Bruises result from injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments and other body tissues
Bruising is a common complaint caused by minor injuries and occurs frequently in everyday life. Anything from a bump to an ankle sprain can damage the blood vessels lying under the skin, but our body is capable of healing bruises and they normally disappear within a week or so. This page explores the causes and complications of bruises and offers a range of natural remedies to ease aches and pains.
What are bruises?
Bruises are a mild form of internal bleeding. They’re caused by the release of small amounts of blood into the soft tissues of the body, specifically muscles and the connective tissue under the skin.
Bruises usually result from minor injuries such as:
- Bumps or falls
- Joint sprains
- Muscle strains
- Sports injuries
When tissues are injured, blood leaks from damaged capillaries and seeps into surrounding tissues, dispersing into the connective tissue just under the skin.
Blood lying close to the surface may become visible through the skin. Initially, bruises will have a purplish colour, but with time and as the collected blood is removed from body tissue by the immune system, the discoloration changes to yellow or green and finally disappears.
Types of bruises
More severe damage to body tissue may be accompanied by a greater degree of bleeding. This can lead to a more concentrated collection of blood, discernable as swelling of the body tissues either just under the skin or in muscle tissue. This form of brusing is called a hematoma.
injuries can lead to more extensive loss of blood or internal bleeding.
Examples of this are seen in falls from a great height, serious bicycle
accidents or similar impacts. Any such injuries require immediate
How to treat a bruise
Most bruises are mild, relatively painless and require no treatment as they will go away on their own.
However, some injuries can give rise to bruises that cause discomfort or pain:
- Sprains, such as a a sprained ankle or twisted knee
- Muscle strains, such as those caused by a sports injury
- Trauma following a fall
In these circumstances, treatment as soon as possible following the injury will prevent more extensive bruising, helping both the injury and the bruise heal faster.
Here are some steps you can take to make things better:
- Rest the affected area as soon as possible. This is especially relevant in the case of muscle strains or sports injuries.
- Apply a cold compress. If you don’t have the right equipment, a pack of frozen peas will do the trick. Remember: 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off.
- Elevate the injured body part if possible.
Bruises can also be treated with the application of an Arnica extract such as Absolüt Arnica Gel. Children’s* bumps and bruises can be dealt with quickly and effectively with arnica.
Absolüt Arnica Gel doesn’t have an unpleasant scent and will not make you or your clothes smell after application.
*children over 12 years of age
Bruising easily and when to see your doctor
The vast majority of bruises are harmless and the result of carelessness, clumsiness or unfortunate accidents.
There are, however, a number of situations where bruises can be an indication of a more serious underlying medical condition. See a doctor if you:
- Suddenly find that you bruise easily
- Are bruising more extensively without an obvious reason
- See a bruise around your belly button, potentially a sign of acute pancreatitis
- Unexplained bruises or bruising easily can be the result of a platelet or blood coagulation problem or another serious health condition.
What do you think?
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