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5 Treatments for Bruises

Whether you’ve taken a spill on your bicycle, caught an elbow in the chops during a basketball game, or simply bumped your knee into a coffee table, you know the pain is momentary but the contusion can last as many as two or three weeks. You can, however, help move along the healing process.

Here's how a bruise evolves. First, a bruise is created when tiny blood vessels called capillaries rupture. Blood from those vessels leaks into the surrounding tissue creating a reddish appearance. Swelling causes oxygen to be cut off to the area which changes the color to purple or blue. The hemoglobin in your blood which carries iron will begin to break down and become greenish after about a week. The area will take on a yellow or brown appearance after eight or nine days as your body reabsorbs the leaked blood from your capillaries.

Understanding the healing process can be helpful as you try to remove the unsightly reminder of your mishap. In some rare instances, a bruise may need a doctor’s care. Unexplained bruising around the navel or behind the ear, for example, can be evidence of internal bleeding or a skull fracture. Multiple swollen bruises that appear without an injury may indicate autoimmune disease. If a bruise caused by a blow remains raised and painful, it may be a hematoma which needs to be drained by a physician. In some instances, your body will deposit calcium around an injury creating a heterotopic ossification which can be diagnosed with an x-ray.

The vast majority of bruises simply need time and a little informed TLC which you’ll find by clicking ahead.