systems. If either your doctor feels it is important or you would feel reassured by having a blood test, a blood test can be arranged to check your body's clotting system.
In most instances, no treatment is needed for bruises. Providing you remain well, and as long as the trauma that caused it has not caused any other damage, such as broken bones, nothing else is required. It takes about 2 weeks for a bruise to fade, changing color from red to purple to brown.
If you have a particularly large bruise and become unwell, developing a temperature over 100 degrees, it would be best to see your doctor. Occasionally, bruises can become infected and cause further problems, occasionally needing antibiotics alongside other treatments.
You are fit for work if you have a bruise. However, if the nature of your work causes severe pain due to your bruise, or you are client-facing and feel very self-conscious about it, you could negotiate amended duties with your employer until you have recovered and the pain has subsided, or it has faded.
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