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Why does a bruise happen and how can I prevent it?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Most people do not remember bumping themselves and panic when they find a big bruise. Some people actually scratch their skin during sleep and wake up with purple streaks, not knowing where they came from. If you bruise easily, it is likely that you are taking some kind of medication that thins the blood. Many of us take aspirin or ibuprofen, which acts as a blood thinner. Prescription medications such as clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix), taken for heart conditions, do the same and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. Even supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, St. John's wort, and ginkgo biloba thin the blood, as does eating a lot of garlic. Raise the issue with your doctor if you seem to be bruising more than normal. You may need blood tests to rule out a genetic bleeding disorder, or you may need to adjust your medication.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.