Most people have experienced getting a bruise at least once in their life. It’s a common reaction to a bump or a fall. However, bruises don’t exactly enhance our skin’s appearance, and they can feel tender when touched.
That’s why we’re motivated to make bruises disappear as quickly as we can. Occasionally, bruises can seemingly appear out of nowhere, and while they might indicate an underlying health issue in some cases, usually, there’s no need to be overly concerned about them.
To assist individuals dealing with bruises and provide useful information, we’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to get rid of them.
How to Get Rid of Bruises
The key to getting rid of bruises is to speed up the healing process, which will reduce both pain and the visibility of the bruise. Here’s what you can do:
- Ice the Bruise: Applying ice right after an injury helps reduce the amount of blood that leaks into the surrounding tissues. This can prevent severe discolouration. You can also use ice on already-formed bruises for 10 minutes on, and 20 minutes off, to speed up healing.
- Rest: When you get injured, especially in the case of bruises, it’s important to take a break and assess the damage. This will slow down blood flow to the bruise, making it less noticeable. Avoid massaging or rubbing the injury, as it can cause more blood vessels to break. Give your body time to recover and use ice as needed.
- Apply Heat: After the bruise has already formed, applying heat can help clear up the trapped blood under your skin. Heat also promotes circulation and increases blood flow. You can use a heating pad, or hot water bottle, or take a warm bath to achieve this. Heat can also help relax tight muscles and ease pain associated with the injury.
- Elevate the Injury: Raising the bruised area above the level of your heart helps relieve pain and directs fluid away from the bruise due to gravity. When the injury is below the level of your heart, blood can pool, resulting in a more pronounced bruise. Elevation reduces pressure, minimizes compression, and enhances blood flow back to your heart, away from the injured area.
- Use Compression: If possible, wrap the bruised area with an elastic bandage. This compression helps prevent further leakage from blood vessels and reduces the severity of the bruise, lessening pain and inflammation.
By following these steps, you can accelerate the healing process and make bruises less painful and noticeable.
Follow a Bruise Healing Diet
The food you eat affects your health and can help with bruises in two ways. Some foods make your blood vessels stronger, reducing bruising while other foods keep your skin and tissues healthy, preventing and healing bruises.
To minimize, prevent, and heal bruises, eat these foods regularly:
- Pineapple contains bromelain, which speeds up healing and reduces bruise severity and inflammation.
- Fruits like apples, citrus, red onions, leafy greens, and dark berries contain quercetin, which strengthens blood vessels and reduces inflammation.
- Lean proteins like fish, poultry, tofu, and lean meat also strengthen blood vessels.
- Foods rich in vitamin K, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, soybeans, and berries, prevent deficiency and reduce bruising.
- Zinc-rich foods like crab, lobster, pumpkin seeds, legumes, and spinach help heal and strengthen tissues.
Eating a healthy diet helps your body function at its best.
When to Visit an Urgent Care Nearby
While most bruises are normal and not a big worry, there are some situations where you should see a doctor or visit urgent care:
- If a bruise is extremely painful and swollen.
- If a bruise is under a fingernail or toenail and hurts a lot.
- If a bruise doesn’t get better in two weeks or won’t go away.
- If you get bruises very often or too many at once.
- If you’re taking blood-thinning medications and have significant bruises.
- If a bruise appears for no reason or isn’t related to an injury.
- If a bruise suddenly shows up after you start a new medicine or supplement.
- If a bruise appears in unusual places like your back or abdomen.
- If you have a bruise on your head and also experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blacking out, or memory loss.
- If you have a bruise on your face, especially around the eye, and it’s linked to vision loss, vision changes, or a headache.
Also, if you suspect you have a broken bone along with bruising, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care.
What Causes a Bruise?
A bruise happens when tiny blood vessels under the skin break, causing blood to seep into the skin tissues. This is also called a hematoma. This gathering of blood results in skin discoloration, which gradually fades as the body breaks down and absorbs the blood.
Usually, a bruise is caused by a sudden injury, like a fall or bump. However, factors like aging, lacking certain vitamins, or taking specific medications can make you more prone to bruising. To make bruises go away faster, you should take steps to aid the healing process.