When you bump into something with enough force, the blood vessels underneath your skin can break, causing blood to leak out of them. That results in the purplish-blue mark you see on your skin, explains Mehran Movassaghi, M.D., director of the Men’s Health Center at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
But sometimes you don’t need to hit your leg or arm hard to cause a bruise. That’s because certain things can make those blood vessels more susceptible to damage—causing you to bruise easily.
And though rest, ice, and elevation can all help those ugly marks heal, it’s better to try to avoid getting them in the first place. So here are 6 unexpected things that might be making you bruise easily, and how to steer clear for smooth, unmarred skin.