What is a Bruise, and what can you do about it?
What is a bruise?
A bruise or contusion is caused when tiny blood vessels are damaged or broken as the result of trauma to the skin.
Why do some people bruise easier or more often than others?
The injury required to create a bruise varies. Bruising occurs more effortlessly in the elderly because their capillaries are more delicate than those of young people. While it might take a considerable amount of power to cause a bruise in the youth, even minor knocks and scratches may cause extensive bruising in an elderly individual. Veins turn out to be more fragile as we age, and bruising may even happen without injury in the elderly.
The degree of bruising may likewise be influenced by medications which meddle with blood clotting (and in this manner cause more bleeding into the skin or tissues). Patients with hemophilia or acquired clotting problems, (for example, in patients with liver diseases like cirrhosis) can develop extensive bruising, unexplained bruising, or even bleeding that is life-threatening. At times spontaneous bruising can be an indication of a bone marrow problem.
How do Health-Care Professionals evaluate and diagnose a bruise?
If an injury is clearly a bruise and the specialist does not suspect any broken bones, the specialist will most likely not suggest running any tests.
- If there is swelling or extreme pain, the doctor may get an X-ray of the area to ensure there are no broken bones.
- If bruising happens often and for no evident reason, the doctor may have the blood tested to look for a bleeding disorder or a vitamin deficiency.
- Certain bruises, a pattern of bruises after some time, and in different phases of healing may alert a specialist to the likelihood of physical abuse.
What are the home treatments for bruises?
If a bruise does not require attention by a doctor, you may be able to use the following home treatments listed to help relieve the pain, swelling and reduce the visibility of the bruise.
- Apply ice immediately after the injury. Ice will reduce pain and swelling. Apply a reusable ice pack or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or a cloth. Ice for 10
- minutes at a time. Wait 20 minutes before reapplying.
- Compression or wrapping the bruised area in an elastic bandage can lessen the severity of the bruise and help to reduce pain and swelling.
- Elevate the bruised area so that it is above the heart while sitting or resting. This helps to relieve pain and drain any fluid from the bruised area while preventing further swelling.
- Apply heat. A warm compress, heating pad or a hot water bottle will boost circulation and increase blood flow. This helps to clear away the trapped blood after the bruise has formed and speed up the healing process. This can be used on bruises after the inflammation subsides.
- Gently massage or rub the area to alleviate pain and encourage blood flow. If the bruised area is painful, do not massage.
- Apply cream, gel or salve with Arnica Montana directly to the bruise.
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