Medically referred to as a contusion, a bruise occurs as a result of blunt force trauma that causes blood to leak out from the ruptured blood vessels into the surrounding interstitial tissues. Contusions must not be mistaken for blood spots or internal bleeding that is associated with blood clotting disorders. In case of a contusion, the upper surface of the skin remains intact and doesn't show any signs of injury, but the muscle fibers and connective tissues underneath the skin get crushed. Blood that leaks out from the ruptured blood vessels gets trapped under the skin, leaving behind a red or purple mark. With time, the color of the bruise changes, and fades eventually. Medical assistance must be sought in case of a severe bruise, which is also accompanied by severe internal bleeding and damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, or organs. The following sections list out some measures to heal minor bruises.
Ways to Heal a Bruise Quickly
Apply an Ice Pack
Application of an ice pack is one of the best ways for healing a contusion. Basically, application of an ice pack constricts the blood vessels, which in turn reduces the blood flow to the site of injury. This not only numbs the area, thereby providing temporary relief from pain, but also reduces the swelling. It is believed that reducing the temperature at the site of injury slows down the cellular processes, which in turn could limit tissue damage. Though this is an effective method to reduce swelling, one must not directly apply the ice pack on the skin. Wrap it in a towel and apply it over the bruise. Don't keep the ice pack for more than 15 minutes.
Keep the Area Compressed and Elevated
Applying a bandage on the affected area will compress the tissues underneath, which in turn will prevent the blood vessels from leaking. Keeping the area elevated will also help reduce swelling, as elevation increases the venous return of blood to the systemic circulation. So, if the bruise is on the leg, you can prop the affected leg on a pillow.
Apply Warm Compresses
After 24 hours have passed, you can apply warm compresses. All you need to do is dip a clean cloth in warm water, and apply it over the bruise. The application of heat will help improve blood circulation, thereby speeding up the healing process.
You can apply a gel containing arnica over the affected area 3-4 times a day, or you could mix a few drops of arnica tincture in a cup of water, and apply a clean cloth soaked in this solution over the affected area. Since arnica has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties, applying it on the bruise would certainly prove beneficial.
Do follow the aforementioned remedies to treat a minor bruise. If it is becoming a cause of cosmetic concern, you can hide it with a concealer. If the bruise is severe, it's best to seek medical assistance.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.