Is Bruising A Sign Of Alcoholism?

Over time, repeated alcohol exposure also alters a person’s brain chemistry. To counteract the sedating effects of alcohol, for example, the brain increases the activity of excitatory neurotransmitters, which speed up brain activity. When people use the term “alcoholism,” what they are really referring to is an alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term do alcoholics bruise easily for an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism is a colloquial term, and it really isn’t a politically correct way to refer to an alcohol addiction. So when you drink alcohol and injure yourself, you can be left with a bigger, more noticeable bruise than you might see while sober. And when the blood vessels underneath your skin break, it causes blood to leak out.

As liver functioning declines from chronic alcohol misuse, a person is likely to bleed and bruise easily. Other signs of an alcohol use disorder include spending a significant amount of time drinking, or consuming larger quantities of alcohol than intended. A person may also develop a tolerance for alcohol, meaning that they need larger and larger amounts to obtain the desired effects.


In this article we’ll take a closer look at what can cause you to bruise easily and when it’s important to see your doctor. Frequent bruises can be a sign of physical abuse, whether in a child, adult, or older adult. The abuser may excuse the bruises by saying the person bruises easily, or the person may use that as an excuse so as not to admit they are being abused. The condition can lead to bruising that lasts longer than normal because of the way it affects wound healing. Although vitamin deficiencies can lead to random bruising across the entire body, one case report found the bruising to be localized to the legs.

  • Certain substances in the blood are needed for the blood to clot.
  • If your kidney issues are a result of a medical condition, managing the condition properly can slow further kidney damage.
  • Birth control pills can help control the amount of bleeding during menstrual periods.
  • If you are wondering why you bruise so easily, please continue reading for some possible explanations.

There are several causes of bruises after drinking; some of these causes are not particularly serious, whereas others could point to a health problem. Perhaps the most common cause of bruising from alcohol is that alcohol acts as a vasodilator, making blood vessels larger. One of the diagnostic criteria that points toward an alcohol use disorder is continuing to drink, even in the face of consequences. These consequences can include relationship problems, difficulty fulfilling duties at work or home, or a worsening of health problems. If a person continues to drink despite health-related problems, bruises after drinking may be a consequence that arises from alcohol misuse. To help a bruise heal faster, place an ice pack in a thin towel and apply it to the affected area several times a day.

Low Blood Platelets

Corticosteroids, a common treatment for issues such as asthma and arthritis, increase the fragility of your capillaries, increasing risk of rupture. But when you bruise, your vessels are literally injured or broken in a sense, and blood pools around those vessels and rises to the skin. That’s right — my arms and legs were so spotted with blacks and blues, I was basically a human cheetah. On dark skin, petechiae may not always show up, which means a doctor could miss them.

While certain conditions and medications can cause you to bruise more easily, you may still be able to prevent bruises. Skin in older adults is generally thinner, which can increase your risk of bruising. When you bump against an object, your body normally responds by forming clots to stop the bleeding, which prevents bruising.

Do Not Stop Medications

If you are wondering why you bruise so easily, please continue reading for some possible explanations. Bleeding disorders are genetic conditions that are diagnosed with blood tests. In addition to easy bruising, bleeding disorders can cause frequent nosebleeds, heavy periods, and bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes. Other medical conditions that can cause easy bruising include Cushing’s syndrome and leukemia.

When some of these factors are lost or dysfunctional your body will not be able to fix these micro-bleeds and they will turn into bruises. The liver makes coagulation factors that are needed to stop bleeding. Heavy alcohol use can damage the liver, leaving it unable to make these important proteins. People with an underlying health condition such as cirrhosis or other types of liver disease can also develop easy or frequent bruising. If blood clots form in unbroken blood vessels, they can be dangerous.