Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Why Do Blood Thinners Cause Dark Blood Blotches?

Tuesday, 29 Jun 2010 10:19 AM

Question: Why do people taking blood thinners have dark blood blotches on their hands and arms?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Whenever we use agents to interrupt or delay our clotting or coagulation systems, seemingly minor trauma may cause bleeding under the skin that would not usually be seen. Usually the dose of medication is low enough that this complaint is not as common as you would first think.

Have your doctor review your dosing and perhaps also review the nonprescription drugs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen etc.) you are using since they may be aggravating the bruising or prolonging your bleeding time.

Be sure you are not seeing the skin effects of a coexisting condition such as amyloidosis (a condition associated with deposits of amyloid) or even a vitamin C deficiency (known as scurvy when fully expressed).

Remember, medications such as the Plavix you are prescribed are generally not recommended for patients on anti-coagulants. If aspirin (which will cause an increased incidence of gastric bleeding) is used, use low dose only. Do not use regular strength (325 milligrams or higher).

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