Why Do You Keep Finding Unexplained Bruises on Your Body?
Have you ever woken up and found a new mysterious bruise on your legs or arms? Well, there is a simpler explanation than playing hockey in your sleep, and it’s all about how your skin works.
Some people, especially women, bruise more easily than others. As dermatologist Dr. Joel Cohen explains in Vice, this usually happens when a person has less collagen in their skin. Your skin is made up of several layers that, among other things, protect the blood vessels underneath from damage. If you have a thinner layer of collagen, bruising may appear easier:
Collagen is the “main structural element of the skin”. In the dermis, collagen forms a network of fibers that hold the rest of the skin together like a network. Collagen supports the blood vessels so they are better protected from blunt force. Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, does not structurally support blood vessels – it is stuffing. “It’s part of our buffer before we get to the bone,” says Cohen. “It protects our bones and muscles from the outside world.”
Bruising is also easier to see when you have a thinner layer of collagen. While this can vary from person to person, women tend to have a thinner layer of collagen than men, which can lead to more frequent bruising. While larger bruises still mean more serious injuries and cannot be ignored, minor bruises can occur even from small bumps that you would otherwise ignore.