A Bruised Finger Got You Worried?
Most of the time when we suffer a bruised finger, we know the cause. In the majority of instances the bruised finger is the result of trauma, for example if you hit your finger with a hammer. That's trauma, and obviously painful. Bruising is the result of a broken blood vessel under the skin. The dark color associated with the bruise is blood. In most cases, the body will heal itself. The blood vessel will heal, the blood which escaped will be absorbed back into the body, and the bruise will go away.
A bruised finger accompanied by swelling usually indicates that a bone has been broken, or muscle, cartilage, or tendons have been damaged. This is a more serious condition of course, with the bruise merely being a symptom that something is very wrong inside the finger or the hand. When a finger is broken or badly sprained, numbness will often be felt initially, followed by swelling and perhaps bruising.
Mystery Bruises - A bruised finger can be a cause for worry though when you aren't sure quite why the bruise appeared. If you hit your hand with something hard, and it causes pain, the bruise comes as no surprise. But what can be wrong if a bruise just shows up, often without there being any pain whatsoever? There are several ways in which this can happen. Most of the time the condition is not harmful, but there are situations in which a systemic disease or disorder may be behind the bruising. If bruising is appearing frequently, or the situation seems to be getting worse, you should certainly see a doctor.
Blood Disorder - Coagulopathy is one cause of finger bruising and unexplained bruising in general. Coagulopathy is a disorder of the blood. The blood fails to coagulate or clot properly. Often if a blood vessel is damaged only slightly, a little blood may escape, but the blood will clot and the wound heal before enough blood has escaped to result in a bruise. A blood disorder however may prevent the blood from clotting, or at least clotting easily, and a great deal more blood may escape from the blood vessel before clotting takes place. A tiny wound to a blood vessel, perhaps caused by a very slight bump on the finger which goes unnoticed, could result in a very noticeable bruise. There are other kinds of blood disorders as well that can cause unexplained bruising, a blood infection known as bacterial septicemia being one of the more commonly encountered disorders.
Medication - Anticoagulant medications can produce the same effect. Persons undergoing a medical procedure may be prescribed such medication to prevent blood clotting when clotting could be dangerous. When an anticoagulant medication is being taken, a person may have to be more careful to avoid bumps or cuts, as even minor injuries could result in significant bruising or swelling. The hands and fingers are more susceptible than most other parts of the body as we are constantly using them.
Thin Skinned? -Thin skin can also be the cause of a bruised finger. A person who is receiving cortisone shots will often experience bruising on the hand or fingers from the slightest bump, as the skin has become thin due to the effects of the cortisone, and no longer protects the underlying blood vessels. The thickness of fatty deposits under the skin has lessened. Age can play a similar role. The skin soften becomes thinner as we age and also becomes thinner due to exposure to the elements over the years. Older people do tend to bruise more easily, and when that happens it occurs quite often on the hands and fingers.
Summary - Should you suffer a bruised finger, don't know the cause, and are not on any blood thinning medication, it may be advisable to check with your physician, not necessarily if a bruise happens just once, but if it appears to be happening with any regularity.