Ecchymosis is diagnosed primarily through a physical examination, during which a medical professional assesses the area of discolored skin. The healthcare provider will also ask about your medical history, medications you are currently taking, and injuries you may have sustained recently.

If the ecchymosis is severe enough, your practitioner may order blood tests to measure your body’s healing responses, the level of inflammation, and blood cell count. This information will assist in determining the cause of the ecchymosis, if the mechanism is still unknown, and providing treatment.

The color of skin with ecchymosis assists a healthcare provider in determining the age and the depth of the injury. A blue, red, or purple hue typically is indicative of a fresh spot of ecchymosis. Once several days have passed and the healing process has begun, the area of skin typically turns yellow, green, or brown. A research study analyzed photographs of ecchymoses to determine their age and concluded that yellow spots of skin were ecchymoses that were received more than 18 hours prior.

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