Do you have burst blood vessels?

Please can you tell me what is happening when I have a ‘burst blood vessel, usually on my hand? They are painful and leave a nasty bruise.
The most recent one occurred after I had been gardening, but often they appear out of the blue. Thank you,
Rosemary Siddles (email)

azwer (CC0), Pixabay

Bruising is caused by internal bleeding (under the skin) and occurs when we injure ourselves often resulting from minor bumps doing tasks like gardening. Bleeding appears as a small dot the size of a pinprick or a bigger patch bluish or purple in colour often feeling tender or swollen.

The patches appear on the skin when tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, break or burst underneath. The blood from the capillaries leaks into the soft tissue under the skin, causing discolouration which over time, usually around two weeks, fades through shades of yellow or green.

It’s not unusual for many older people to experience bruising like because their skin has become thinner with age and the tissue underneath more fragile.

But some people of any age are naturally more prone to bruising. Help yourself by cooling the areas with a cold compress to limit the bleeding. Use a cloth soaked in cold water or better still an ice pack made from a bag of frozen peas or ice cubes wrapped in a towel. See a doctor about bleeding into the skin if it’s not related to an injury. Unusual bruising could be linked to taking medication, such as anticoagulants, or a symptom of illness.


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