Does fibromyalgia cause bruising?
Some days are better than others for fibromyalgia sufferers. Not so good days can make you feel like you’ve been hit black and blue. The slightest touch, handshake, hug, or squeeze can be excruciating, leaving you sore, achy, and avoiding contact with your loved ones. One fibromyalgia victim described it this way:
Every inch of me feels bruised, tender to the touch. My shirt brushing my arm feels like someone is pressing on a bruise. First it was just the upper part of my arms, then my shoulders, chest and stomach joined in this tender feast. When I bend over, my skin hurts because it wrinkles against itself. “
Often times that bruised feeling is much more than just a feeling; They are real bruises, unexplained marks on the arms, legs, hips, and various parts of the body. I experienced this myself yesterday.
During my nightly facial, I went to pat my face dry and just below my left eye, there was a nasty purple bruise. I hadn’t hit my face or rubbed my eyes with excessive pressure, at least not enough to bruise, but there it was for all to see!
Bruises and Tender Skin
It is estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of people with fibromyalgia have skin problems associated with their disease. In addition to skin problems, these complaints often make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.
In addition to the additional pain, they can be unsightly and cause some FM patients to withdraw from social activities. It seems easier to stay home than to cope with the embarrassment or discomfort of trying to explain.
Two common skin problems are:
Sensitive Skin – As mentioned above, many fibromyalgia sufferers report that their skin actually hurts when touched. Known as allodynia, this sensitive skin can cause numerous problems, from redness and swelling to bruising and scarring. Although the causes of sensitive skin are still a mystery to doctors, scientists and researchers, it is speculated that allodynia may be the direct result of a dysfunction in the brain’s central nervous system. Fibromyalgia prevents the brain from reading pain signals correctly, and this can make the skin feel sore or tender to the touch.
Rashes – A fibromyalgia rash often develops on the body as a result of dry skin and itchiness. These rashes appear as raised bumps on the skin and can often be scaly to the touch. Some sufferers have noticed that after even lightly scratching these areas, deep bruises occur that last for days and sometimes weeks.
Where do these unexplained bruises come from?
For a person suffering from FM, pain is an everyday occurrence, so sometimes a blow to the leg, a stump of a toe, or a pinch of a finger may not be as noticeable as a person who does not treat pain daily. Pain is a trigger that something is wrong or something has happened that needs attention. However, if pain is a part of everyday life, some accidents may not even be noticed until an “unexplained” bruise suddenly appears.
Some of the more obvious causes of bruises, and why they seem to appear out of nowhere, include:
Clumsiness: Due to loss of mobility, people with fibromyalgia sometimes find that they are clumsier than in the past. The imbalance (imbalance in your inner ear) can cause dizziness and lightheadedness to the point of staggering and tripping over furniture and walls. This could explain some of the bruises that we don’t even notice until later.
Fibrous Fog – Whether from chronic fatigue, poor sleep, persistent pain, vitamin deficiencies, etc., FM patients struggle with forgetfulness, clarity of thought, and more. Certain accidents during the day that may have caused bruising may have simply been forgotten.
Sleep deprivation – Due to lack of sleep, muscle repair is not performed properly for fibromyalgia sufferers and therefore muscles take longer to heal and regenerate after micro injury or trauma, as experienced by everyone in life everyday.
If you frequently bruise easily, there are some practical things you can do to reduce the risk of trauma to your skin and muscles. If you are involved in more strenuous activities, wear protective clothing.
If you are kneeling, put padding under your knees and legs. If you work with your arms resting on a desk or counter, place a soft cloth or small pillow under your arms. Avoid activities that take you hard.
If bruising occurs along with a rash or itchy skin, consult your doctor about creams or ointments to combat the urge to scratch, thus avoiding possible bruising.
Also, oral medications may need to be adjusted for severe bruising; however, never stop taking medications or supplements without first checking with your doctor. If the bruises become severe, there could be another underlying condition; Report significant changes to your doctor.
Finally, treat yourself with the utmost care. Some things cannot be avoided. Don’t mentally punish yourself for physical conditions beyond your control. Make the changes you can and accept about yourself and the things that cannot be avoided.