Ecchymosis is a kind of hematoma with abnormalities of skin. These can be over ten mm to one cm or more in size. It is recognized as an extravasation of blood in the layer of the skin. It occurs because of leakage of blood from damaged blood cells.
Ecchymosis is discoloration of skin which occurs randomly because of some causal medical disorder. The skin anomalies are generally flat and red or blue in color. Discoloration of skin is a result of leakage of blood from damaged blood tissues. It can be classified as a subcutaneous purpura. It is not same as bruise even though people usually mistake it for a bruise. Ecchymosis and bruises have totally different reasons for occurrence of skin problems. The former develops because of some underlying illness, while bruises associated blood seepage in the layer of the skin occurs due to trauma to the affected portion of skin.
Symptoms of Ecchymosis
Ecchymosis is usually not accompanied by many symptoms. Still some minor and general signs may occur as part of the underlying medical conditions that cause the skin disorder. Some of the signs and symptoms of Ecchymosis are as follows:
- Development of discolored patches, these could be red colored, blue colored or purplish. These patches could be as big as one cm or more diametrically.
- Swelling and inflammation of skin could occur around the areas adjacent to ecchymosis. This depends upon how severe the tissues have been damaged.
- In some cases, patients could experience pain. Skin pain is however not that common.
- In extreme and serious cases, the discoloration of skin could spread to the adjacent areas from the affected areas
Ecchymosis and hematoma occur as a result of seepage of blood into the tissue from the damaged blood tissues. They are different in one more aspect. They appear different and the sites that affect them are not alike as well.
Ecchymosis develops in the thin cover of the skin and in the mucous membrane whereas hematoma affects not only the cover of the skin and the mucous membrane, but also other parts of the body. Hematoma is generally three-dimensional and raised, whereas ecchymosis linked skin defects are not raised and instead appear flat.
Causes of Ecchymosis
The cause for ecchymosis could be due to minor inflammatory reactions or it could be a part of a more severe health condition. Normally, it is not considered to be a harmful disorder. Discoloration of skin is due to the rupturing of the blood vessel. This blood leaks into the thin tissues of skin and as there is no opening for such blood to move out, it collects beneath the skin resulting in red, blue or purple discoloration of skin.
Some other causes for the condition are as follows:
- Leukemia: Leukemia is a kind of cancer of the blood cells and it includes malignant cells of the tissue that form blood. Increase in the number of white blood cells activates formation of ecchymosis. Signs and symptoms of leukemia along with ecchymosis are bruises and bleeding.
- Multiple myeloma: Multiple myeloma are malignant cells of the plasma. These are a type of white blood cells found usually in the bone marrow. Increase in the growth of anomalous cells of plasma in the bone marrow indicates progress of the illness, thus causing blood abnormalities and consequently leading to ecchymosis.
- Acute renal failure: Symptoms for acute renal failure are weakening and loss of the functions of the kidney. This has an adverse effect on the waste elimination process from the system. All of this increases the waste and toxic content in the blood. Such excess waste accumulation eventually trigger skin discoloration.
- Myelofibrosis: Formation of fibrosis in the bone marrow tissues damages the regular production of blood cell in the system, thus resulting in ecchymosis.
- Cirrhosis of the liver: Anomalies in the functions of the liver due to liver scarring, etc., is known as cirrhosis of liver. This could be due to various existing liver diseases. Dysfunction of the liver or improper functioning of the liver can alter the blood’s composition which causes ecchymosis.
Treatment of Ecchymosis
Ecchymosis can be treated through home-made tonics and medicine. Generally it doesn’t require medical treatments. Still in severe cases, a person needs to consult a medical expert. The doctor will identify the reason for the illness and give proper treatment.
Some of the ways to treat Ecchymosis are as follows:
- Adequate rest is necessary, it aids in curing the tissues.
- Ice should be applied on the affected portion; this will help for vasoconstriction of the affected tissues. Furthermore, it will avoid spread of the disease to the nearby areas.
- Pain killers can be taken to reduce pain.
- If the affected area is kept in an upward direction i.e. elevated position, it will help in improving the circulation and control swelling.
- Simple massage and exercise might help in repairing of the tissues. Anyways care has to be taken to avoid excessive or rigorous exercises. This may damage the tissues and worsen the condition.
Ecchymosis – Pictures
Filed in: Skin Problems