How to Quickly Remove a Bruise

What is a bruise?

Bruises occur when blood leaks out from small blood vessels under the
skin, explains Dr. Nader, creating that distinctive dark, purplish
color. (Did you know the color of your bruise can tell you something
about the state of your injury?) So the moment you make contact with
something, you have to act quickly. First, place an ice bag or a cold
compress over the area to help reduce immediate swelling. The cold
restricts your blood vessels, slowing the flow—and that will tone down
the coloring of your bruise. Be sure to apply the cold compress ten
minutes on, 20 minutes off, several times a day.


 

You don’t know when you got the bruise

What about those times when you happen to notice a bruise—and you
have no idea how long it’s been there? “If the swelling is gone, you can
use a warm compress—essentially promoting the opposite behavior of the
cold compress,” Dr. Nader says. “At this stage, heat will prompt blood
flow to the area, ushering away any pooled up blood in the area.”

One tactic to avoid, according to Dr. Nader: Pushing on a bruise to
try and break up the blood beneath the skin. This is not proven
effective and could result in additional soreness and bruising. (Yikes.)

 

How long bruises last

Generally, bruises clear up within five to seven days, she says,
although the length depends on the severity of the bruise. If you notice
pain and tenderness that won’t go away, see a doctor—you may have an
underlying injury.

Got bruises that turn up all the time and you can’t figure out why?
Again, see a doctor as it could be a sign of something more serious. And
remember that any bruise to the head should be monitored closely—it
might be a concussion. Next, read about the real reason why you bruise
so easily.

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