Vitamins & Supplements to Prevent Bruising Naturally
Bruising is a common condition that affects everyone but can become concerning. Bruises occur when tiny blood vessels burst and release blood into the surrounding tissue. As adults age, blood vessels become thinner and more vulnerable, making bruising more common among the elderly. In addition, skin becomes thinner and less protective of the blood vessels close to the surface – this is seen especially in women. While bruising is common and inevitable, often there is an underlying issue that causes frequent easy bruising, such as fragile capillaries, thin skin, lack of collagen and clotting problems. Many of these underlying issues are associated with vitamin deficiencies. What vitamins are you lacking when you bruise easily? We’ve compiled a list of essential vitamins to prevent bruising and home remedies to help bruises heal naturally.
According to Women’s Health, vitamin K deficiency could be the cause of easy bruising. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for blood clotting and helps strengthen the walls of the capillaries so they will be less prone to breakage. Since vitamin K requires the presence of fat to be utilized by the body, people who have problems with fat absorption or who use certain medications that impair fat absorption may be deficient in vitamin K. There are different ways to increase your vitamin K intake. One way is through diet. Good sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and brussels sprouts. Topical vitamin K cream is also a good way to promote rapid resolve and healing of bruises.
Vitamin C is a nutrient your body needs to form cartilage, blood vessels, muscle and collagen in bones. Vitamin C is also vital to your body’s healing process. If you bruise easily, it may be helpful to increase consumption of vitamin C-rich foods and supplements. The human body doesn’t produce vitamin C, so it’s important to have it as part of your diet. Vitamin C is found in tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, citrus fruits, berries, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and spinach. Vitamin C is also available as an oral supplement, typically in the form of capsules and chewable tablets.
The chemical reactions necessary to promote wound and tissue healing require zinc. To increase your intake of zinc, add foods like grass-fed beef, lobster, legumes, pumpkin seeds and spinach. The National Institute of Health recommends consuming at least 8 milligrams of zinc daily.
Along with a balanced diet full of essential vitamins, there are home remedies that can assist in healing bruises. It’s recommended to apply something cold to the bruise within the first 24 hours. A cold compress like an ice pack can help decrease swelling. It can also help to reduce any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing because of the bruise. A day or two after, apply a warm compress, or take a warm bath, to promote healing. Some essential oils have a reputation for improving bruises and help with pain relief, including frankincense and cypress. Be sure to dilute oils with a carrier oil or a lotion before putting directly on the skin unless directed otherwise. Using essential oils without diluting them can cause skin irritation.
It’s important to speak with a doctor before making any changes to your health routine or starting a vitamin regimen. Your doctor can check for vitamin deficiencies and may recommend supplements depending on the results.
In most cases, easy bruising is not a cause for alarm. However, bruising can be an early warning sign that something is wrong. Therefore, it is best not to ignore a change in bruising pattern and consult with a doctor if these symptoms arise:
- Bruises that appear without an obvious injury
- Frequent bruising that lasts weeks
- Bruises that suddenly appear after taking a new medication or supplement
- Bruises in strange places, such as the back or abdomen
At The Atriums, we help older adults cope with various conditions every day. We’re expertly positioned with our comprehensive care team and resources to ease any concerns you may have. There’s no question or concern too small, so give us call and let us help. The Atriums team is always ready to answer questions and share our knowledge.