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Blood clot skin changes are different to those caused by bruises – experts

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If not treated promptly, blood clots can be extremely dangerous and have devastating repercussions. They can produce skin “discoloration,” but how do you determine the difference between bruises and blood clots?

According to health agencies, blood clots can be “life-threatening” if not treated promptly. Despite this, blood clots don’t always cause obvious symptoms right away. According to experts, one sign that can appear is “discoloration” of the skin, however, this should not be confused with bruising.

Larger blood arteries, such as an artery or vein, are more likely to develop blood clots. Thrombosis is the medical term for this.

Symptoms of a blood clot can be seen or felt, especially if the blood clots form near the surface of the skin or if they stop blood flow deep in a limb or arm.

Blood clots can cause obvious symptoms, most commonly in the legs, although they can also occur in the arms or even the abdomen.

In the leg, the CDC describes blood clot symptoms of “swelling and redness”.

The agency warns – if you experience any of these in the Arm or Leg, call your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Swelling of your leg or arm
  • Pain or tenderness not caused by an injury
  • Skin that is warm to the touch, with swelling or pain
  • Redness of the skin, with swelling or pain

Web MD says: “If a clot plugs up veins in your arms or legs, they may look bluish or reddish.

“Your skin also might stay discoloured from the damage to blood vessels afterwards.

“A pulmonary embolism in your lung could make your skin pale, bluish, and clammy.”

The CDC warns if you experience any of these, seek medical attention immediately. These are sign of Pulmonary embolism or PE.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat

Damage to blood vessels can sometimes result in a hematoma, which is a blood clot.

When, according to Medical News Today, “large amounts of blood leak into the surrounding tissue. This collection of blood can then become sticky and harden.”

A hematoma is not the same as a blood clot, but it can be produced by one.

Bruises vs blood clot

Though bruising can produce color changes and even swelling, the causes and symptoms of a blood clot are vastly different.

Bruises usually result in skin discoloration that fades with time.

As they heal, they may be sore or painful to touch.

As the bruise marks dissipate, the pain tends to fade as well.

Bruises are most common after an injury.

On the other hand, blood clots can happen for a variety of reasons.

This is sometimes a normal part of the healing process following an accident or injury.

Platelets, a type of coagulant found in the blood, begin to concentrate and form clumps near the site of injury, aiding in the process of stopping the flow of blood. Blood can clot for no obvious reason as well.

Small clots may develop and then dissolve on their own. Some blood clots, however, grow larger than they need to be or form in places where there is no injury.

Blood clots, unlike bruises, do not always heal in the same pattern and can become far more dangerous.

People with blood clots may notice that the area is sore to the touch or even painful, in addition to changes in skin color and oedema.

Image Credit: Getty

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