There are many different reasons to be concerned about bruises, cuts and scratches on your arms. This article will introduce you to the medical conditions that cause easy bruising and tearing of the skin and the different diseases that put you at a greater risk of infection from those cuts and scratches.
Conditions that cause easy bruising and tearing of the skin:
There are many people living with medical conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, cellulitis, that have to take blood thinners or have thin skin from steroid use or too much sun exposure. One of the conditions that is common among individuals with these conditions is easy bruising and tearing of their skin. If you have any of these conditions especially diabetes you happen to be at a greater risk of getting a serious infection from even the smallest scratch. Your arms are the most common |location to bruise or cut yourself while doing everyday task. Why easy bruising so common in older adults? Some people especially women tend to be more prone to bruising than are others. As you get older, several factors can give rise to easy bruising, including:
Aging capillaries: Over time, the tissues supporting these vessels weaken, and capillary walls become more fragile and vulnerable rupture.
Thinning skin: With age, the skin becomes thinner and loses part of its protective fatty layer that helps cushion the blood vessels from injury. Excessive sun exposure accelerates this process .
Blood-thinning drugs: For example aspirin and Warfarin (Coumadin) or medications like Plavix reduce your blood’s capacity to clot. The result of this can be bleeding from capillary damage that might take longer than usual to subside . If this permits enough blood to leak out it can cause a bruise.
Conditions that put you at a higher risk of infection from cuts and scratches:
Diabetes, is a serious condition that, affects many systems within the body such as the immune system. Since the immune system, your body’s defense mechanism helps protect the body from infection, diabetics often find that they develop more infections than individuals with healthy immune systems. Other factors also influence the development of infection in diabetics, for example neuropathy, nerve damage that leads to decreased sensation. Neuropathy often makes scratches and cuts less noticeable for the diabetic, increasing the chance that a infection will worsen. Diabetics also experience decreased blood flow and this raises infection risks in diabetics.
Cellulitis is a skin infection brought on by bacteria. Normally, the skin helps shield you from infection. But if you’ve got a cut, sore, or insect bite, bacteria could possibly get into your skin and spread to deeper tissues. If it is not addressed with antibiotics, the infection can spread to the blood or lymph nodes. This can be deadly.
Psoriasis is immune-mediated disease that affects your skin. It is typically a lifelong condition. There is currently no cure, but various treatments will help control the symptoms. Psoriasis occurs when the body’s defense mechanism (the immune system) mistakes an ordinary skin cell for a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that induce overproduction of new skin cells. People with psoriasis often notice new lesions 10 to 14 days after the skin layer} is cut, scratched, rubbed, or severely sunburned. This is called the “Koebner phenomenon” which is named after Dr. Koebner who in the 19th century observed that a patient developed new lesions in locations where his horse bit him. Today, an array of traumas and skin problems are known to trigger Koebner’s phenomenon including cuts, scratches, skin tears and scraps Research shows that about 50% of individuals with psoriasis experience the Koebner phenomenon.
The term eczema is broadly used to describe a wide range of persistent skin disorders. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes which are characterized by more than one of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and they are sometimes because of healed injuries. Scratching open a healing lesion may result in scarring and could enlarge the rash. People with atopic eczema have impaired capacity to deal with infection. Also, as you may know all too well from personal experience eczema itches and the natural responses to itch is usually to scratch. This in turn causes your skin to crack and split and grow sore, inflamed and moist the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.