What is this weird neck bruise?
September 2, 2015 7:40 PM   Subscribe

What is this mysterious dark patch (bruise?) on my neck? It's been there, unchanged (as far as I can tell) for a few days, possibly a week. It's right under a mole and not painful to the touch. It is definitely not a hickey, though it looks a lot like one. More info and a photo under the cut.

Here's the photo. It's more noticeable in person.

Possibly relevant background information:
  • I'm an early 20's part Asian female
  • I've noticed other small inexplicable bruises (mostly on my thighs/arms) recently
  • I just moved and have been eating pretty much only bread and rice for two weeks
  • I've been unusually tired, but have attributed that to my new job/the stress of moving, etc.
  • I've had bad neck/shoulder pain this week, but spend most of my day hunched over a computer at my desk
Any ideas, Mefites? Is this worth a doctor visit? WebMD is doing nothing but scaring me.

I know YANMD, etc.
posted by bonifate to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're not getting enough vitamin C is the most likely culpirt. Lack of vitamin C causes you to bruise like crazy.

Pick up a thing of multivitamins at the drug store tomorrow and start taking one every day.
posted by phunniemee at 7:52 PM on September 2, 2015 [4 favorites]

If I knew you personally, I would drag you to the doctor today to get a CBC. Unexplained bruises were the only signs my mother experienced prior to a leukemia diagnosis.
posted by ellenaim at 8:09 PM on September 2, 2015 [6 favorites]

I don't think mole+bruise specifically means anything. Though more bruising may mean something is going on. I'd adjust your diet to be more balanced with vitamins and see how you do after about a week. If you see no improvement in how often you bruise and your other symptoms then get to a doctor.

I also assume some of those bruises were from the actual process of moving recently. You can bang yourself up without realizing while lifting boxes and packing things. (I am not a doctor, not medical advice, etc, it's just what I would do.)

More than likely you slept on your finger or hand or bumped into something while moving to get a bruise there and it probably happened to be by a mole. I have over 120 moles so most of mine just happen to end up near one.
posted by Crystalinne at 8:30 PM on September 2, 2015

Inexplicable bruises that don't hurt? Please go to the Doctor today. Like eleinaim if I knew you personally I would now be driving you to the doctor.

It is almost certainly nothing to worry about but they can be indicators of a serious problem with your blood (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura). I have had ITP which presented initially as inexplicable bruises that didn't hurt and which I ignored for almost nearly too long.
posted by coleboptera at 1:22 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I start to freak out about something, I've learned if I give it an extra few days, it goes away on its own.

You mentioned that you just moved? I've moved many times in my life and I can tell you I've noticed a lot of random bruises when I move. In fact, the first time I moved into my first apartment, I did go to the doctor because I had so many bruises I thought something was wrong. But I've noticed bruises every time I move, I eventually realized -- I must bash the hell out of myself when I am furiously cleaning, packing and lugging stuff around. And then again when I get used to a new bed, new chair, etc. I get achy until I get used to it.

I would say, go to the doctor for the peace of mind, but don't assume something horrible. I would venture a guess ellenaim's mom had unexplained bruises for longer than what sounds like a few days in your case. So I would just try to stop freaking out and see a doctor when you can.
posted by AppleTurnover at 1:53 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks, everyone! Just to clarify--the other bruises have been normal in that they do hurt and fade. I was concerned about the neck one since it hasn't gone away.
posted by bonifate at 3:37 AM on September 3, 2015

When you say it's not a hickey, do you just mean that your skin hasn't been sucked on? Because I've gotten hickey marks in that exact spot caused by awkwardly pulling on my messenger bag.
posted by tchemgrrl at 3:44 AM on September 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ah right, I really wouldn't really worry about it so. That said you've nothing to lose by going to the doctor so you might as well
posted by coleboptera at 5:53 AM on September 3, 2015

I was just reading that on darker-skinned people, a rash from lyme disease can resemble a bruise. Given the fatigue, I'd go to a doctor.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:38 AM on September 3, 2015

Fatigue and weird bruising and early 20s...putting in another vote for doctor and sooner rather than later. I know it sounds panicky, and it's most likely nothing except stress and crappy diet, BUT, the handful of Bad Things that it could be are not things to delay or mess around with.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:38 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Have you itched in the areas where you have the bruises (prior to noticing the bruising)? Sometimes tiny bruises can result from using your fingertips instead of your fingernails to scratch.
posted by limeonaire at 2:39 PM on September 3, 2015

After a month of multivitamins, real food, and settling in, I am happily bruise-free and at normal energy levels. If it happens again I will definitely go to a doctor, but I'm writing this one off as paranoia plus a bunch of life changes. Thanks, everyone!
posted by bonifate at 3:07 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

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