6 Ways to Get Rid of Bruises (Home Care & When to See a Doctor)

Updated in April 2024

To get rid of bruising, you can apply a cold compress to the area for the first 48 hours. You can also massage arnica ointment and aloe vera gel in the area to reduce the appearance of bruising.

Normally, bruises go away on their own without any specific treatment. However they may cause soreness and may be visually unpleasing. Bruises can emerge as a result of direct trauma from a fall, bumping against furniture or from a more intense massage or cupping therapy session.

Home remedies may be indicated to speed-up bruise recovery and reduce their appearance. However, you should see a doctor if you notice bruising with no obvious cause or if it very large in size. 

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How to get rid of a bruise

These home remedies can help you eliminate bruises quickly:

1. Apply ice on the bruise

You should apply ice or a cold compress to the affected area in the first 48 hours of the bruise. This decreases blood circulation to the area so that the hematoma does not continue to increase in size. This type of therapy can also help to manage pain in the area, and is fast and easy to arrange at home. 

You can use a bag of ice or frozen veggies for this method, wrapped in a clean towel or pillow case to avoid direct skin contact. You should apply the cold compress in circular movements over the area for 15 to 20 minutes. 

You can also purchase a cold compress bag at the pharmacy to keep on hand. You can toss these in the freezer and then apply  on the skin, being sure to protect the skin from direct contact. 

2. Use a warm compress

To remove bruises that appeared more than 24 hours ago, place a warm water compress on the area so that you can increase local blood circulation and help remove any clots that may have formed. To do this, you should soak a cloth in warm water and then apply it directly on the region, letting it sit for approximately 20 minutes. After one hour, the procedure can be repeated.

There are packs and compresses that can be placed in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. These can be placed directly on the skin, and can easily be found in pharmacies and supermarkets.

3. Homemade arnica ointment

Arnica is a medicinal plant that is commonly used for muscle sprains, scrapes and bruises due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

This ointment is easy to easy and can be kept in a clean jar in the fridge for several days. Before using, you can remove the jar from the fridge, so that it can be applied at room temperature. 


  • 10 mL of liquid paraffin or melted bee wax
  • 10 mL of arnica essential oil

How to prepare

Mix the ingredients and pour into a sealed, clean jar. These ingredients can be purchased at natural health stores. A small dab is sufficient for use. You can apply it in circular movements over the bruise every day for several minutes.

4. Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera contains a substance called aloesin which contains anti-inflammatory action. It can help to decrease purple pigmentation on the skin caused by a bruise. 

Also recommended: Aloe Vera: 12 Health Benefits, Side Effects & Contraindications tuasaude.com/en/aloe-vera

Aloe vera gel can be obtained by extracting the gel from an aloe vera leaf. This gel can be applied directly to the bruise for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinsed off with water. If you do not have access to an aloe vera plant, you can purchase the organic gel at a natural health store. 

5. Rosemary bath

Rosemary contains analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, while the warm bath can activate circulation and promote absorption of blood from the bruise. 

Also recommended: Rosemary Oil: How to Make, 8 Health Benefits & Side Effects tuasaude.com/en/rosemary-oil


  • 4 drops of rosemary essential oil 
  • 1 bowl of water

How to prepare

To benefit from this bath, add the drops of essential oil to the bowl of warm water, and use this to wash your body. You can also draw a bath and add about 7 drops of essential oil and soak in it for 10 minutes. Learn more about the benefits of rosemary and how to make rosemary tea.

6. Over-the-counter ointments

In addition to arnica ointment, sodium heparin-based ointments are great options for reducing blood accumulation from the skin, whether on the arms, legs or other parts of the body. Another ointment widely used to remove purple marks from the skin is Bruizex.

Check-out other home remedies for bruises that you can utilize to speed-up recovery.

When to go to the doctor

It is recommended you seek medical help when you present any of the following:

  • Bruises appear easily on your skin, like from lightly hitting a padded sofa corner
  • Several bruises appear on your body that do not hurt
  • When the bruises can be seen but you do not remember how they appeared
  • When bruises appear and disappear from one day to the next.

If the bruise causes severe pain or if there is another sign that blood circulation has changed in the region, such as swelling of the affected limb or severe redness, you should also go to the hospital to rule out other more serious problems such as thrombosis.

Main causes of bruising

The main causes of bruising are trauma to the affected area, which can occur from sports, falls, dropping heavy objects or car accidents, for example.

However, a bruise may arise due to any number of reasons, such as an injection, when blood is drawn for testing, after suction cup therapy, and even following cosmetic procedures like liposuction.

Usually these bruises are not severe and disappear on their own, but the use of ice and warm compresses can help eliminate them more quickly.

In addition, bruising may also occur as a result of a coagulation disorder, so depending on its extent and severity you should seek medical help because it may indicate severe bleeding. Read more about what causes easy bruising and how to treat it.