Most bruises happen by accident. And most bruises will go away by itself after a while. But you can speed up the healing process, reduce the pain, and ensure those bruises doesn’t leave a permanent mark on your skin. Home remedies for bruises involve ice, some heat followed by certain herbal ointments or creams to get rid of skin marks.
Why Do Bruises happen?
Your skin has small blood vessels under its surface when it gets damaged due to an accident (usually) the blood from these tiny blood vessels leaks into nearby tissues and this becomes visible in the form of bruises. Initially, bruises appear to be black and blue in color but as it ages the blood cells slowly breaks down and the colors keep changing. Your body naturally heals itself from a bruise in 10 to 14 days time period depending upon the severity of the damage caused. If you want to speed up this healing process were are here to help.
Reduce the Damage
Bruises can become large when you leave it unattended. Apply ice immediately to the area of the body which was under attack. This way you can minimise the level of blood that seeps through the surrounding tissues and minimises the overall size of the bruise. Take some ice wrap it around in a clean cloth and apply it to the affected area for 10 minutes. If you do not have access to ice, you can make use of cold water. Soak a clean cloth in cold water and lay it over the affected area for 10 minutes. Give a little break after 10 minutes of application like 20 to 30 minutes and reapply the ice pack or cold cloth, so that you are not overcooling the skin surface.
Alternatively, you can use a frozen bag of corn kernels or peas.
You can reduce the severity of the bruise in hands and legs by wrapping an elastic bandage over the affected area immediately. Tight bandages will lower the levels of blood leaking to the surrounding tissues.
Minimise the blood flow to the affected region. This can be done with a simple trick. If you have bruised your legs, settle on a couch or a lay down over the bed or floor, use some pillows to lift your legs above heart level. If you have injured your hands, you can immediately raise your hands above heart level to reduce bleeding or blood flow to the affected part.
Bring the Circulation back
Cooling down the bruise for up to 24 hours helps to reduce the severity of it, but after this time period, you need to bring back the blood circulation in place to clear away the clotted blood. This can be done with some heat. Use a hot compress or a heating pad and apply it for 20 minutes multiple times a day.
If you are using a warm compress, use the ones that can be heated in a microwave like Thera-Temp Microwavable Moist Heat Pack. Apply the compress over or under the bruised area.
Comfrey leaves are traditionally known to reduce swelling and catalyze the healing process. Just boil some fresh comfrey leaves in water for 10 minutes and strain out the leaves. Use a washcloth or gauze pad and soak it into the solution, apply it over the bruise for 30 minutes.
Mix one or two tablespoons of vinegar or apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water, soak a washcloth into the solution and apply it over the bruise. Vinegar increases the blood circulation, so it helps to clear out the clogged blood in the area. Alternatively, you can also use Witch hazel in place of vinegar which has the similar effect.
Clear off the skin marks
Arnica is a traditional herb with anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling properties. Apply some arnica cream over the affected area before going to sleep to bring down skin marks and swelling in the region.
Many studies have revealed that parsley leaves reduces inflammation, pain, and fade away bruise marks more rapidly. Take a few fresh parsley leaves, crush it down and spread it over the bruised zone. After this, you can wrap around the affected area with an elastic bandage.
St.John’s wort is usually prescribed by psychologists and psychiatrists for depression in the capsule form. But, St.John’s wort oil is well known for its wound healing properties as well. It works by shrinking the tissue and capillaries thereby it lowers the damage caused to the skin. If possible rub a small amount of this oil over the affected area immediately after a bruise. Additionally, you can use this oil every day till the bruise clears off.
Vitamin-K plays a vital role in clotting the blood. Apply some vitamin-K cream or gel over the bruise which is available in most drugstores. This will reduce the blood leaking to nearby tissues and reduces the severity of the injury.
When to Seek Doctor’s Help?
Bruises usually appear due to an injury or an accident, but when a bruise appears mysteriously on any part of your body for no apparent reason, then it needs to be brought to your Doctor’s attention. Additionally, bruises will fade away within a period of two weeks time (Max), if it doesn’t fade away on its own or if it gives out severe pain combined with fever then its better to consult a Doctor.
Stay away from aspirins
When you have a bruise or an injury don’t take aspirin tablets without Doctor’s advice. Aspirin is a blood thinning agent, so it will increase the blood loss and also increase the blood leakage to neighboring tissues in case of a bruise. Ibuprofen which is found in Advil and Naproxen which is found in Aleve has similar blood thinning property as aspirin.
If you have severe pain in the bruised area and you want to soothe it, then you can take Acetaminophen which is found in Tylenol.
Healing from the inside
Bromelain: This is a vital ingredient found in pineapple known for its anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties. Take 250 to 500 milligrams of bromelain supplement after every meal till the bruise fades away.
Arnica: We mentioned about using arnica cream or gel over the bruised area before. You can also use the homeopathic version of arnica pills to speed up the healing process. You can start by taking 4 doses of pills a day and reduce the dosages two to three pills a day as the bruises start to clear off.
How to Prevent?
You cannot become 100 percent bruise proof because they happen by accident. however, you can reduce the instances of accidents by being more conscious about your movement and by being more aware of your surroundings.
Some people get bruises more easily over the others, this may be due to Vitamin-C deficiency. Regular intake of vitamin-C ensures healthier nerves, and strong capillaries so that you do not leak blood more easily when an accident occurs. Citrus fruits are great natural source of Vitamin-C have at least one citrus fruit a day. Alternatively, you can take it in supplement form as well.
Your body needs a chemical compound called flavonoids for better functioning of Vitamin-C. Natural sources of flavonoids include carrots, apricots, and citrus fruits. Doctor’s claim grape-seed extract to be a rich source of flavonoids. You can take 20 to 50 milligrams of this every day.
Apart from Vitamin-C, Vitamin-K deficiency is also known to be a primary reason why you might be having a bruise very easily. Vitamin-K is naturally found in broccoli, sprouts, leafy vegetables. Include them in your regular diet and you can also make use of a supplement. But, natural source is always the best source.