What are bruises?
Bruises are also known as ecchymoses or contusions. They take place when the muscle fibers and connective tissue are crushed, but the skin doesn’t break. After a muscle and a tissue are struck, the small blood vessels start leaking under the skin. As there is no place to go, the blood gets trapped and forms a red mark, which is called a bruise.
How long does a bruise last?
If your bruise changes its color, it means that it will disappear soon. When you just get a bruise, its color is reddish, but within 1 or 2 days it turns bluish-purple or even blackish. After 5-10 days, your bruise will turn greenish or yellowish and after 10-14 days, it becomes yellowish-brown, light brown and then fades away.
At higher risk to bruise easily are people:
- with a soft and sensitive skin tissue
- with certain conditions and diseases
- who take certain medications
Instant Remedies For Bruises
- apply ice when you first get a bruise for half an hour to an hour; ice reduces the inflammation, swelling and the amount of blood that leaks into the tissues
- use a bag of frozen vegetables if you don’t have ice
- elevate the bruised area above the level of your heart
Although bruises are not a problem and they heal by themselves, there are cases when you should see a doctor if:
- your bruise is swelling
- your bruise is more painful and increases in size
- you bruise without bumping into things
- the bruise is right near your eye
- a bruise doesn’t fade away after 2 weeks
- you can’t move a joint
- you take blood thinners or aspirin
Unfortunately, bruises can’t be avoided completely as you may bump into things very often. If you play sports, this is almost impossible, so wear protective gear like pads, helmets and shin guards that will save you from a lot of pain and complications.
Additionally, if the skin is injured over a bruise, cleanse the area to prevent a skin infection. Keep in mind that sudden and unexplained bruises may be caused by various diseases, so you should see a doctor if you have this problem.