There is no need to be confused by contusion, which is just the medical term for a bruise. Anybody can get a contusions or bruises at any point in their lives. A bruise happens when our tissues are injured, which discolors and sometimes breaks the skin. When blood from these broken cells come out they can accumulate in the surrounding tissues because blood is trapped under the skin.
Types of Bruises
You can get 3 types of bruises, which depends on which type of area was damaged:
- Subcutaneous bruises: These bruises occur when the injury is only beneath the skin.
- Periosteal bruises: Bone Bruises occur when your bones are injured, but not fractured.
- Intramuscular bruises: Muscle bruises occur when your muscle tissues are injured through blunt force.
While anybody can get bruises, some people are more prone to bruising than others. For instance, older people are more prone to bruising than younger people, because their blood vessels are more fragile. Bruising can depend on several factors such as how tough your skin is, and whether you take certain medications or have certain conditions, which can make you more prone to bruising. Below are the common causes of bruises, which include the following:
- sports injuries
- car accidents
- head injuries
- ankle sprains
- muscle strain
- blows to your body
- taking medications like blood thinners
- getting bruises after getting a cut or burn
Bruises can feel painful and tender. The bruised area may be swollen as well and discolored. Bruised areas can have many colors such as black, blue, red, green, brown, purple, and yellow. When you first get a bruise it may appear red as blood appears under your skin. 1 to 2 days after you get the bruise, the bruised area will turn blue or purple. 5 to 10 days after you get the bruise, the bruised area will turn green or yellow. 10 to 14 days after you get the bruise, the bruised area will turn yellow or brown. Yellow or brown bruised areas are usually the last colors to appear, which can tell you that the bruise will soon completely disappear. After 2 weeks, your bruise will fade away.
Bruises can fade away after 2 weeks, as bruises can heal on their own. However, there are special treatments for bruises that are severe or bruises that have complications. Severe symptoms of bruises indicate a more severe condition. You must seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- increased bruising while taking blood thinners, aspirin, corticosteroids, or natural supplements
- swelling and pain
- bruising following a hard blow
- unexplained bruising that occurs in the same area
- bruising with a suspected broken bone
- unexplained bruising without injury
- unexplained bruising on children
- bruising that occurs for more than 4 weeks
- painful bruising under the nails
- bruising with bleeding from your gums, nose, or mouth
- bruising that is not painful
- black bruising on your legs
- bruising with blood in your stool, urine, or eyes
- getting a wound with a bruise that has pus, clear liquid, or blood, which can indicate infection
- bruising on the eye
Ten Natural Treatments: What can be done to treat a bruise
Even if bruises naturally heal after 2 weeks, you may still want to try to treat your bruise to speed up the process or reduce its inconvenient symptoms like pain and swelling. There are many ways to treat a bruise with natural treatments. However, these natural treatments only apply to normal bruises. Before trying out these natural treatments it is always recommended to consult your doctor. Because people bruise differently for different reasons, these natural treatments may have different treatment efficacies. What works for someone else may not work as well for you. Thus, it is important to listen and be attuned to your body to see if the natural treatment you would like to try out is helpful or harmful.
Rest the bruised area when possible to let the damaged area heal.
2. Arnica montana
Arnica is a herb commonly used to treat bruises. Rub Arnica directly on the bruised area to minimize swelling and inflammation.
Rub pineapple directly on the bruised area. Bromelain, enzymes found in pineapples, has anti-inflammatory properties that can minimize bruising and swelling.
4. Aloe Vera
Rub pure aloe vera directly on the bruised area to reduce irritation and to speed up healing of the bruise.
5. Apply ice
Apply ice or use a cold compress to reduce swelling and blood flow in the bruised area. If you are using ice, place the ice in a bag, then wrap the bag in cloth. This will keep you dry. If you keep frozen vegetables in your freezer, you can wrap the pack in cloth and use this like a compress. Small frozen vegetables in a bag can take the shape of your bruised area, which applies even coldness.
6. Apply heat
Apply heat by using a compress to increase blood flow in the bruised area to help clear away trapped blood under the skin and to relieve tense muscles.
7. Use a compress
Compress the bruised area to reduce pain and swelling by using a bandage. Make sure you do not wrap the bruised area too tight.
8. Elevate the bruised area
Elevate the bruised area above the level of your heart to drain blood and relieve pain. If a leg has the bruise, you can rest on the bed and use your pillows to prop up the bruised leg.
9. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is another natural way to reduce bruising. While pineapples can be topically applied to heal your bruise, regularly incorporating pineapples in your diet is a way of treating yourself with a treatment. Other things to include in your diet to reduce symptoms of bruising are citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, food with vitamin K like kale, spinach and broccoli, food high in lean protein like fish, poultry and tofu, and food with zinc like spinach and legumes.
10. Vitamin K
Vitamin K can be increased by eating foods like kale, spinach, and broccoli. It can also be applied through creams for your bruised area, which can reduce the symptoms of bruising.