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Small bruise on left arm showing a dark colour after acupuncture is this anything to worry about?

Q:  My wife had acupuncture yesterday and has a small bruise on her left arm but more worryingly the vein from this bruise has started to show a darker colour. Is this anything to worry about?

A:  The most likely cause of the darkening of the vein is that the bruised tissue is causing a slight restriction in the area which is backing up the flow of blood in the veins of the arm. This is somewhat akin to the way that nurses sometimes use pressure to make a vein more prominent for the purpose of administering an injection. As the bruises go down, so the vein will start to flow more easily and its colour return to normal. This video on Youtube with its somewhat bizarre musical soundtrack

shows what is done.

The only circumstance in which you might need to be concerned is if the bruising goes down and the vein continues to be prominent, or if the extent of visible vein appears to be increasing. In either case it might be wise then to visit your GP to have the area looked at. You may find that the practice nurse would be qualified enough to offer a view, and this may eb far quicker than trying to get a GP appointment.

You might also want to alert the practitioner to what has happened. This would provide useful information about where and to what depth the needle(s) was inserted. This would help to inform the assessment of what is going on.

In short, though, very probably nothing to be worried about but normal monitoring would be worthwhile, as we're sure will be the case anyway.


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