A bruise, otherwise known as a contusion is the capillaries caused by trauma, thus causing blood to seep into the interstitial tissue. This results in coloured markings of the skin as blood pools beneath it. Bruises can be painful to touch and usually last from a few days to weeks depending on the severity of the injury. Some people bruise easily and should be careful.
The following guide provides some useful information, tips and advice for treating bruises so that they heal quickly. The body does this by breaking down and reabsorbing the blood.
It is important to ice a bruise as quickly as possible once it occurs. Use an ice pack filled with the frozen water, a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel or a cloth/towel dipped in ice water. By cooling down a bruise with ice will help reduce the amount of blood that starts to pool under the skin. Try to keep the ice the bruise for a long time so that the cool temperature can provide some relief and start working immediately.
Place the ice on the bruise for 10 minutes and leave off for 20 minutes. Repeat as often as possible to shrink blood vessels and release less blood.
Being able to wrap a bandage around the bruise and compressing it will aid in controlling swelling and bleeding below the surface. This may not be possible for a contusion on your back, but arms and legs can easily be wrapped. Make sure that you take your time while wrapping a bandage on your bruise as you want it stay on but not cause any discomfort by being too tight.
Once 24 hours has passed, it is important to apply heat to the injury with a hot water bottle or heat pad. The heat will aid circulation in the area, causing blood to flush and the bruise to heal. This is an important step that is often overlooked by many. Most people feel that just icing the area is good enough, however you will need to apply some heat to really help you with the bruise.
If you bruise easily, you may need more Vitamin C in your life. This aids in strengthening your capillary walls, making them less prone to damage and thus bruising. Try to take a multivitamin on a regular basis that contains enough Vitamin C according to your needs.