Every person in this world gets some or the other kind of bruise on different parts of their body at some point in their life. Since they occur frequently, they have become common and are most often overlooked. It comes in various forms, some blue, some black, and some in other color combinations, each indicating a different effect or injury on the body.

However, while most of the bruises are unharmful, others may require medical attention because the bruise might cause an underlying injury. 

What Is A Bruise?

Under our skin, there are a large number of tiny blood vessels present which are between the skin and the other tissues. These blood vessels break when someone faces an injury due to falling or hitting a body part, or bumping into something stiff. 

As a result, the blood flowing in these vessels spurge out of the vessels and collects under the skin. This collected blood turns the skin color into blue, green, black, or any other dark color. This skin coloration due to the bursting of blood vessels is thus called a bruise.

Sometimes the blood collected forms a lump and therefore becomes more dangerous. 

Types of Bruises:

The bruises generally occur in three forms. These three types of bruises, depending on their location, are:

  1. Subcutaneous Bruises - These are the most ordinary bruises that occur beneath the skin.
  2. Intramuscular Bruises - These bruises occur in between the muscles. 
  3. Periosteal Bruises - These bruises occur near the bones.

Symptoms and Signs of Bruises:

The primary symptom of a bruise is discoloration of the skin. The color of the bruise indicates the age of the bruise. The bruise goes through the following few stages:

  1. Red indicates fresh blood collection under the skin when the bruise is new.
  2. In 1-2 days, the blood ages and loses oxygen, gaining shades of blue and black.
  3. After 5-6 days, the bruise changes into yellow and green shades due to the breakdown of hemoglobin.
  4. After about a week, the skin starts to regain its original color as the bruise heals.

Apart from that, other symptoms of bruises are:

  • Swelling or pain at the body part where the bruise has appeared.
  • Bleeding from gums, noses, or mouth.
  • Blood in the urine, stool, or eyes.

Causes of Bruises:

There are many causes of Bruises. However, some of the main causes that lead to a bruise are:

  • Car, motorbike, or any other vehicular accident
  • Muscle strain
  • Sports injuries like weight training etc.
  • Head Injury
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Being hit by something such as a ball or stone
  • Medicines used for thinning the blood, like aspirin or warfarin
  • Concussions
  • Unexplained reasons
  • Taking medications like chemotherapy or suffering from liver failure, Vasculitis, vitamin deficiencies, Cancer, etc.

Apart from these, age matters a lot too. Elder people are more likely to get bruises frequently and quite frequently. The skin becomes thinner as someone ages, and the blood vessels become more fragile. So even a minor hit or blow may cause the blood vessels to break, and due to the thin layer of the skin, it tends to show more easily.

How to Cure a Bruise?

In most cases, the bruise is not a big concern and can even be treated at home using the following practices: 

  • First, calm the person down and rest the bruised area.
  • Apply ice packs for at least 24 hours (apply for 15 minutes and then break for 5 minutes) on the injured area to reduce swelling and pain. If you do not have an ice pack, take some ice, put it in a plastic bag, wrap it in a thick cloth or towel, and use it. 

Please do not put the ice pack directly; always have it covered with a cloth to put on the bruise.

  • Not putting too much pressure or rubbing the bruised area
  • In case of a bruise on a leg or arm, lifting it may cause some relief in pain
  • Take over some pain relief medicines on prior approval of the doctor

However, the bruise is dangerous, and thus immediate medical help should be taken in in any of the following cases:

  • Bruises occur way more frequently than before.
  • If a bruise lasts more than two weeks or does not entirely disappear after 3-4 weeks.
  • If bruises appear for no reason at all.
  • If a lump appears in the bruised area (also called Hematoma).
  • Pain and swelling are higher.
  • If bruises appear in the eye.
  • Having trouble breathing due to bruises on the head or neck.
  • If another injury and a bruise occur, like a broken bone or muscle-related injury, etc.
  • If the joints have blocked and you are unable to move them.
  • If you are on blood thinning medications.


Thus, though widespread, the bruise is a skin injury that people know little about. As a result, they take it too lightly or sometimes too seriously when the case is the opposite.

Thus it is essential to know the details of what pertains to bruises and how they should be cured in different cases for better health.

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