Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes ankle bruising?"
I'm a teenage guy and I have been getting these weird bruises around my ankles. They are dark blue and purple, and I don't know why I'm getting them. It's not my shoes. My shoes fit fine. Does this mean I have some kind of muscular problem?
Unexplained bruising deserves some careful thinking. By far the most common cause of unexplained bruising is some type of trauma or accident that you do not remember well. For example, it is very common to bang the ankles, shins, or knees against furniture and other objects without really paying much attention to it. If this does not seem to be the case, they you will need to get it checked out, especially if there are other signs of easy bleeding or bruising and assuming that you have not had this in the past. These could include bruising on other parts of the body, a skin rash consisting of small red points ("petechiae"), or bleeding of the gums when you brush your teeth. There can be many causes for these signs of easy bruising or bleeding, including a drop in the amount of platelets in the body, which can occur sometimes due to certain medications or after a viral illness. Other causes can include inherited types of easy bleeding (coagulopathies). Rarely, this can be a sign of a serious condition, a blood cancer called leukemia. As always, the best thing to do is to discuss these issues with and be examined by your pediatrician or primary care doctor.
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