Definition and Causes of Ecchymosis

Ecchymosis is the clinical term for a bruise. Ecchymosis occurs when there is bleeding into the layers of the skin, causing discoloration and sometimes swelling and discomfort.

The injured area typically undergoes several, and sometimes vivid, color changes during the stages of healing. Ecchymosis usually results from trauma to the tissue, such as a blow. Ecchymosis may also occur as a symptom of bleeding disorders, leukemia, liver disease, and other health conditions. Ecchymosis that develops without known trauma warrants a doctor’s evaluation to determine the underlying cause.

See also BLACK EYEPETECHIAE; PURPURA.

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