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Why do I have bruise like blotches on my skin?

Q: I am a 30 years old woman. I have dark bruise like spots that appear just below the surface of my skin. These marks appear to be like blood clots. They disappear within 2-3 days usually. They are present on my thighs, legs and the upper-arms. I would like to know whether these are blood clots and what are the remedies? I do have little pain when pressed with finger.

A:Easy bruisability can be an innocent annoyance or a sinister warning of a serious disease. Bruises are sometimes occupational or caused by rough handling in abusive situations or from repeated minor accidents. In older people, and some younger thin or very fat women, easy bruising can result from poor skin condition with a delicate structure of the undersurface. More serious disorders can include vitamin C deficiency or allergy to herbs such as quinine or Chinese mushrooms. Corticosteroids produced by the body with a hyperactive adrenal cortex or from drug therapy (including inappropriate herbal mixtures) can also lead to bruising. Most serious are various blood disorders that can be determined from an examination of a blood specimen by a qualified laboratory. Sometimes more complex tests are needed to determine if the cause is an autoimmune disorder or the manifestation of a chronic infection such as meningcoccaemia. The overall state of health and the presence of any other significant complaints may make if easy to determine the cause of the problem. However, if there is a concern about a serious underlying diseases, a competent medical exam and appropriate laboratory tests are essential.

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