What does it mean when you bruise easily?

Do you ever look at a bruise on your body and wonder how on earth it got there? Or worse, do you often have a bunch of bruises and can never pinpoint the reason? You may be someone who bruises easily or is more prone to bruising than others. But what exactly does this mean? 

First, it's important to understand what bruises are. According to MedlinePlus, a bruise is basically what happens when blood becomes trapped under the skin. This means blood vessels have burst, but whatever happened did not break your skin. Since the blood cannot leak out, such as with a cut, it just settles under the skin in various colors and eventually fades away.

While most of us have grown up knowing that a bruise is usually a sign of trauma from hitting something with our shins, a fall, or another injury, it's actually internal bleeding, rather than the injury itself, that causes the bruise.

If you're bruising more than usual, there may be an underlying medical condition

There are many reasons some people bruise more easily than others. Though HuffPost lists genetics, age, and exercise as three of the main contributing factors, according to Rachel Fine, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of nutrition company To The Pointe Nutrition, it could be your diet. "Excessive bruising may be your body's way of telling you that you need a more nutrient-rich diet," Fine told HuffPost, and this is usually due to a lack of vitamins C or K.

Tsippora Shainhouse, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles, suggested to HuffPost that overexposure to the sun or heat could also be a reason, explaining that both have the potential to cause thinning skin, making you more prone to bruises even if the injury is minor. Medication and drugs such as aspirin can do the same, as their known side effects include blood thinning.

"If you are bruising more than usual and you're a heavy drinker, it could be a sign you have cirrhosis," Khalid Saeed, a physician in Florida told HuffPost. This is a serious medical condition affecting your liver. If you're bruising more than usual and not a heavy drinker, it could be another underlying medical condition, so it's best to book an appointment with your doctor to get checked out.