Any individual who is rushing about doing heaps of things can bang into something or someone if they are in too much of rush. Kids are often in a hurry to play sports or want to be first in line. So, all of them are susceptible to develop bruises.
What is Bruise?
Bruises are caused due to heavy push or pull or being hit by something like a ball or when you are pinched hard by someone or your finger has been trapped in the pantry door when you are trying to shut the door quickly. The small blood vessels i.e capillaries in or under the skin break and some blood escape from them and forms a bruise. These blood vessels heal quickly so that they do not go on bleeding but the blood is already leaked and stays under the skin around the place which is hurt.
How it feels like
- It feels like pain and swelling in the affected region.
- Skin becomes red, later black and then turns blue
- Sores around the area of the bruise
What are the Causes of a Bruise?
A bruise happens when a small blood vessel just under the surface of skin breaks and skin is not broken therefore the blood leaks into the extra cellular cavity. The blood vessels then form a clot that plugs the leak.
Here are the various types of bruises
- Hematoma: Raised bruise with swelling
- Purpura: This occurs without injury
- Ecchymosis: It is a flat bruise
- Petechiae: These are tiny red or purple colored spots that look like a bruise when they are clustered together.
Daily life things that Cause Bruises
- Bone fracture, muscle strain, and sprain
- An injury like – Falling, dropping something on the foot or hand
- With the growing age, the skin becomes thin and less fat under the skin. This makes the skin to bruise easily.
Medications that make it easy to bruise such as
- Antiplatelet agents
- Corticosteroids (topical and systemic)
Various conditions that may lead to bruising
- Deficiency of vitamins B12, C and K
- Liver and spleen related diseases
What are the Risk Factors for Bruises?
Some risk factors for bruises include
- People who exercise vigorously such as weight lifters and athletes can get bruised easily. Bruising results from the microscopic tears in the blood vessels. In athletes, it may also occur from direct trauma.
- Random or unexplained bruises that occur without any reason may result from blood-thinning medicines
- Bruises occur frequently in elder people because the skin becomes thin and the tissues that support the blood vessels become more fragile.
- Bruises over the hands and feet occur when the skin is thin and if it is damaged by sun exposure.
- It occurs more commonly due to the deficiency of vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bruises?
- In the initial stage, the bruise may be reddish in color and within a few hours, it turns blue or dark purple in color. After a few days when the healing process starts, it turns yellow or green in color.
- Sometimes these are painful and the pain goes away as the color fades.
- Risk of infection is little
- There may be tenderness and itching
- If the bruise occurs on the head then the person may experience blackouts, nausea, vomiting, etc.
Healing Time and its Color According to the Healing Process
It takes a few weeks for bruises to disappear completely. The color transition looks like
- Red: Following the trauma, there will be a red mark that becomes more apparent.
- Purple, blue or black: within the 24 hours of trauma, it turns blue, dark purple or black in color.
- Yellow: After 2 to 3 days when the body starts reabsorbing the blood then the bruise turns into yellow colour.
- Light Brown: At the 10th or 11th day, the bruise fades into light brown color and then disappears completely.
How a Bruise can be Diagnosed?
The bruises can be diagnosed easily on the clinical basis but to evaluate the reason some investigations may be required.
- It the bruises occur for no reason then the doctor may advise for a blood test as to look for a bleeding-related disorder.
- Bruises under the various stages of healing may alert a doctor to the possibility of physical abuse.
- If there is any swelling along with bruise then the doctor can get an x-ray report of the affected area to make sure that there are no broken bones.
What are the Complications of Bruises?
Most of the bruises get healed without any problem. If the bruise is very large and the body may have trouble getting the blood flow back to the area, then it causes avascular necrosis and may lead to the death of the affected part.
Home Remedies for Bruises:
Here are some effective home remedies to get rid of the discoloration of bruising:
- Cold Compression: An ice pack or a bag of frozen peas should be applied on the affected area for 20 to 25 minutes, after every one hour in order to speed up the healing process as it reduces swelling by constricting blood vessels in response to the cold. Don’t apply it directly. Always wrap the ice in a towel.
- Elevation of the Affected Part: If the bruise occurs on the larger area of the foot or the leg, the leg should be kept elevated during the first 24 hours after the injury.
- Epsom Salt: Take a bath with added Epsom salt as it relaxes the muscles and helps in reducing the pain as well as swelling associated with the bruises.
- Pineapple: Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that helps to dissolve the blood clots and reduces the swelling associated with the bruises.
- Tea Bags: Tea contains tannins that help in constricting the blood vessels. Apply Green tea or black tea bags directly on the bruises which help to reduce the discoloration from bruising.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is well known for its wound healing properties that speed up the wound healing process. Apply its gel directly on the skin.