How to Get Rid of a Bruise
Bruises appear on the body as a result of some type of an injury or trauma to the skin. The injury causes the capillaries or blood vessels to burst, creating an area under the skin where blood puddles and clots. Over time the blood clot breaks down and is absorbed into the body. As a result the bruise goes away on its own. But when bruises appear in obvious places there are some things you can do to speed up the healing process, reduce any pain associated with the bruise, and reduce the amount of discoloration.
As soon after an injury or trauma, place an ice pack on the injured area. This will not only help to reduce swelling to the injured area, but will also help to constrict the blood vessels and reduce the amount of blood flowing to the area.
As a result, the discoloration that will be seen later on will also be reduced. There are a number of ways you can apply ice to the area. Use a reusable or disposable ice pack is one option. You can also use a plastic bag of ice. If in a real pinch, grab frozen vegetables and use it to treat the area. The importance thing is no matter what you use, wrap it in a cloth to prevent frostbite to the skin.
While you want to apply cold therapy to the area right away, you will want to wait at least two days before applying heat therapy to allow the blood vessels some time to begin healing.
Applying heat can help to increase the blood flow and circulation to the area, which will in turn speed up the healing process. this will help to break up the blood that has clotted under the skin and speed up the ability of the body to absorb it back into the bloodstream.
If the area surrounding the bruise is also sore and tender, the heat can help to ease this pain and relax the muscles. heat can be applied to the area in a number of ways. You can use a hot water bottle or a heating pad on low temperature to apply to the area. Like with cold therapy, make sure to wrap it with a cloth to prevent damage to the skin. Another option is to soak in a warm bath to help alleviate body aches and pains.
Compression refers to the application of pressure to the injured area. By applying gentle and constant pressure helps to ensure fluid does not pool in the area, and any damaged blood vessels do not continue to flow blood and pool under the skin. This can be done by using an elastic wrap type of a bandage.
Using a compression bandage can help to reduce swelling and lessen the pain caused by the injury to the area. Depending on where your injury is, there are compression bandages to fit specific joints, like knees, elbows, and ankles. However, when the injury first occurs it may be too snug and then be too loose as the swelling goes down. the use of a compression wrap, like an Ace bandage is a better option as it can be easily adjusted as your needs change.
Elevate the Area
When you elevate the injured area, the goal is to raise it above the level of the heart to help aid in the flow of blood and fluid. it helps to use the force of gravity to pull excess blood and fluid back towards the central part of the body. When this happens, the amount of swelling and pain can be decreased. as the pain subsides, you are able to rest better and allow your body to heal itself naturally.
Elevating the area can be done by laying on a bed and propping the injured area up on a pillow, or relaxing in a recliner while watching television. This is also a great time to apply hot or cold therapy to the area, as it will stay in place better while the area is propped up.
The most important thing to remember about massaging the area is to do so gently. The reason why massage works is because it can help to break up the clotted blood, and help to speed up the disappearance of the bruise. However, too much and you can actually end up with a much larger spot, or a darker bruise making it take even longer to heal.
The gentle pressure of the massage acts as a massage to the area, breaking up the clotted blood, helping to lighten the discoloration, and encouraging it to be absorbed quicker into the blood flowing through the skin.
Massaging the area though works best when the area is warm, so it should be reserved for a couple of days after the bruise appears and immediately after applying heat therapy.
Arnica Gel and Salve
This is a homeopathic salve or gel that can be rubbed into the skin when it is sore or bruised. It has some natural healing properties to help the bruise heal faster and not be as noticeable.
It can be found at some pharmacies and most health food type stores. It helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, making it great to use on injured areas on your body. Arnica is safe to use topically on the body with most medications and skin types, and can be used several times throughout the day and is quickly absorbed into the skin.
Vitamin K Cream
Vitamin K is not as well know by people but it is an important nutrient for the body. One of its functions is to help thin out blood and make it more efficient at circulating throughout the body. If you begin taking it immediately after you notice a bruise has formed, it can help the body to better absorb any blood that may have clotted in the skin.
To use this treatment, gently rub vitamin K cream onto the bruise at least two times per day. If using a topical form, it can be applied to the area when massaging it to help do double duty.
Vitamin C is essential in the body’s ability to heal itself and to remain healthy. It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties making it ideal for treating an injury and a bruise. When you have an injury, begin taking an extra dose of a Vitamin C supplement daily.
You can also find creams and serums that contain Vitamin C that can be applied directly to the area to help concentrate its effects on healing the injury. Eating additional fruits and vegetables known to carry Vitamin C is also a good way to continue to boost your body’s ability to repair itself.
Eat Some Fresh Pineapple
Fresh pineapple is full of an enzyme known as bromelain. This enzyme helps to reduce inflammation in the body and reduces the severity of the injury and the bruise that results. If you cannot find fresh pineapple, or you do not like the taste of it, you can find bromelain supplements that can be taken orally or applied topically instead that will give the same effect.
Fresh pineapple though has additional benefits that a bromelain supplement does not. For instance, it is packed with Vitamin C and manganese, both of which are important for boosting your immune system.
Covering Up a Bruise
If your bruise is in a place that you need to conceal there are a few things that you can do to help hide the area until it heals. One of the easiest of which is to cover the area with an item of clothing. If the bruise is on your face or neck, this may not be as easy to do.
Instead use a green tinted lining to help mask the redness of the bruise. Then covering it with a yellow tinted foundation which helps to further mask the area and helps to prevent the discoloration from shining through. Lastly, make sure to blend the makeup in with the surrounding area so that it does not appear obvious that you are trying to hide something.
When to Use Self-Care and When to Call a Doctor
Extremely large bruises may take a couple weeks to heal. During this time, make sure to rest your body for maximum healing effects. Also use one of these home remedies, or a combination of them to help speed up the healing process. Throughout the healing process, keep a close eye on the injury. Often times bruises are a result of a sprained or fractured bone.
If at any point in time a lump forms at the site of the bruise or your injury continues to be incredibly painful days later, call your doctor to consult them about the injury. If your bruises seem to continue to appear for no known reason, or there is blood when you go to the bathroom, you should call your doctor immediately, as these are commonly signs of a much more serious injury or illness.