Senile purpura bruises and treatment options
I ( and a friend or 2) love gardening. Even with wearing long sleeves while working outside, (today it was about 76 degrees by 8 AM here), I still get poked or scratched. The resulting bleeds and the bruises are way out of proportion to the cause. Anybody have a good suggestion how to cover up some of the bruises on my lower arms (elbow to wrist) so I don’t look so abused when going out in public? Meaning, make-up tricks. Tomorrow it will be around 94 degrees again here, so long sleeves out and about are not what I want to wear going forward.
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I do know what purpura is as several friends and relatives have that condition, some worse than others. I don’t and I remember my mom never did either…..dad had a couple minor ones. Wonder if genetics plays a role. I get a regular bruise only when I bump into something but it fades eventually. I don’t take medications and wonder if that helps.
But thanks for the pictures and information. There are people who call them old age spots and say to stay out of the sun and everyone gets them. We know that’s not true and your information is educational which is what is so great about this site. I love it when people research and get informed about what’s going on with them…I don’t take too much at face value…gotta know why and would rather hear about any conditions or maladies from people with an informed personal experience.
Could it be any hotter in Florida? The answer is yes…ugh.
Regards from FL Mary
@contentandwell Hey, when did you sneak in and take pictures of my arms? My dad had these, I do, also. Dr's have told me it's because of taking aspirin low dose or vitamin E, genetics, being fair skinned, compromised immune system. Most likely a combination of all of them! I get these marks and don't even recall a brush against something.wear sunscreen. Arnica, as @lioness commented, is great for bruises. It is homeopathic, and does take a bit of time to work. I just figure these are badges for living, and don't worry too much what others think of them ;))
@contentandwell Those look like my arms along with my brown spots I wonder if it just comes with our maturity
@ellerbracke I neglected to include that it does generally have a slight cause, as in a minor bump or something that you would never think would cause a bruise. Also, it fades differently than a typical bruise and sometimes leaves a light brown spot where it had been, and is pretty much confined to forearms and hands. Those are the only places where I have gotten them, so definitely true to the information I have found.
More info here:
The prescription that I have from my dermatologist, tretinoin cream, is very expensive and Medicare does not pay for it because it is cosmetic. I think the regular retail is around $250 for a tube but if you have the app "GoodRx" and look it up it will give you places that have it the cheapest and often provide a coupon. I was able to get it through GoodRx for about $60 at CVS. I have not tried Dermend but I am thinking about it. I do not think that is a prescription. I have been using tretinoin for about 2 and a half months now and didn't think I had seen a difference but right now my forearms do not look too bad. I am not sure if that's simply because I have not been as active as usual, or if it really is working. I too have an incentive, my son's wedding in August. I figure that in the process of traveling to Denver from NH I will be bumping things a lot and if this cream is not working I will be covered with these unsightly blemishes. They seem to crop up overnight.
@imallears Genetics do play a role in that you inherit the characteristics of your skin, and fair skin is more easily damaged. The sun can cause damage to your skin making purpura more apt to occur so staying out of the sun is a good thing to do.
I have heard that the southeast has been having very hot weather. I wish it was a tad warmer here in NH though. Yesterday was perfect, beautiful day and in the 70s. Today is gloomy and right now only 47 degrees!
@contentandwell Hey, I earned these senile purpura bruises, just like every gray hair on my head! LOL
@gingerw I don't remember either of my parents having them, but my father died at 65, and my mother at 67. I didn't get these until last year when I was 70.
I have all of these also, "because of taking aspirin low dose or vitamin E, genetics, being fair skinned, compromised immune system" except vitamin E. I have had your attitude most of the time but I really hope to not have them for my son's wedding. I am trying to find a long, lacy sleeved dress, just in case. Lacy sleeves because they won't be as warm as solid sleeves. The article about Dermend said it was developed specifically for this condition.
@contentandwell : I have yet to read up about the details of actinic purpura (too busy with garden, grandchildren’s birthdays, graduation ceremonies, house painter….). But the trigger being a very minor bump/scrape holds true. Now looking for something to blame. Not fair-skinned, no aspirin, no vitamin E, but sun exposure in the past (in the 1960’s it was cool to be tan, especially in the mountainous countries in Europe). Perhaps genetics….
As far as temperature competitions: we ended up with 97 degrees here on Monday, but contrary to what is common in SC., no real humidity yet. Has been mid to upper 90’s for 3 days, 3 more to go, then it will settle down to humid 85 to 90, and stay there for about 4 months. I could open another discussion as to why I stay here, why I bother to garden here (standard veggies, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, figs, and especially currants, which cannot be bought for love or money anywhere around here, and are a gamble each and every season).
You all have a pleasant summer, and I know what some people meant regarding climate comparisons. One of my sons lives in Portland OR, and they were wearing long sleeves 2 days ago!
@ellerbracke Yes, sun damage can definitely make you more susceptible to these unsightly spots.
I hadn't realized you live in SC. The forecasts this past weekend for Columbia predicted triple-digit temperatures! I notice that these days because my son's fiancee is from there and her family still lives not too far from Columbia. I hope it won't be that bad next weekend, my son and his fiancee are going there for a shower. Her family lives right on a big lake though so at least they can get some relief taking a dip or a boat ride. My son and his fiancee live in Denver so they too have had much cooler weather.
This occurs in about 10% of older Americans and is seen as red or violet marks on the forearms mostly. It is seen when you bruise or hit your forearms. Takes weeks to lessen. I have found bioflanoid supplements can help me alleviate marks.