Bruises & Treatment

It’s all under the Skin.

Bruising occurs when part of your body is hit or you bump into something and the muscle fibers and connective tissue are crushed but the skin does not tear. The blood pools under the skin and is trapped and forms a red, black, or purplish discoloration. The bruised area is usually tender to the touch. Over a period of about two weeks, your body will slowly break down the blood that settled under the skin and reabsorb it. The sensitivity or tenderness will decrease as the bruise changes color from red, to purple-black, to yellowish-green, to light brown until it finally disappears.

Bruises that need medical attention: Most bruises will heal on their own in about two weeks, however there are a few exceptions. If your bruise falls into any of the categories below, seek out a doctor. Medrite, New York City’s walk-in clinic offers convenient hours that fit your schedule, Sunday through Friday. You don’t need an appointment and you won’t have to wait a long time.

  • The bruise is present after two weeks and may be getting more painful.
  • The bruise is swelling.
  • You can’t move a joint or movement is very difficult.
  • Bruising occurs often and you don’t remember being hit or bumping into anything.
  • If there is bruising around the eye.

Treatment for bruises: Immediately after the injury, apply an ice pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth to the bruise for about 20 minutes. The cold will reduce the swelling and speed up healing. If the bruises are on your leg or foot try to elevate it and avoid walking during the first 24 hours. You can apply warm compresses over the bruise after 48 hours.

Prevent bruises and other injuries:

  • Wear protective sports gear and encourage your children to wear pads and helmets when playing contact sports.
  • Do a home safety check. Move low furniture away from doorways and passages, check for dangling cords, and secure all rugs and mats.
  • Use nightlights in bathrooms and hallways.

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