Bruises are caused on the body when it hits some object hard; which results in swelling and contusion of the affected area. It is essentially a spontaneous response of the body in order to protect it further and heal itself by getting more blood to flow in that area.
A bruise starts with a swelling which changes in colour from the initial blue or yellow in a few days time and in case of bigger bruises, it turns to purple before healing completely. Depending upon the size, a bruise may last from a few days to a few weeks.
However, there are methods by which this duration can be reduced. As a first aid, we must apply a cold compress or ice on the hurt spot immediately for about 5 to 10 minutes. This would freeze the damaged tissue and hence would avoid inflammation as it slows down the flow of blood thus avoiding Hematoma (the formation of the bruise).
After the initial first aid using ice, we can then take steps which would thereafter help in healing the wound faster and even prevent the discolouration of the skin.
Methods by which bruise formation can be avoided
- Keeping the bruised area elevated – This is to ensure that the flow of blood is lesser in the bruised area, thereby reducing the effects of discolouration. Therefore, in case you have a bruise on any of your legs, first keep some ice on it for about 5 minutes and then keep that area slightly elevated as you settle down into the couch by resting your injured leg on a few cushions or the backrest of the couch. In a similar manner if the bruise is in the arms, just keep the am slightly above the level of the heart. If however, the bruise is anywhere on the torso, so all you can do is apply an ice pack for some more time at frequent intervals.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines – if you have some OTC (over the counter) medicines like Ibuprofen or acetaminophen handy then you can take a dose immediately so that it stops the inflammation on its tracks. At the same time, do not ever use aspirin because it would make the blood thinner and it will flow more to the injured that area; which will prove to be counterproductive.
- Take adequate rest – If you start moving, a higher amount of blood will flow which will further cause inflammation. Therefore, it would be best to take rest. This way, you would help the healing process by ensuring that the supply of blood to the bruised area does not increase and cause inflammation.
Home remedies for reducing inflammation
Parsley – Parsley has some very good anti-inflammatory properties and can heal the wound much faster if used in a timely manner. All you have to do is to crush some leaves and apply them over the area. You can tie it up with the light bandage so that parsley remains in place. By doing so overnight, the pain would certainly go away and it will also ease out the inflammation and discolouration.
Potatoes – You can also use a compress made out of boiled potatoes after pealing and meshing them up. Mix it with a bit of plain water and honey and apply it on the affected area after for about 15 minutes. Repeat this often.
Vinegar – Take a piece of cotton wool and soak it in vinegar; then place it over the bruise and tie it up lightly. Vinegar will improve the circulation of blood and help in removing the internal clots; which leads to faster healing.
Onions– Onions have an inherent anti-inflammatory property and therefore are often used to cure bruises. To use them just place a few slices of onion over the bruised spot and cover it up with a cabbage leaf; then tie a light bandage overnight.