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First Aid Guide: Dealing with Bruising

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Bruises are caused when small blood vessels, known as capillaries, are injured, and blood collects beneath the skin. A Bruise can appear as a dark blue, purple, or red mark on the skin. Bruising is a common injury, and in most cases, the injury will heal on its own in a short amount of time. However, in some cases, immediate first aid might be necessary. Read ahead to know more about first aid for Bruising.




Symptoms of Bruising

Here are some common symptoms of Bruising. 

  • Discoloured or reddish skin

  • Swelling or tenderness

  • Pain when the affected area is touched or moved

  • Possible bump or lump on the skin

  • Possible larger area of swelling

  • Stiffness in the affected area

  • Bruising of the skin or discoloration that deepens over time

  • Possible formation of a black and blue mark

  • Difficulty using or moving the affected body part

Causes of Bruise

Bruises are caused by trauma to the skin that results in bleeding under the surface. Common causes of Bruises include falls, blunt force trauma, sports injuries, and contact with sharp objects. 

Bruises may also be caused by medical conditions, such as thinning of the skin due to age or medications, weakened vessels due to conditions such as cirrhosis and diabetes, or lack of platelets due to diseases such as leukaemia and haemophilia.

It can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as blood thinners and corticosteroids. 

In some cases, Bruises may be caused by underlying diseases or disorders, such as a bleeding disorder, an autoimmune disease, or scurvy.

It's important to see a doctor if you notice frequent Bruises that are unusually large or painful, or if Bruises seem to appear for no apparent reason.

First aid for Bruise

Mentioned below is the step-by-step guide to treating a Bruise.

  • Apply a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice, to the bruised area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. This will help reduce inflammation and stop the bleeding under the skin.

  • To help reduce swelling, elevate the bruised area above the level of your heart. This can be done by propping up the area with a pillow, blanket, or other support.

  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin may help reduce swelling and pain from a Bruise. Follow the instructions on the label for dosage and usage.

  • Rest the area. Avoid any activity or pressure that will cause further trauma to the area. If the area is swollen and painful to touch, it is best to rest it.

  • Protect the bruised area from further trauma by using a bandage or wrap. This will help keep the area from further injury and also keep it clean.

  • Change the bandage or wrap periodically to ensure that the area remains clean and to help keep swelling to a minimum.

  • If the Bruise does not improve with home treatments or if it worsens, you should see a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.

How to prevent Bruises

Here are some of the ways by which you can keep yourself from bruising.

1. Count on protective gear

Wear protective gear like knee pads, elbow pads, shin guards and helmets when engaging in contact sports, biking, skateboarding, skiing or any other activities where you are likely to suffer a Bruise.

2. Add a workout plan to your routine

Stretching before engaging in physical activity can help reduce the risk of bruising by warming up your muscles and reducing strain.

3. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water. Water helps to keep your skin healthy and hydrated, making it less likely to Bruise when bumped.

4. Add vitamin C to your diet

Eat a diet rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Vitamin C helps to promote healthy and strong blood vessels, while bioflavonoids can help decrease capillary fragility and improve circulation.

5. Consider fatty acids

Increase your intake of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3s can help promote healthy circulation and reduce inflammation, which can lead to bruising.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions and answers regarding first aid for Bruising.


Is it better to put ice or heat on a Bruise?

The answer to this question depends on the age and severity of the Bruise. In general, it is best to put ice on a fresh Bruise within the first 24 hours in order to reduce inflammation and swelling. After that, heat can be applied to help reduce pain and speed up the healing process. However, it is best to talk to a medical professional to determine the most appropriate treatment for your Bruise.

Which cream helps in treating Bruises?

There are a variety of creams that can help reduce the appearance of Bruises, such as arnica gel, vitamin K cream, and witch hazel. In addition, some essential oils, such as lavender and helichrysum, may help heal Bruises. However, it is recommended to consult with a doctor before using any of these products.

How long do Bruises take to heal?

The amount of time it takes for a Bruise to heal can vary, depending on the severity and size of the Bruise. Most Bruises will begin to heal in a few days to a week, but those that are larger or more severe may take longer. In some cases, a Bruise can take up to 2 weeks to heal completely.

Can a Bruise cause a blood clot?

No, Bruises do not cause blood clots. Blood clots are potentially dangerous conditions in which a lump of blood forms in a vein or artery. The clots can be caused due numerous factors, such as obesity, smoking, or taking certain medications. It is important to consult a doctor if you experience any symptoms of a blood clot.

What happens if a Bruise is left untreated?

If a Bruise is left untreated, it can become more painful and worsen in severity. In some cases, it can also lead to increased inflammation, swelling, and bruising depth. Also, if the cause of the Bruise is a more serious injury, such as a fracture, not treating it may lead to a more serious complication. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you experience a Bruise.

Why is my Bruise spreading down my leg?

If your Bruise spreads down your leg, it could be a sign of a more serious injury, such as a fracture or deep tissue damage. It is vital to visit a doctor to determine the cause of the Bruise and to ensure that there is no more serious underlying condition.

Can a Bruise heal itself?

Yes, Bruises can generally heal without any medical intervention. Most Bruises will begin to fade within a few days to a week, with the Bruise itself becoming less visible over time. However, some Bruises may take longer or require additional treatment. So, consult a medical professional if you are concerned.

What does it mean if your Bruise is dark purple?

Dark purple bruising can generally indicate a more serious injury, as it means that older, more degraded blood cells have collected in the area. This suggests a deeper impact, which can indicate a more serious injury.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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