A bruise is an injury caused by blunt impact, where capillaries are damaged, and blood seeps into the surrounding tissues. Bruises can be unsightly and painful, but are not normally serious.
Sometimes, bruises can be serious, and lead to a hematoma, or occur as the result of serious injuries, including fractures and internal bleeding.
Bruises are blue or purple in color initially, but with aging, turn green, then yellow. Patients with platelet or coagulation disorders may presented with unexplained bruising.
Leukemia and meningococcal infections may have unexplained bruising.
Unexplained bruising in children, especially in various stages of healing, and in areas not common to fall-type bruises, may be victims of child abuse.
Some people simply bruise more easily than others, and a Vitamin C deficiency can make people more susceptible to bruises.
Home Remedies for Bruises:
The faster an injury is “put on ice” the less likely it is to bruise, and the less severe the bruising will be.
Never apply ice directly, but put an ice bag, ice in a zip lock bag, or better yet, a bag of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a washcloth or hand towel, can be applied directly on the bruised area, which should be elevated.
The cold constricts the blood vessels, which allows less blood to leak out, and it reduces inflammation and soreness as well.
The key is to always wrap the ice pack, leave it on for fifteen minutes, remove for ten minutes, and continue ice therapy for twenty-four hours. After twenty-four hours, switch from ice to heat, to dilate blood vessels and promote circulation.
Warm soaks, heating pads (moist heat is best) or warm, moist towels work well.
Remember to keep the area elevated to prevent swelling.
If you are prone to bruising, try eating foods rich in Vitamin C. Studies show that Vitamin C helps build collagen tissue (skin tissue) around blood vessels in the skin.
Foods high in Vitamin C are citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower. You can also take Vitamin C supplements temporarily, to aid the healing of bruises.
Never exceed more than 2,000 milligrams a day, and discontinue the use as soon as the bruises have healed.
A good folk remedy for bruises is a poultice of crushed comfrey, applied directly to the bruise. Make a comfrey poultice by placing comfrey leaves (found in health food stores) in hot water, spread them on a warm, moist washcloth, and press the poultice on the bruised area.
It can be held in place with a wrap and changed often to provide continued warmth.
Do not eat this herb or place it on an open wound. Comfrey is not meant to be taken internally.