How to Care for a Bruise. A bruise is caused when blood vessels rupture due to a blow to a part of your body. No special bruise care is required, but there are things you can do if you want to decrease the swelling, duration and coloration of the bruise.
Things You'll Need
- Cold Compresses
- Warm Compresses
- Ice Packs
- Ice packs
Rest the bruised area. This permits the blood to clot more quickly, which limits the spread of blood beneath the skin.
Apply a cold compress to the bruise'20 minutes on, 20 minutes off'as often as you can for the first day or two. The cold will constrict blood vessels and help keep the bruise from spreading. Never apply ice directly to the skin. Always use an ice pack or a cold compress.
Avoid aspirin until the bruise has started to heal. Aspirin is an anticoagulant, which prevents blood from clotting as quickly. Blood that does not clot spreads more extensively underneath the skin.
Take acetaminophen for pain. This does not affect clotting.
Apply a warm, wet compress after the first 48 hours to reduce pain and swelling. Heat is recommended once the blood has stopped spreading around the bruise. Heat dilates blood vessels, which will help speed the sweeping away of blood cells from around the ruptured vessels.