Bumps and bruises are inevitable in life. Let’s be honest, we all get bruises and you are likely already familiar with what a bruise is. But, do you know how to get rid of bruises quickly at home or when to seek treatment from a doctor? For all the bumps, trips, falls, and accidents that are bound to happen. This article will share ways to quickly recover and reduce bruising the next time this happens to you.
What Is a Bruise?
A bruise is a type of hematoma formed as the blood leaks from small vessels under the skin. This causes the dark purplish color we associate with bruises and occur when someone bumps into something or is hit by another person, falling on an outstretched hand, hitting their face or another body part against a hard object, or from a medical condition that increases the risk of bruising.
Bruises often occur on the arms and legs, as these are the areas most commonly hit. However, bruises can form anywhere on the body.
Almost all bruises are a result of physical injury. The most common causes of bruises are:
- Sports injuries
- Head injuries
- Muscle sprains
- Blunt Force Trauma
- Certain medications, especially blood thinners
- Rigorous exercise
- Bleeding disorders
- Vitamin deficiencies
The time it takes for a bruise to develop varies depending on how severe the injury is and how much force is used.
Bruises can also occur from a lack of circulation due to peripheral artery disease, which causes oxygen-rich blood not to reach the outer parts of your body.
Types of bruises
Bruises are divided into three different types. This includes:
- Subcutaneous bruises– bruises that appear just beneath the skin.
- Intramuscular bruises– bruises that occur in underlying muscles
- Periosteal bruises– bruises that occur on the bones.
- Most bruises disappear entirely after a couple of weeks. Still, some will take longer to heal based on the severity of the damage.
- Most bruises go through four stages of discoloration during the healing process.
- A red or purple bump usually appears immediately where the injury occurred.
- After a few days, the bruise will appear blue or black.
- After 5-10 days, the bruise will turn a greenish or yellowish color as it begins to fade.
- After 10-14 days, the bruise appears light brown and color and gets lighter each day until it fades completely.
How long does it take for bruises to go away?
Bruising is a natural part of the healing process and it usually takes between two to four weeks for bruises to go away.
If you notice any bruises that don’t fade or if the area of your body where you got bruised becomes painful, seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will be able to properly identify the cause of your bruise and recommend a course of treatment.
What home remedies can do to reduce visibility and speed up healing?
There are a few different home remedies you can do to reduce the visibility and speed up the healing process of bruises.
One is using ice packs or cold compresses on the area for about 15 minutes every few hours. This will help to decrease swelling and pain.
Another remedy is using arnica montana, an herb that speeds up the healing process of bruises.
For a natural alternative, you can make your own arnica montana using dried herbs and boiling water to create a tea-like remedy.
Additionally, many people swear by topical creams containing vitamin K for their ability to speed up the recovery process.
Though it’s always best to speak with a doctor before using any home remedies or supplements to treat your bruises. Some best practices your doctor may recommend doing when treating bruises at home include:
- Rest as this will slow down blood flow to your bruise and reduce visibility.
- Don’t massage a bruise or rub a bruise as this is likely to break more blood vessels
- A warm bath or heating pad can help loosen tight muscles and clear up trapped blood.
- Elevate the area around your injury if possible as this encourages fluid to move away from the bruise and alleviate pain.
- Use a bandage and compression wrapped around your bruise to squeeze your tissue preventing any blood vessels from further leaking increasing bruise visibility.
Your diet can improve bruise healing
Bruising is not only caused by physical injuries.
Certain medical conditions and medications can also lead to bruising such as liver disease, hemophilia, leukemia, vitamin deficiencies (especially Vitamin C deficiency), and autoimmune disorders.
If you’re taking blood thinners or aspirin, these can also increase your risk for bruising.
But did you know certain foods can improve bruising healing time and reduce visibility? Here is some food to consider while healing from a bruise:
- Pineapple is filled with bromelain which has been proven to heal bruises faster.
- Certain fruits including; apples, citrus, red onions, leafy greens, and dark berries contain quercetin which naturally reduces inflammation and strengthens blood vessels.
- Lean proteins including fish, poultry, and tofu are proven to strengthen blood vessels.
- Vitamin K is proven to reduce the visibility of bruises, foods high in vitamin K include; kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, soybeans, brussel sprouts, blueberries and, strawberries.
- Crab, lobster, pumpkin seeds, legumes, and spinach are all high in zinc which is known to strengthen body tissue.
When to Visit an Urgent Care Nearby
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s best to visit an urgent care center nearby:
- A bruise that is unusually large or dark for more than two weeks
- Pain, swelling, redness around the bruise
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Accompanied by extreme pain and severe inflammation
- That occur under a fingernail or toenail and are accompanied by severe pain
- Appearing for no reason or not associated with a known injury
- That appears suddenly after starting a new medicine or supplement
- Appearing in strange places, like the back or abdomen
- Occurring frequently or excessively
If you’re not sure whether or not you need to go see a doctor, it’s always best to call and speak with someone. At iCare Urgent Care serving Argyle, TX and surrounding communities. Call or go online today to book an appointment.