Can You Do Anything To Help A Bruise Get Better?

Published: April 28, 2014
Dear Can You Do Anything To Help A Bruise Get Better?,

Is there anything you can do to help a bruise get better faster, or do you just have to wait it out?

Dear Can You Do Anything To Help A Bruise Get Better?,

A bruise is the result of small amounts of blood that leak into the tissues under your skin when blood vessels that are near the skin’s surface are broken. The trapped blood is what causes the discoloration of the skin – sometimes appearing blackish, bluish or even greenish in color.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if your skin isn’t broken and you don’t need a bandage you can help the healing of the bruise if you:

  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Apply ice or a cold pack several times a day for a day or two after the injury.
  • Rest the bruised area, if possible.
  • Consider acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) for pain relief, or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) for pain relief and to reduce swelling.

The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing your doctor if:

  • You have unusually large or painful bruises — particularly if your bruises seem to develop for no known reasons.
  • You begin to bruise easily.
  • You're experiencing abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from your nose or gums, or you notice blood in your eyes, stool or urine.
  • You have no history of bruising, but suddenly experience bruises.

Everyone gets bruised now and then – an accidental bump into furniture, playing contact sports and more can all result in the occasional bruise. However, if you are ever bruised because someone else has hurt you (a parent, significant other, or anyone else) it is important to tell a trusted adult right away such as your doctor or a counselor at school so you can get the help you need to deal with whatever abusive situation might be going on.