I've had my fair share of bruises. I was the kid who got beat up on the playground a lot, so I know what it's like to have bruises you don't want people to notice. What causes a bruise? Bruises are most often caused by broken capillaries (small veins of blood near the surface of your skin) after a sudden impact. These broken capillaries then allow blood to go where it usually doesn't, which is what you see when the bruise starts to turn red and then purple, and eventually dark blue or even black. Now, we're not going to get into how to prevent bruises here because that should be left to someone who knows something about children, child safety products, and child proofing a home--or adult proofing a home if you're particularly clumsy or suffer from a blood clotting deficiency like Hemophilia.
I'm here to tell you how to get rid of that bruise. Getting rid of a bruise isn't really possible. Well, it is and it isn't. Your body does most of the work itself, but there are some things you can do to help speed your body's natural healing processes. Read on if you want to know how to get rid of a bruise.
First, wash the wound with cold water and soap, then put some ice on it. The soap and water is to prevent any infection you might get from peeled skin or cuts that often accompany a bump or fall. The ice serves two purposes: first, the cold helps to reduce the amount of swelling, and second, it constricts the capillaries near the surface of your skin--restricting blood flow and thus reducing the amount of blood that is released from those broken capillaries.
Elevate the wound to help reduce the chances of excessive bruising. This is particularly true if you happened to get a bump on your leg or somewhere below your waist. Gravity and your cardiovascular system ensure that blood pressure increases below your waist line. Reduce some of that pressure and the bleeding by keeping the bruised area elevated.
If your bruise is painful, as many are, take some Acetaminophen to relieve that pain. I'm telling you to take Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin, etc.) instead of Aspirin because Aspirin actually inhibits your body's ability to clot the blood that's leaking from your capillaries. Medicine like Tylenol and Excedrin (anything with aceptaminophen) doesn't do that. So there.
After about 48 hours, doctors say treating the bruise with a warm compress 3-4 times a day will help get rid of the bruise. By now your capillaries should be starting to heal and the blood flow should have stopped. A warm cloth spread over the wound will help open up the healthy capillaries to increase blood flow so that your body can get rid of the bruise with it's natural cleaning processes. Repeat this process 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times per day for as long as the bruise is visible.
If the bruise doesn't heal or lasts longer than 2-3 weeks, it may be time to see a doctor. A lot of people don't realize until later in life that they have a blood clotting deficiency, either because they've managed to avoid severe injury, or because age is taking it's toll on the body. Elderly people are particularly susceptible to extended or excessive bruising and the complications that can come from it, so it's a good idea to keep a close eye on their bruises.
Bruise Treatment Products
The health industry is not at a loss for bruise treatment products, and many of them can be purchased online from any number of health care vendors. A lot of the products available use vitamins A and K to help reduce redness in the skin and promote the body's natural healing process. Some offer supplements of a plant called Arnica, the extracts of which are used to produce anything from ointments, to liquids, and even pills--though it is most commonly found in gel form, which is then applied to the bruised area 3-4 times a day. There are also Brandname products like Lanosil, a product of the pharmaceutical company, Bayer, which is claimed to help prevent a bruise if it is applied soon enough.
Regardless of the treatment you choose, it shouldn't come as a surprise that there is no miracle cure for bruises--but if you do try a bruise treatment, and it works well, drop us a line because we're curious to know which bruise treatment products really work.