A bruise, which in medical world is known as contusion, is a colorful spot on our skin that develops as a result of an injury. When you suddenly hit your body into something hard, the tiny vessels that are under your skin start bleeding, which we see on our skin in the form of marks in black and blue shades.
A bruise forms very quickly, often in just a few minutes, but it sometimes needs even a few weeks before it disappears. A bruise is nothing serious, but it looks unattractive and it’s often painful. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple home methods which will let you get rid of your nasty bruise much faster.
Why Do We Get Bruises
It has already been mentioned that a bruise develops when small vessels under our skin get damaged and bleed. However, some people are more susceptible to bruising than others. Often, it’s simply genetics to blame, but a few other factors may put you in the risk group of getting a bruise more easily.
Our diet is crucial here as if you consume a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, your blood vessels will be strong and won’t get damaged so easily. You need to provide your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals, bioflavonoids are extremely important, thus, include in your daily diet berries, green, leafy vegetables, onions, and garlic. These food products will make your blood capillaries strong.
Similarly, have a closer look at drugs you take regularly as some of them may increase the risk of getting bruises. For example, contraceptives or popular aspirin can weaken your blood vessels and thin out the blood. Fish oils or ginko, which are popular supplements, may have a similar effect.
You may have noticed that in the past you didn’t get bruises so easily. Unfortunately, as we get older our blood vessels become weaker. Our skin is also more susceptible to bruising because it gets less elastic. Skin with sunburn also gets bruises more easily.
Blood vessels may tear and burst as a result of high pressure. Therefore, intensive exercising is another factor which may increase the risk of bruising.
Very rarely frequent bruising may be the symptom of some life threatening diseases such as leukemia or hemophilia. Thus, go to your doctor if you develop bruises often, but you don’t know where you get them from.
The Best Home Remedies for Bruises
Have a look at various methods which will help you get rid of bruises fast. Remember, though, that it’s important to react to a bruise as quickly as possible, just after the injury. If your skin has already started changing colors, the recommended solutions might be less effective.
It’s probably the best known solution to bruises or other injuries. Wrap a few ice cubes in a soft cloth and place them on the bruise for a few minutes, but no longer than twenty minutes as it can irritate your skin then. The damaged blood vessels should stop bleeding and the bruise won’t develop when ice calms the skin down.
It’s crucial to react quickly on a bruise so if you don’t have any ice cubes in your freezer, use whatever you will find close at hand. You can soak a cotton cloth in a very cold water and apply it on your skin for a few minutes. Or you can try frozen vegetables, but remember to wrap them in a soft cloth before you put them on your bruise.
Whatever you choose, apply the ice a few times a day to effectively prevent a bruise.
2. Hot Compress
Instead of ice you can also try a hot compress. Fill a bottle with hot water and apply it on the affected area of the skin. You can also try to follow a cold compress with a hot one. It will reduce the blood clot so the blood won’t flow so quickly to the tissues.
Instead of hot water, you can also try a moist heat therapy as it often turns out to be effective. Use Jacuzzi, take a hot bath, or soak a towel in hot water and place it on the irritated area of your skin.
Another simple, but surprisingly effective method of preventing a bruise or making it smaller. Potatoes have wonderful antiseptic properties because they are rich in alkaline juices. Therefore, if your bruise is swollen, a raw potato can significantly reduce it.
All you need to do is peel a potato, grate it or cut it in slices and apply it on your bruise. You can bandage it and stay like that for a few hours. It should help you to get rid of your bruise fast.
Ginger has a wonderful effect on our skin due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. If you experienced some injury and you want to limit the risk of getting a bruise, you should use it both internally and externally.
Boil a few slices of fresh ginger in water for ten minutes. Throw out the slices, add there some honey and drink your home made ginger tea. Another option is to cut a few slices of fresh ginger and apply it on your skin to cure the bruise faster.
Onion has amazing inflammatory properties so if your bruise is swollen or painful, it should quickly bring you some relief. When it’s highly probable that a bruise will develop on your skin, peel a raw onion, slice or grate it and apply it on the affected skin area.
It’s good to bandage it and leave it for a few hours. It may turn out that the best and the cheapest solution to your bruise you will find in your kitchen.
6. Cayenne Pepper
A powerful ingredient of cayenne pepper is called capsaicin. It has been scientifically proved that it can successfully alleviate pain and make the bruise smaller.
According to Chinese medicine you ought to blend one part of ground cayenne pepper with five parts of melted Vaseline. Gently rub the mixture into your bruise and leave it for a few minutes. After that rinse it with warm water. Black pepper can be used instead of cayenne pepper too.
7. Honey and Sugar
If your bruise is accompanied by a cut, you should take some measures which will prevent the bacteria growth in your injury. Honey or sugar will be just perfect as they have wonderful antibacterial qualities and may also make the bruise less visible.
Prepare some hot honey or sugar syrup, but make sure it’s not too hot, and apply it on your bruise. Bandage it and wait until it dries, then you can rinse it off with warm water. Not only your bruise will get lighter, but also your skin will be smoother and well moisturized.
Coffee is rich in two important compounds, which are caffeine and adenosine. The first one is widely known for its antioxidant qualities while the other one can be helpful in treating wounds.
In case of a bruise prepare a thick paste by mixing some ground black coffee with a small amount of water. Apply it on the bruise, bandage it and leave it for a few hours. Do it a few days in a row and you should get rid of your bruise quickly.
9. Turmeric and Tamarind
Turmeric is rich in a compound known as curcumin, which has a great antibacterial effect, it can shorten the healing process and alleviate pain. Tamarind has amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, if you mix these two wonderful ingredients, you will get a powerful solution for your bruise.
You will prepare a thick paste by adding some turmeric and tamarind powder to a small amount of water. Heat it for a while and place the mixture on the affected skin area. Wrap it in a soft cloth, wait until it dries and then wash it off with warm water. It’s a well-known recipe in Asian countries, which should help you eliminate your bruise quickly.
Grapes are wonderful fruit, not only because they are strong antioxidants and have an anti-inflammatory effect, but also because they have powerful astringent properties, which means that they can make your blood vessels stop bleeding by drawing the tissue together.
All you must do is get some juice from the crushed grape seeds, which you should apply on the irritated skin fragment. For even better results drink a glass of grape juice twice a day. It should help you heal your skin faster.
Chocolate may help you reduce your bruise because it has the ability to control the flow of blood. It happens like that because chocolate contains cocoa bio active compounds, which can effectively reduce inflammation and make our skin smoother.
It’s important, though, to purchase top quality chocolate with the highest content of cocoa and not sugar. Melt it first and if it’s not too hot anymore, apply it on your bruise. It should dry so you can cover it with a bandage or a soft cloth. Once it dries, rinse it off with warm water. You should see the difference after the very first application.
12. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is crucial for our blood tissues if we want our bruises to cure faster. If you noticed that you develop bruises easily, include in your daily diet a lot of leafy vegetables, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts as they are rich in this powerful compound.
If you need an immediate remedy to your bruise, buy at your chemist a cream that contains vitamin K and massage it into your bruise. It should reduce it in a few days of a regular use.
Flowers and leaves of marigold, which is also called calendula, is a well-known remedy to muscle sores or sprains, but it can also help in case of a bruise, especially when it’s painful.
Prepare marigold tea from fresh flowers and leaves. When it’s not too hot anymore, soak a soft cloth in it and apply it on your bruise, a sprain, or a muscle that hurts. Your skin will absorb it and your injury should cure faster.
Vinegar can help you treat the bruises faster because it boosts the blood flow. You can use it in the form of a compress, which might turn out to be very useful in case of children, whose skin is too delicate to apply a hot or cold compress.
Add a small amount of vinegar to a glass of warm water, soak a soft cloth in it and place it on your bruise. Leave it for about fifteen minutes. Repeat the process a few times a day for quick results.
15. Citrus Fruit
Vitamin C is a common compound of medicines which are used to treat skin pigmentation-related conditions, such as hyper pigmentation, tissue inflammation, or photoaging. Thus, it can also be helpful in curing bruises.
The best way to provide your organism with a proper amount of vitamin C is by a good diet. You should choose citrus fruit, such as pineapples, papayas, or mangoes because they are also rich in bromelain, an enzyme which has the ability to break down the blood clot, which will also reduce the swelling.
Papaya fruit also contains a wonderful enzyme called papain, which is often used to cure different skin disorders. Make sure that your diet includes citrus fruit, but if you don’t like it, consider supplementation.
You may apply the pulp of citrus fruit on your bruise to reduce it faster. Lemon juice is effective too, but remember that you shouldn’t apply citrus fruit directly on your skin if there is some cut on the skin as it may cause further irritation and smarting.
Another cheap solution that you will find in your kitchen. Cabbage leaves contain lactic acid, which may successfully eliminate swelling and pain, which accompany your bruise. What’s more a cabbage can also reduce inflammation.
To let cabbage leaves do their work, you just need to take the outer leaves from a white cabbage, put them in hot water for a while and then apply them on the affected skin. Let them cool on your bruise.
17. An Egg and Silver
A black eye is a type of bruise too and you have probably wondered if you can try any of the described methods to your eye area. Luckily, there is an old, traditional way of curing bruises which is just perfect for a black eye.
Just boil one egg hard, peel it and wrap it when it’s still hot in a cheesecloth. Put there a silver coin too. Rub your black eye gently as long as you can feel that the egg is still warm.
When you open the cheesecloth, you should observe that the silver coin has a purple and black color now. It’s believed that the egg and silver coin take the colors away from the bruise.
18. A Bandage
Just after you hit your body into something hard and you know that the bruise will appear, put an elastic bandage on the affected skin area. It will stop the blood leakage in your tissues and it’s probable that the bruise won’t develop.
Even if the bruise appears, it shouldn’t spread or it will cure quickly. You can tie a soft cloth around your bruise if you don’t have an elastic bandage.
If you know which herbs to use and how, they can be as effective as pharmaceuticals, but as they are natural, they are also safer. In the past people cured all the conditions with herbs only, today, however, we often forget about their wonderful properties.
A herb which may turn out to be helpful in curing bruises is garden thyme, and more specifically, its green part. Prepare thyme tea by bowling the herb in water for a few minutes. You can soak a soft cloth in it and apply it on your bruise or add the tea to a hot bath. It should reduce your bruises quickly.
You can use comfrey the same way as thyme. Prepare tea from fresh or dried leaves and apply it on your bruise either in the form of a warm compress or add it to your bath. This exceptional herb can bring you immediate relief from pain, swelling, and inflammation.
You may also try a comfrey ointment, which you will get at your pharmacy. Massage it gently into your skin twice a day to get rid of your bruise quickly. It’s possible to get an extract from a comfrey root on the market, which has the same, wonderful properties.
If you suffer from frequent bruises, you should include parsley in your diet as it contains a lot of vitamin K, which is essential for our blood vessels. You can also apply it directly on your bruise. Just crush some parsley leaves and place them on the bruise. Tie it with an elastic bandage and you should quickly forget about your bruise.
Try fenugreek seeds too as they may also be an effective remedy to bruises. Crush some seeds and boil them in water for a few minutes. Soak a cloth in it and place it on your bruise. It’s good if the cloth is hot.
20. Essential Oils
If you want to get rid of a bruise quickly, it’s important to halt the blood leakage from your vessels. Essential oils may do the job well as they can improve the circulation of your blood.
Arnica oil, which comes from Arnica flowers, is probably the best essential oil you can choose to heal bruises. It has strong, anti-inflammatory qualities so it can cure various injuries effectively. You should dilute a small amount of oil in water and apply a cold compress on the skin before you rub the oil in your bruise.
Other essential oils which are powerful weapons in the fight against bruises include rosemary, lavender, geranium, and jojoba oils. You can prepare a mixture of all of them or use them separately. Just gently massage a chosen oil in your skin.
You may also try frankincense, lemongrass, myrrh, fennel, or cypress oils. They all feature anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and soothing properties. Essential oils should repair the damaged skin and even if your bruises won’t disappear completely, for sure they will be less visible.
Extra Tips to Get Rid of Bruises Fast
The most important rule when it comes to fighting a bruise is to react as quickly as you can, even before a bruise develops. Only then the above described methods are really effective.
Remember that you can try different methods for better results, but wait two hours before you start a new therapy. When your bruise appeared on your arm or leg, try to hold it up as often as possible because it can speed up the healing process.
You may expose the bruise to the sun for a few minutes as it can fade the colors of it faster. However, in case of sunburnt, the effect will be just the opposite and your bruise may be more visible.
If you use a hot and cold compress, it’s worth massaging your skin for a while afterwards. Remember, though, to do it gently. If your bruise is painful and you need a painkiller, don’t choose aspirin as it can weaken the vessels of your blood and the bruise may get bigger.
When you have the impression that the home remedies don’t work, you can also try some over-the-counter solutions. Hirudoidcream is probably the most common ointment for bruises. It will promote the regeneration of your tissues and it will quickly eliminate swelling. There are cases that a bruise may disappear after just one day as the ointment quickly penetrates into your skin.
Another helpful remedy is Arnicare Gelworks, which effectively cures not only bruises, but also small cuts and wounds. Just massage a drop of gel into your bruise and leave it for a night. In the morning you should see that your bruise is less visible.