A hematoma is a common problem that occurs as a result of damage to one of the largest blood vessels in the body. Most people experience a bruise at some point in their lives. A bruise may look like a bruise, but bruising occurs due to damage to the small blood vessels rather than the large ones. While many bruises are relatively harmless, some may indicate a more serious medical problem. Anyone who has been injured in an accident or who has received a blow to the head should speak to a doctor about the signs of an internal bruise.
What is a bruise?
The term hematoma describes an area of blood that collects outside the larger blood vessels. Bruising is commonly due to injury or trauma to the area. An injury can cause the walls of the blood vessels to break, allowing blood to penetrate into the surrounding tissue. Bruising can occur in any blood vessel, including veins, arteries, and capillaries. The location of the hematoma can change its nature.
A bruise is similar to a hemorrhage, but a hemorrhage refers to continuous bleeding, while the blood in a bruise has usually already clotted.
The type of bruise depends on where it appears on the body. The location can also help determine how dangerous it is.
- Hematoma of the ear: An auditory or ear hematoma appears between the cartilage of the ear and the skin that is on top. It is a common injury in fighters, boxers, and other athletes who regularly suffer blows to the head.
- Subungual hematoma: This hematoma appears under the nail. It is common in minor injuries, such as accidentally hitting a finger with a hammer.
Scalp bruise: A scalp bruise typically appears as a lump on the head. The damage is to the skin and external muscles, so it will not affect the brain.
- Septal hematoma: Usually the result of a broken nose, a septal hematoma can cause nasal problems if a person is not treated.
- Subcutaneous hematoma: It is a hematoma that appears just under the skin, usually in the shallow veins near the surface of the skin.
- Retroperitoneal hematoma: This hematoma occurs within the abdominal cavity but not within any organ.
- Splenic hematoma: This type of hematoma appears on the spleen.
- Hematoma Hematoma: A hepatic hematoma occurs in the liver.
- Spinal Epidural Hematoma: This term refers to a hematoma between the lining of the spinal cord and the vertebrae.
- Intracranial epidural hematoma: This type of hematoma occurs between the skull plate and the lining of the outside of the brain.
- Subdural hematoma: A subdural hematoma occurs between brain tissue and the inner lining of the brain.
Injuries and trauma are the most common causes of bruising. Any damage to the walls of the blood vessels can cause blood leakage. This blood collects as it leaks out of the blood vessel, causing a bruise.
The injuries do not have to be severe to cause bruising. People may experience a bruise under the toenail from a simple injury, such as from stubbing the toe. Major injuries, such as those sustained by vehicle crashes, falls from a height, or an aneurysm can also cause severe bruising.
Some surgical procedures, including medical, dental, or cosmetic operations, can cause a bruise, as they can damage nearby tissues and blood vessels. Some blood thinners can also increase the risk of bruising. People who regularly take aspirin, warfarin, or dipyridamole may be more likely to experience bleeding problems, including bruising. A bruise can also appear without any identifiable cause.
For more superficial bruises, symptoms include:
- Inflammation and swelling
- Tenderness in the area.
- Heat in the skin around the bruise.
Internal bruising can be more difficult to recognize. Anyone who has been in an accident or seriously injured should see a doctor regularly for bruising. Bruises on the skull can be particularly dangerous. Even after seeing a doctor about an injury, it is essential to be on the lookout for new symptoms.