What Is A Bruise And How Do You Help It Heal?

What causes a bruise to form and what are some possible ways to prevent bruising?

We may wake up with one on our leg and wonder how it got there. Maybe we bump into a wall with our knee and the next day one springs up. Sometimes in the middle of the night, we stub our toe on the coffee table and we may get one on our foot. We all get them and we have all had one. What are they? Bruises. Bruises, or contusions, are those black, blue, purple or red marks that we get on a part of our body that has experienced recent trauma. For example, putting on a pair of ice skates for the first time and then falling on your butt may constitute trauma and cause a bruise to form.

In essence, bruises occur when our soft tissue is injured in some form, causing the tiny capillaries and veins that are located right beneath our skin to break. These broken veins and capillaries release red blood cells. It is these released red blood cells that collect under our skin causing a bruise to form.

Once our soft tissue is injured, the bruise seems to undergo some type of metamorphosis, in terms of color. This process is called metabolizing, which is a fancy way of saying that your body is attempting to heal itself. You may notice that when you first experience an injury, the area will be red and, oftentimes, a bump may form. A few days later, as the metabolizing process starts churning, that bruise will begin turning a darker blue or black. A week later, the bruise will begin to look yellow or green and then slowly taper off until it is completely gone. Of course, the time that it takes for a bruise to heal varies depending on the severity of the injury as well as the person. Also, depending on where the bruise is located, it may take longer. There have been studies which show that the lower the bruise is on your body (for example, your legs are lower than your arms), the longer it will take to heal. You will want to keep an eye on the bruise, however, as it should be gone within two to two and a half weeks. Any bruise that lingers for longer than that should be checked out by your primary care physician.

If you want to prevent easy bruising, you may want to incorporate more Vitamin C into your diet Of course, before making any change to your diet, it is best to always consult with your doctor. It has been said that those people with a Vitamin C deficiency are more prone to bruising due to weaker blood vessels. A simple way to incorporate more Vitamin C in your diet would be to eat more fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens like kale.

If you would like a bruise to heal quickly, the best thing you can do is after experiencing an injury or trauma, place an ice pack over the bruised area for at least ten minutes and up to thirty minutes, depending on the severity of the trauma. After that, there's not much you can do to help heal the bruise""just cover it up.

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