Published: 09/03/2014 - Updated: 07/22/2017
Bruises or mild contusions occur as a result of an injury or a hit that causes the blood vessels in the area to rupture. This leaves, as a result, a mark below the skin.
In the beginning a bruise is a red or rosy color. It later, however, takes on a purple or blue coloration, and after the passage of a few days, turns between green and yellow, until it finally completely disappears.
Bruises are also known as hematomas or ecchymosis. If they appear frequently, or for no apparent reason (a hit or an injury), you should consult a physician as this could be a health problem.
Recommendations for treating hematomas
Immediate attention to injuries could prevent the appearance of bruises.
Apply cold: If you suffered an injury, applying ice to the area could prevent the appearance of a bruise, and it could also eliminate the pain. Cold causes blood vessels to contract and prevents internal bleeding from the ruptured blood vessels, and inflammation. It is advisable to apply the ice for intermittent periods of 15 minutes, without applying heat to the area. Do this for the first 24 hours after the injury.
Apply heat: Applying heat is recommended only after the first 24 hours. A bag of hot water, for example, can help relieve a painful bruise, calming and eliminating the pain. Heat, contrary to cold, favors circulation by dilating blood vessels.
Elevate your leg: If the injury was sustained on the foot, or on your leg or thigh, it is a good idea to elevate your leg, or get on your feet and walk, to prevent the blood from “pooling”. This reduces your chances of a bruise forming.
Arnica Montana: this is a plant with very useful analgesic properties for preventing the appearing of hematomas. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory, perfect for his and mild contusions. It is usually used externally as an ointment ingredient.
Aloe vera: this plant is recognized for its benefits for the skin. It is also antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and promotes skin regeneration. For hematomas, the gel can be applied directly to the affected area daily, two or three times a day, to accelerate healing.
Calendula: in order to take advantage of calendula’s properties for bruises, you can prepare a calendula infusion with a handful of flowers to a cup of boiling water. Let steep and cool. Moisten a cotton ball with the infusion and softly rub over the affected area two or three times a day. This process promotes healing. You can also you a calendula-based cream.
Hamamelis (Witch-hazel): this plant has anti-inflammatory and stringent properties, helps alleviate pain in bruises and swelling. Use witch-hazel to moisten the bruise area to help accelerate healing.
Lavender: this is especially effective if applied as soon as possible to the area that has hit, used as a cold compress. Make a lavender infusion and cool it down with the help of some ice, and apply to the affected area with a moistened rag. This diminishes the possibility of a bruise appearing.
Bruises and nutrient deficiencies
The appearance of bruises could be related to certain vitamin deficiencies, like that of vitamin C, vitamin K, and minerals like zinc.
Vitamin C raises plasma and white blood cell concentrations, which, thanks to optimum immune system functioning, reduces the possibility of bruises forming.
Vitamin C is also associated with the production of collagen, a protein which gives strength to blood vessels, improving circulation. Foods rich in vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, like citrus fruits, red and green peppers, spinach, tomatoes, etc.
Vitamin K is involved in coagulation, meaning that this deficiency could provoke hemorrhages. It is found in vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, but also in eggs, red meats, fish, as well as in grains and fruit like kiwi and bananas.
And lastly, zinc helps prevent the appearance of bruises and well as accelerating their healing. The recommended daily dose of this mineral for adults is 15 mg. It is found in wheat bran and wheat sprouts, as well as in oysters and sunflower seeds.
Medications and bruises
Some pharmaceuticals can promote the appearance of bruises, like aspirin, for example, as well as other anticoagulant medications, which is frequently used to prevent cardiac problems.
Other pharmaceuticals which could promote the appearance of hematomas are a few that are used in asthma and depression treatment. These can interfere with the coagulation process under the skin, promoting the formation of bruises.