Bruises happen to everyone. Whether you tend to ‘bruise like a peach’, or it takes a huge hit for your skin to show the effects, none of us enjoy having the discolouration of a bruise on our bodies—not to mention, they can be painful! Bruises are caused by the bursting of small blood vessels named capillaries just underneath the skin’s surface. Even the slightest of outward trauma can cause these tiny vessels to break. This is what causes the purplish discolouration that we know as a bruise.
We all get them—but very few of us know how to speed up the process of getting rid of them. Most people believe that the only way for a bruise to subside is to give it time. Time does indeed heal all, but there are some methods that exist to remove this unpleasant mark from your skin faster than the organic process of waiting it out. Read on to find out how you can get rid of your bruise in a flash!
1. Ice the bruise.
Icing the bruise is one of the best ways to speed up the process for healing a bruise. The faster you apply a cold element to the area after initial trauma, the more effective this method will be.
Use a sealable bag of ice cubes or a bag frozen vegetables. Another option is to use a frozen gel pack. These are very flexible and slightly less harsh than completely frozen ice cubes. You do not want to apply these directly to your skin, however. Wrap them in a thin towel in order to avoid the harshness of the cold on your skin.
Ice the area no more than 15 minutes out of each hour. Applying cold on your skin for too long can lead to even more damaging effects such as frostbite, which you definitely do not want!
2. Apply heat—but not right away.
Icing the area should be immediate. Follow the icing routine for a day or two, and then switch to the application of heat. Ice reduces the rushing of blood to the injured area, whereas heat boosts the circulation in order to encourage the pooled blood to clear away.
Use a warm compress or heating pad and apply to the bruise for 20 minutes about 3-5 times daily until the bruise has subsided. There are some pads that have both a heating and a cooling function to them, which is a handy double bonus!
3. Elevate the area.
Bruises are caused by blood flow to the injured area. Therefore, elevating this part of your body after initial trauma will naturally discourage this reaction from taking place. In this sense, you are using gravity to your advantage in order to reduce the discolouration caused by the rapid blood flow.
This is a great option if the bruise is located on your arm or your leg. If your leg has the injury, lay yourself down on a comfortable surface and place your leg on a pile of pillows. The key is to hold your leg slightly above your heart.
If it is your arm that has the bruise, sit down and prop it up with some pillows or an armrest of sorts. Again, make sure your arm is a couple of inches above your heart.
This method is not particularly useful if the bruise is on your mid-section or back. If it is, try another method instead.
4. Rest your body.
The last thing that you need when you have a new bruise is to cause any more blood flow to the injured area than is absolutely necessary. Try your best to rest your muscles in order to prevent this from happening. Overall—avoid any unnecessary physical movement.
Try watching a TV show, reading a book, or doing a crossword puzzle: anything that involves minimal movement. Also make sure to get plenty of sleep the first night after you get a bruise.
5. Apply vinegar.
Mix together some vinegar and warm water. Dip a cotton ball or wash cloth into the mixture and run it directly onto the bruise. Massage the bruise for about 20-30 minutes and then rinse off the vinegar.
This method works because vinegar encourages blood flow near the surface of the skin, therefore dissipating the blood that has gathered in the concentrated area.
6. Apply parsley.
Parsley is known to reduce inflammation, pain, and the duration of a bruise. You can get fresh parsley leaves from almost any grocery store’s produce section.
To follow this suggestion effectively, crush the parsley leaves into a paste-like consistency and rub this paste directly onto your bruise. Keep the parsley in place after application by wrapping it in an elastic bandage.
7. Make diet changes.
You might find that changing your diet will help you prevent bruising in the first place, which is an ideal strategy. If you find that you bruise very easily, making a change in your diet can prove beneficial to your skin’s sensitivity.
People who bruise even from the slightest of trauma are usually low in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and flavonoids.
Vitamin C strengthens the outer layer of capillary veins, therefore making them less likely to burst during any sort of impact. Increase your Vitamin C intake by eating more bell peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapples, and kiwis. Another option is to take a Vitamin C supplement on a daily basis.
A deficiency in Vitamin K has also been linked to excessive bruising. Foods high in Vitamin K mostly include green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, asparagus and spinach, so try eating these as well.
Flavonoids simply help Vitamin C to be more effective in your body. Get more flavonoids into your system by eating more carrots, berries and citrus fruits.
Increasing your intake of these nutritional sources will help you to avoid bruising in the first place: remember that prevention is the simplest step! Avoiding falling or running into things that cause bruising is also not a bad idea, of course.
The good news is that many ways exist to decrease the duration of your bruise. There are even ways to reduce the likelihood getting them in the first place! So, whether bruises are a daily occurrence for you, or they tend to pop-up once in a blue moon, be sure to consider these tips in order to avoid or reduce this often painful and not-so-pretty marking on your body. Good luck getting rid of your bruise!