Ecchymosis describes the ordinary bruise. In most cases, ecchymosis crops up when a broken capillary leaks blood into nearby tissues causing skin discoloration. On average, ecchymosis will take up to three or four weeks to heal completely. This condition can be caused by disease, minor trauma, and a few assorted other conditions.
Skin discoloration as a result of burst blood capillaries leading to blood leakage into the skin is the primary symptom of ecchymosis. The affected area is sensitive and can sometimes be painful when touched. The discolored patch will progressively change colors from red through bluish, brown, green to yellow and finally disappear completely as the blood beneath the skin is reabsorbed by the body. These bruises can affect any part of the body but is more common on the legs and arms because these extremities are more susceptible to injury. It can also occur on the skin surrounding the eyes, which are surrounded by thin skin that bruises easily. Ecchymosis tends to be more pronounced in older adults, mainly because as the body ages, the skin becomes thinner and this increases the susceptibility of blood vessels to burst, resulting in frequent bruising.
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