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Is my tendency to develop marks on the skin treatable?

Q: I am a 37-year-old female and the skin above my wrists develops marks very soon. Yesterday, a dog was jumping on me and scratched my wrist. It did not break the skin but now I have red marks on the wrist. It does not hurt but is embarrassing to look at. Is this what they call thin skin? I have seen this in older women, why do I have it?

A:It is impossible to say with confidence as to the exact nature of your diagnosis but you may be suffering from 'Batemans purpura senilis' or in simple terms 'Senile Purpura'. As people age, their skin becomes thinner and more fragile. Hence, bruises (senile purpura) tend to form easily as the blood vessels in the skin are also more fragile. The bruises are initially dark purplish red and are most common on the forearms and backs of the hands in elderly people. The bruising does not mean that the person is necessarily deficient in any vitamins or minerals nor does it mean that they have a bleeding disorder. People most at risk are: elderly and those with sun damaged skin. Some of the symptoms of Senile purpura include: -Purple bruises -Bruises on back of hands -Forearm bruises -Brown skin discolouration after the bruise fades In many cases no treatment is needed unless there are more serious symptoms.

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