A bruise is a common skin injury that results in a discoloration of the skin. Blood from damaged blood cells deep beneath the skin collect near the surface of the skin, resulting in a black and blue mark. The common causes for bruising are:
• sports injuries
• car accidents
• blows, such as someone hitting you or being hit by a ball
• medications that thin the blood, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin)
HOW IS BRUISING DIAGNOSED?
A general physician may diagnose a bruise through physical examination. In sever bruising accompanied by pain, an X-ray may be required.
HOW IS BRUISING TREATED?
Most minor bruises will resolve spontanously with treatments done at home to improve pain and swelling. Resting the site, apply ice or cold packs for 10-20 minutes for at least 3 times per day, avoiding hot showeres and beverages during first 48 hours after surgery, wrapping the area with an elastic bandage, keeping the area at or above the level of heart, and suitable pain killers will help reducing the symptoms and quick healing of minor bruises. If a bruise takes more than 2 weeks to recover, if signs of infection develop, new symptoms develop or earlier symptoms worsen, it is better to seek medical advice. Severe bruises, pain and swelling which occur within 30 minutes following an injury may suggest a severe sprain or fracture. Medical management of bruises include the stopping of bleeding, changing or replacing drugs which may cause bruises or treating the disorder which may aggravate bleeding. Proper follow up is important to see any infection occuring at the site of the bruise. Seeking for medical advice is highly suggested if there is severe pain, disability of the site, signs of infection like swelling, warmth, redness and fever, easy bruising. Also, if there is blood visibl in the eye, vision changes difficulty in moving the eye or severe pain after a blow to eye immediete medical help should be seeked.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bruises typically take 2 weeks to disappear, depending on their size.