Whenever you are hit by something or you fall or bump into something hard, you may damage the blood vessels known as capillaries that lie underneathoce your skin. Your blood leaks out of these small blood vessels to seep into the surrounding tissue. When you are bruised, you witness a range of colors that your skin goes through. The pooled blood beneath the skin shows it off as blue and black and then when gradually it breaks down, the color keeps on changing. It will first convert into purple, then into green and yellow before if totally fades away. Yes, bruises fade away on their own in about fifteen days. But you can always make the process of healing the bruises faster to get rid of the associated pain and swelling.
To get rid of bruises fast, you have to follow three different sets of activities- for the first 48 hours just after getting the bruise (first phase); 48-72 hours after getting the bruise (second phase) and using home remedies for bruises to cure pain, swelling and to avoid scars. The first phase needs you to reduce blood flow to the wounded area with the help of ice and compression. In second phase, you should use heat and other methods to increase the blood circulation of the area so that the pooled blood gets cleared.
How to Get Rid of Bruises Fast
I Phase after Getting Bruise- Cold Compress Treatments
Apply Ice to Minimize the Bruise at the first Instance itself
Yes, you should always apply ice as soon as possible after getting the bruise. This also minimizes the discoloration of your skin. When you make the bruised skin area cool, the surrounding blood vessels leak out lesser blood into the tissue. This way less blood gets pooled and you may only get a light blue colored bruise on your skin instead of black one. This also means that you will need lesser days to get rid of bruise. Ice also numbs the bruised area so that you don’t feel pain for longer.
- Ice pack or Ice cubes or Ice cold water
- Hand towel/ wash cloth/ any clean cloth
- If using ice cubes, wrap them up in the cloth.
- If using ice-cold water, soak the cloth in the water and wring out the excess water.
- Simply place the icepack or the cold cloth on your bruise for few minutes, about 8-10 minutes.
- Take it off after ten minutes. Give a break for about 20 minutes.
- Again apply the ice pack for 10 minutes.
- Repeat this for an hour or so.
- Then take a break for about two hours.
- After two hours, again do the same cold treatment to your bruise.
- Keep on doing this for the first 48 hours so that you get minimum bruise marks.
Use Compression to Reduce Swelling of the Bruised Area
Compression here means wrapping the bruised area with the help of an elastic bandage. Such a bandage squeezes the tissues underneath your bruised skin and helps prevent blood vessels from leaking. However, take the following precautions while wrapping the bruised part.
Do’s and Don’ts for Wrapping the Bruised Area
- Don’t wrap the bruised area too tightly. This can lead to more inflammation.
- Whenever you feel the bandage has become too tight, loosen it up. You can easily know when it gets too tight if you feel numbness, tingling, more pain, coolness, or swelling in the area wrapped with the bandage.
Keep the Bruised Area Elevated
For the first 48 hours, you need to reduce blood flow to your bruised area. Take help of gravity for this and keep it elevated. This will prevent blood from pooling in the bruised area.
- Use pillows or cushions to keep your legs or hands elevated whenever you are sitting your lying down.
- Try keeping your bruised area at or above your heart’s level.
You need to keep the area elevated all the time for the first 48 hours- when applying ice, when sitting or sleeping.
Take Rest to Minimize Blood Flow towards Bruised Area
If you keep on working even after getting bruise, you may not get rid of it fast. It is because when you make your muscles work, you increase the blood circulation. And for the first 24-18 hours, you need to minimize the blood flow towards bruised area to prevent pooling the blood. Also when you rest and sleep your body gets a chance to repair the damaged tissue and other body parts.
- Take an off from work.
- Lie down and take rest.
- If getting bored, read a book, watch TV or a movie but don’t get up and start working.
- Sleep, its the best medicine to get well soon.
Just don’t do anything that would need much physical activity, at least for the first 48 hours.
Go to Doctor in Case of Serious Bruises
While most of the bruises are not serious and can be cured easily with home remedies, sometimes you may need to see your doctor to avoid any serious injury or permanent damage. Consult your doctor in the following cases.
- If you bruise without any significant reason like bumps, falls or injuries.
- If you also get a high fever along with bruises.
- If you see some serious infection around the bruised area. These infections are indicated by such signs as redness, pus or other fluid drainage.
- If you feel extreme kind of pressure all around your bruise. This may be due to a sharp decline in blood or oxygen supply to the area and may be life-threatening.
- If you can’t bear the extreme pain and swelling. This may due to a broken bone.
- If you are unable to move a joint then also arrange to see the doctor.
- If you are taking a blood-thinning medication then it becomes essential to see your doctor immediately.
[Also Read: How to Cure Hickeys Fast]
II Phase after Getting Bruise- Heat Treatments
After cooling your bruise for 24-48 hours, you may now proceed towards applying heat to the area to increase the circulation in order to clear away the pooled blood. You may also do other things to increase the circulation in the bruised area.
Massage the Bruised Area
After 24 hours of getting the bruise, start rubbing the area though gently. Gently massage your bruise and the surrounding area several times a day but only after 24-36 hours from getting the bruise. Massaging helps your body’s normal lymphatic process to clear the pooled blood away.
- Rub gently and don’t put pressure on the area.
- If it is too painful, leave it and don’t rub. You need to give the bruise some more times. Start rubbing after 48-72 hours then.
Precaution: Don’t massage your bruised area if it causes pain.
Apply Heat to the Bruised Area
As told earlier also, heat application increases the circulation in the bruised area to break off and clear away the pooled blood. But never apply heat before 48-72 hours have passed from the time you got the bruise. This will, on the contrary, help pool the blood into the injured site.
- You may use an electric heating pad to apply heat to your bruised area. Do this for 20 minutes at a time. Repeat this several times a day.
- You may also apply a warm compress over your bruised area. For this, use a hot-water bottle or make a compress by heating a cloth. Take a wash cloth and soak this in warm water. Apply to the bruised area several times a day to for faster healing.
Get Sunlight to Heal the Bruise
When talking about applying heat to bruise, why not sit in a sunlight! Not only does it gives the much needed heat treatment to your bruised area but also helps in another way. The ultraviolet light helps break down bilirubin- the product of hemoglobin breakdown which gives your bruise the yellow color. When you expose your bruise to sunlight, it accelerates the isomerization of the remaining bilirubin. However, you can’t afford getting sunburn! Just have a moderate amount of mild sunrays by sitting in the direct sunlight everyday for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Home Remedies for Bruises
Here are certain common ingredients found at home and in kitchen as well as certain herbs that can come to your help when you are struggling to fade away your bruise quickly.
Vinegar Compress for Bruises
Vinegar is said to increase the blood flow near the surface of skin. Therefore, you may take help of vinegar to dissipate the pooled blood in the bruised area.
- Vinegar- 1/4 cup
- Warm water- 2-3 cups
- Wash cloth or gauze pad or cotton ball
- Mix the vinegar with warm water
- Soak the cloth or gauze in this solution.
- Rub your bruise gently with this cloth.
Make Comfrey Compress for your Bruise
making your hot compress even more beneficial is what is needed for fast healing of bruise. You may use the herb comfrey for this purpose which is also referred to as “knit-bone” as it is believed to be good at promoting healing from within when you apply it to your skin. Comfrey has a component known as allantoin which is a very good anti-inflammatory agent. It not only helps heal wound but also promotes growth of new cells. Comfrey should not be taken internally, nor should it be applied to a broken skin. If you have a bruise without a broken skin, make a compress or a poultice using comfrey leaves to reduce swelling and promote healing.
1st way to use comfrey leaves for bruises- Make Comfrey Compress
- Dried comfrey leaves- 2 tbsp Or fresh leaves- 4 tbsp
- Boiling hot water- 2 cups
- Gauze pad or a washcloth
- Take the comfrey leaves in a bowl
- Pour hot water over it.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain (never drink it)
- Soak a gauze pad or a washcloth in this herbal solution.
- Apply this to our bruised area.
- Leave it there for 1 hour.
2nd way to use comfrey leaves for bruises- Make Comfrey Poultice
- Comfrey leaves
- Warm water
- Wheat or rice flour
- Blender or food chopper
- Clean cloth or gauze
Take all the ingredients as per the size of your bruise- more for larger bruise and less for smaller bruise.
- Clean the comfrey leaves
- Using enough warm (or a little hot) water, grind the herb using blender or food chopper. You need a smoothly flowing solution type paste.
- Now add the flour to this thin paste to make it a thick paste.
- Take a piece of cloth or gauze and spread this herbal paste over it.
- Cover this with another piece of cloth or gauze. You have, thus, made a sandwich type arrangement where the comfrey paste lies between two layers of cloth.
- Apply this warm poultice to your bruise for about 30-60 minutes.
- In fact, you can prepare it and place it in a freezer during the first 24-48 hours too when you give ice treatment to your bruise. This also makes a good cold compress that has the added advantage of healing your bruise.
Precaution: Don’t use this remedy if you have a broken skin.
Witch Hazel for Bruises
Witch hazel has remained one of the most useful herbs since years. It is not only a good remedy for bruises but also for sprains and burns as well as varicose veins. The excellent astringent properties of witch hazel stop the slowly leaking blood in the blood vessels. It also stimulates drainage of lymphatic fluid from the bruised area thus helping in fast healing. Your swelling reduces in no time when you use witch hazel as a remedy.
- Witch hazel lotion or tincture
- Cotton pad
- Soak the cotton pad in witch hazel lotion or tincture.
- Apply this to the bruised area and hold it there for a few minutes.
- Repeat this 2-3 times a day.
Arnica for Bruise Healing
Arnica has been a known remedy for wounds and bruises etc. This herb Arnica promotes the movement of white blood cells to the injured site and improves blood circulation. White blood cells remove damaged cells and replace them with healthy ones. This promotes faster healing of bruises. Arnica also increases the movement of fluid buildup so that it is removed from their fast. This also decreases the degree of swelling in the bruised area.
Make your own Arnica Salve
- Coconut oil- 2 cups
- Dried arnica montana flowers- 3/4 cup
- Beeswax granules- 1/2 cup
- Double boiler or a crock pot
- Mason jar
- Place dried arnica herb into the double boiler or the crock pot.
- Pour the coconut oil over the arnica.
- Stir so that the entire herb gets completely submerged in the oil.
- Cover and allow it to infuse on low heat for 12-24 hours. If using crock pot, set it on warm setting.
- Stir it often. Also ensure that arnica stays submerged into the oil.
- After the set time, turn off the heat and allow it to cool down only for an hour or so. If you completely cool it down, the coconut oil will get solidified.
- After an hour, using the cheesecloth, strain the mixture into the bowl.
- Now place this filtered oil back into the double boiler and turn the heat on low.
- Add the beeswax to this while whisking until it dissolves completely.
- When the beeswax gets melted, remove the thing from heat and allow it to cool down for about an hour again.
- Then store into a jar or other container of your choice.
- You can use this homemade arnica salve not only for bruises but also for tired, aching muscles as well as for sprains.
Precaution: Don’t apply arnica to broken skin.
Parsley for Bruises
Parsley is believed to have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. To reduce swelling and pain from bruises, it can be used effectively. It also helps the bruise fade away rather quickly.
- Fresh parsley leaves- handful
- Elastic bandage
- Crush the parsley to get its paste.
- Now apply this paste all over your bruise.
- Use the elastic bandage to wrap your bruised area covered with parsley paste.
[Also Read: 14 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Black Eye]
St. John’s Wort Oil for Bruises
St. John’s wort oil has been traditionally used to heal wounds. It has high amounts of tannins. These are astringents that help tissue shrink so that the capillary bleeding may be controlled. What’s important is that this oil can be applied to broken skin too. This herbal oil has anti-inflammatory properties also that may reduce swelling too.
Make your own St. John’s Wort Oil
- Fresh St. John’s Wort flowers
- Olive oil
- Jar – 8 ounces or a pint jar, depending on how much oil you want to make.
- Fill your jar with fresh flowers of St. John’s wort. Chop them a little before placing them in the jar. Leave 1/2 inch space from the top.
- Pour olive oil over these flowers.
- Cover the jar tightly with the lid.
- Shake it well and place it in a cool, dark spot (like a kitchen cupboard)
- Shake the jar once or twice everyday.
- Let the flowers soak this way for about 2-6 weeks.
- Now strain this infused oil with the help of cheesecloth placed over a strainer.
- Store in your choice of container.
- Apply this 2-3 times daily to your bruise.
- This oil can in fact be used for many other conditions like sunburns, toothache, painful jaw, nerve pain, tendonitis etc.
Eat Bromelain rich Pineapple to Cure Bruises fast
Bromelain is a very useful enzyme found in pineapples. It can be said that this enzyme actually ‘digests’ proteins that cause inflammation and pain. It breaks down these proteins that trap fluids in the tissues after you suffer an injury. Bromelain is now a well known anti-inflammatory agent and is widely used for tendinitis, arthritis as well as for swelling and pain related to muscle injuries. some research also found out that using bromelain reduces healing time of bruise.
Eat pineapples or drink pineapple juice to heal your bruise faster. However, sometimes it is said that this doesn’t provide sufficient amounts of bromelain for bruise healing, particularly if your bruise is too large. Thus, you can also consider taking 250 to 500 milligrams of bromelain between meals daily till your bruise fades away.
Get Required Nutrients from Foods to Heal and Prevent Bruises
Some people bruise easily and too frequently. If you are among those people, you need to take preventive measures. Certain foods have the required nutrients like vitamins and flavonoids that prevent bruising. These are the nutrients you need to prevent bruising and the food sources from where you can get them.
- Vitamin C- It strengthens capillary walls. This makes them less likely to leak blood when your body gets bruised. Eat more peppers and citrus fruits to get more vitamin C to avoid bruising.
- Flavonoids- Vitamin C works better when you supply your body with enough flavonoids. So, eat more carrots, apricots, and citrus fruits. They all are rich in flavonoids. Grape-seed extract is also a very good source of flavonoids.
- Vitamin K- This vitamin helps your blood clot effectively and faster. Deficiency in vitamin K makes people susceptible to bruising. Eat more broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy green vegetables to get more Vitamin K. In fact, there are vitamin K creams also available in drug stores. These creams, when rubbed into the bruises, prevent further bleeding.