Breakages of small blood vessels underneath the skin form bruises. Blood leaks out of the damaged vessels, leaving red dots or bluish-purple marks that fade over time. Bruises may develop due to minor skin injury, from a hard blow to the body, heavy and rigorous exercise, or may be due to thinning of the skin in the elderly people; however, chronic bruising may indicate a problem with blood clotting. Nutritional supplements and herbs applied topically can speed up recovery time and help the bruises fade quickly.
- Black-and-blue mark following an injury or fall.
- The marks will begin to fade to a purplish black, reddish blue, or yellowish green.
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected area.
- The area may feel hot to the touch.
Home Remedies for Bruises
- Rest, ice and elevation: Apply ice pack to the injury as soon as possible. Wrap the ice in a cloth and apply to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every couple of hour for the first 24 hours. Take rest and keep the area elevated if possible to encourage healing.
- Arnica gel: Apply arnica gel twice a day to the injured area twice a day if bruising has occurred due to minor accident or fall. It stimulates the circulation, relieve pain and ease swelling. Do not apply arnica to cut or broken skin.
- Comfrey: Apply an ointment containing 5-20% comfrey root extract topically on unbroken skin.
- Vinegar: Apply vinegar to the bruise using a cotton ball. This will speed up the healing process.
- Chamomile: Make a compress by steeping dried chamomile flowers in boiling water. Strain the mixture and allow it to cool in the refrigerator. Place the compress over the injured area for 15-20 minutes several times a day. Discontinue if you notice redness or irritation at the site. Chamomile helps due to its anti-inflammatory and calming properties.
Do’s for Bruises
- Elevate the injured area.
- Apply ice or a cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time for a day or two after the injury.
- A day after using ice packs, apply heating pads to the affected area, this will dilate blood vessels and improve circulation.
- Eat food rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, apple and leafy vegetables. Vitamin C will help blood capillaries heal quickly.
- Use flaxseed oil in cooking. Flaxseed oil help reabsorb the blood from bruises reducing inflammation.
Don’ts for Bruises
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Avoid sugars, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, white flour and junk foods as they interfere with the healing process and promote inflammation.
- Avoid activities that might increase swelling such as taking hot showers, using hot tubs, or hot packs. During the first 48 hours, these things may actually increase bruising and swelling.
- You have unusually large or painful bruises.
- Abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from nose or gums, or notice blood in your eyes, stool or urine.
- You have no history of bruising, but suddenly experience bruises.
- Bruises accompanied by persistent pain or headache.