How To Get Rid of Bruises in 3 Simple Steps

Clinical review: Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
February 2022

Bruises occur due to an accumulation of blood under the skin. They can be due to trauma such as a fall, bumping into furniture or even after a kiss. These marks are purple at first, and become yellow, greenish, brown as they heal.

Usually bruises disappear gradually without the need for treatment but can be painful and not aesthetically pleasing, so massaging the region gently with an anti-inflammatory ointment, such as diclofenac, is a good option to help eliminate the bruising more quickly.

However, there are other simple ways to eliminate bruises:

1. Apply ice on the bruise

This is a very simple and quick way to get rid of bruises and consists of applying an ice cube over the bruise as soon as it appears. The ice will help to decrease the blood supply to the region, thus reducing the bruise. 

You should apply the ice cube in circular movements. If the cold causes you pain, you should wrap the ice in a fine, clean cloth such as a dish rag. You should apply the ice over the region for 3 to 5 minutes and then wait one hour before repeating the procedure.

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. Apply an ointment for bruises

In addition to diclofenac ointment, sodium heparin-based ointments are great options for removing blood from under your skin, either from the arms, legs or other parts of the body.

Homemade ointments can also be used such as natural aloe vera and arnica gel, which have anti-inflammatory properties and facilitate healing, thereby eliminating the purple bruising.

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.

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em February de 2022. Clinical review por Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse, em February de 2022.

References

  • KRIPLANI, Priyanka; GUARVE, Kumar; BAGHAEL, Uttam S. Arnica montana L. - a plant of healing: review. J Pharm Pharmacol. Vol.69, n.8. 925-945, 2017
  • AGÊNCIA NACIONAL DE VIGILÂNCIA SANITÁRIA. Farmacopeia Brasileira. 2018. Available on: <http://portal.anvisa.gov.br/documents/33832/259456/Suplemento+FFFB.pdf/478d1f83-7a0d-48aa-9815-37dbc6b29f9a>. Access in 16 Dec 2019
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  • FREITAS, V.S.; RODRIGUES, R.A.F.; GASPI, F.O.G. Propriedades farmacológicas da Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. Rev. Bras. Pl. Med. Vol.16, n.2. 299-307, 2014
Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.