The Vitamin You Need If You Bruise Easily

If you get up for a glass of water at night and your shin meets the sharp edge of the coffee table, you'd probably expect a bruise to appear by morning. The same goes for that run-in with the desk or bike pedal. Most of the time, when bruises appear, it's pretty easy to pinpoint the cause. But what about when it's not? If you notice a new bruise and can't recall a collision that caused it, it's time to look at other, less obvious factors that can lead to bruising. One of them has to do with vitamin intake — or lack of it.

Bruises form when blood vessels break under the skin's surface, and blood leaks into the surrounding tissue. Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City, explains, "You have little capillaries that are only cushioned by tissue [collagen] and skin. Anything that causes that skin to thin, the collagen to decrease, or the actual walls of the capillaries to be weaker [and break], is going to increase your likelihood of bruising" (via Women'sHealth).

Vitamin C can help reduce your risk of bruising

There can be several causes for bruising that are not caused by physical trauma, including age, medication, and assigned sex at birth (women bruise more easily than men). However, nutritional deficiencies can also play a significant role, especially a lack of vitamin C, according to Livestrong.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant that supports healing and healthy blood vessel development. It's also vital for collagen production, a protein found in many connective tissues. Dr. Anthony Kouri, an orthopedic surgeon at Johns Hopkins, told Byrdie, "Weak collagen causes the blood vessel walls to break more easily, causing easy bruising."

Thankfully, vitamin C deficiency is uncommon in the United States, and when it does occur, it can be corrected through dietary changes or supplements. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially those high in vitamin C like citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, will typically supply the recommended daily amount (per Verywell Fit).