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  #1  
Old 08-16-2010, 12:38 AM
Novalyne Novalyne is offline
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Why don't I bruise or swell?

The most current thread on Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva got me thinking about injuries that cause swelling and bruising. I don't know how common it is, but I just about never bruise or swell. I've had a dislocated finger, broken toe, my nose slammed hard enough to cut open, various knee/ankle sports injuries (once severe enough to cause passing out from pain), and the usual assortment of bangs, sprains, cuts, etc. But I just don't bruise or swell, which kind of sucks when I'm really in pain and nobody thinks it's serious because there is no visible injury.

I wondered if it's because I have a lot of platelets? (That's according to the blood people - they can usually get what they call a triple donation out of me). In fact, a couple of weeks ago during a platelet donation, the vein blew during a return (burned like the dickens) and I was sent home with cold and hot packs to use for two days and warned about the bruising and swelling to expect. I didn't use a single pack, but all I got was a tiny, faint yellow spot right at the needle site and that was it.

Am I abnormal?
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2010, 09:30 PM
FuzzyOgre FuzzyOgre is offline
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I dont bruise either. In school we'd play that knuckle rapping game where you try to smack the backs of the other guys hands with your knuckles before he could pull away. My hands would go red and thats about it. Very juvenile game.

Another thing I've noticed is that I dont callus. In several jobs in my youth handling implements such as shovels and rakes, I would sometimes blister, heal and re-blister but mantain soft skin. Today, in my late 30s, my hands are girly soft. Even my feet are dry but much more supple than most peoples.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2010, 11:07 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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I don't bruise or swell either. Calluses will form, but then flake away leaving fresh skin. I've hit my thumb with a hammer, fracturing the nail, and no apparent bruise. I've never had a black eye. Some swelling would have let me know that a knee injury was more serious than it seemed.

So to answer your question, yes you are abnormal.
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2010, 11:31 AM
bordelond bordelond is online now
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Maybe I sholdn't pose WAGs in GQ, but there are some feasible physiological mechanisms I can think of:

a) Bruises are just the results of broken blood vessels releasing blood that pools under the skin. It's possible that in non-bruising folks, the blood flows away from the skin somehow (maybe flowing "boneward" instead?).

b) Another possibility would perhaps be really "stretchy" capillary walls that can take significant trauma without rupturing.

c) One more possibility: could it be that your blood clots really fast, so that not enough blood flows from ruptured capillaries to promote visible bruising? Novalyne mentioned yellowing at the site of an injection -- that was a bruise, if a faint one.

...

I believe there are other things going on with swelling -- it's not just blood filling up tissues. Someone more medically knowledgable will offer better insight.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2010, 11:37 AM
ChrisBooth12 ChrisBooth12 is offline
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zombie
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2010, 11:38 AM
bordelond bordelond is online now
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Wikipedia's article on "bruise" gives this information:

Quote:
Mechanism of bruise
Increased distress to tissue causes capillaries to break under the skin, allowing blood to escape and build up. As time progresses, blood seeps into the surrounding tissues, causing the bruise to darken and spread. Nerve endings within the affected tissue detect the increased pressure, which, depending on severity and location, may be perceived as pain or pressure or be asymptomatic. The damaged endothelium (lining) of the affected capillaries releases endothelin, a hormone that causes narrowing of the blood vessel to minimize bleeding. As the endothelium is destroyed, the underlying von Willebrand factor is exposed and initiates coagulation, which creates a temporary clot to plug the wound and eventually leads to restoration of normal tissue.

During this time, larger bruises may change color due to the breakdown of hemoglobin from within escaped red blood cells in the extracellular space. The striking colors of a bruise are caused by the phagocytosis and sequential degradation of hemoglobin to biliverdin to bilirubin to hemosiderin, with hemoglobin itself producing a red-blue color, biliverdin producing a green color, bilirubin producing a yellow color, and hemosiderin producing a golden-brown color. As these products are cleared from the area, the bruise disappears. Oftentimes the underlying tissue damage has been repaired long before this process is complete.
Maybe there's something "procedurally" different happening with non-bruisers -- IOW, you're still bruising, but degradation of hemoglobin is happening in some different (and presumably more rapid) way than normal to make the bruises much less visible than normal.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2010, 11:39 AM
qpw3141 qpw3141 is offline
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I don't want to alarm you (and this may be completely wrong) but I would be rather concerned if I didn't bruise because it might point to very aggressive clotting that could be an indicator of greater likelihood of myocardial infarction or stroke.

It might be worth discussing this with a doctor.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2010, 03:12 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
c) One more possibility: could it be that your blood clots really fast, so that not enough blood flows from ruptured capillaries to promote visible bruising? Novalyne mentioned yellowing at the site of an injection -- that was a bruise, if a faint one.

You may be right on that one. I don't bleed that much, and my blood clots quickly. When I've had blood taken, they get out a band-aid but I tell them to keep. Virtually no blood escapes. The last time I had blood taken, the tech was no good, and couldn't get the vein on repeated attempts. I had her switch to the other arm, but there was no bruising from the unsuccessful stabs. One factor here may be the thickness of my skin. It causes other problems because I am pretty hairy, but it may prevent bruising. I don't know why I don't swell either, but edema doesn't affect only tissue. After an ICL injury went untreated for a long time, x-rays and MRI revealed edema in the bones, causing some bone loss.

qpw3141

I hope to die from a major heart attack, that will be fast, but a stroke doesn't sound pleasant. Are you making a WAG, or do you have some basis for your comments?
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2010, 03:08 AM
qpw3141 qpw3141 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
c) One more possibility: could it be that your blood clots really fast, so that not enough blood flows from ruptured capillaries to promote visible bruising? Novalyne mentioned yellowing at the site of an injection -- that was a bruise, if a faint one.
qpw3141

I hope to die from a major heart attack, that will be fast, but a stroke doesn't sound pleasant. Are you making a WAG, or do you have some basis for your comments?
I don't know what a 'WAG' is - Google is not my friend on this.

The basis is that people with 'thicker' blood are often given blood thinning agents to prevent the risks mentioned.

I don't have any specific knowledge but thought it would be a good idea to mention it to your doctor as you seem to have be unusually resistant to bruising.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2010, 03:50 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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WAG = Wild Ass Guess
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2010, 04:35 AM
qpw3141 qpw3141 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
WAG = Wild Ass Guess
TY.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:58 AM
control-z control-z is offline
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I do not bruise either, always wondered about it.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2010, 12:56 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is online now
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Perhaps you need to be hit harder? You could probably test this. Please post results on Youtube.
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