Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Am I the only one with itchy bruises?

My main take-away items from last week's car wreck were (a) a possibly totaled car, (b) a new fear of driving through intersections, and (c) a scraped-up and swollen arm.

Part (c), the scraped-up and swollen arm, has now healed quite a bit.  In place of swelling and cuts, I have shrinking scabs and a beautiful yellow bruise covering 50% of my forearm.  Observe:

Picture 1: Friday (day after accident).        Picture 2: Today.

Beautiful, right?  In all admittance, it's nice to have something to show when people hear about the accident and ask, "Are you okay???"  Ridiculous of me, yes, but I'm trying to be honest here.  Anyone else this same way?  Like if it's gonna hurt, you want something to show for it?  Or am I the only one?  I can't be the only one.

Anyways, I clearly I don't mind the visual aspects of this bruise.  I have a battle wound, and I kinda appreciate that fact.  However, I do have another complaint, and it's this:  it itches.  Oh my goodness gracious it itches.  Like I want to scratch my arm off.  And then when I try to scratch, it hurts, because my arm is still pretty tender.  It's not overly fun.

Which brings me to this question:  Does anyone else have itchy bruises?  The majority of my bruises itch, often as bad as or worse than a mosquito bite.  I've been known to scratch my skin raw around a bruise.  And yet, when I talk to other people, and tell them my bruise itches, they tend to look at me like I'm nuts.  I guess bruises are not supposed to itch?  Or it's not commonly accepted that they do?  It really doesn't make any sense that they would.  In fact, I tried doing some research, and I could not find any definitive answer for why my bruise would itch.  The best I found was the following:

"...why do bruises sometimes itch? While I couldn’t find a definitive reference on this, I have a pretty good guess. One website I found suggested that histamine (one of the substances released to cause inflammation) is the culprit, but that happens early in the process -- not the time when most of the itching occurs.

I think the itch is caused by bilirubin. It is well known that elevated bilirubin levels can make a person’s skin itch (although it’s not clear why it does). It seems reasonable to conclude that the bilirubin produced by a maturing bruise is the source of the itch. That’s my best guess."

- from Dr. Rob at House Call Doctor 

I think I'll take his answer about bilirubin.  It makes sense to me.  Although it's still bizarre to me that the true cause isn't well-known or even fully determined.  It's also weird to me that it doesn't seem to happen to everyone, at least not among those whom I've talked to.  Thankfully Dave has had itchy bruises, so he doesn't think I'm completely off my rocker.  And really, as long as I've got his support, I'm good to go, since he's the main person to endure my complaining.  (Until now, of course, when I decided to pull all you readers into my world of bruise itchiness complaints.)

So....anyone?  Itchy bruises?  Yes?


  1. Yes!!! I bruised my shin over a month ago and it still itches me like CRAAAAAZY!!! I'm starting to think its never going away!

  2. I usually can tell I have a bruise when I start itching like a misquito has bit me. I will look later on in day when I have had a chance to look at the spot (at lot of times it is under my clothes) and will find a nasty bruise...I'm glad I'm not the only one. I do feel like I'm strange for it or like a friend of mine says..."you're just special"