Things You'll Need
- Ice or cold pack
- Heat pack or electric heat pad
- Arnica or vitamin K product
Bruises form when a small amount of blood leaks into the tissues under the skin, usually as the result of trauma. Bruises typically change in color from red to purple to yellow to brown over the course of one to four weeks, before disappearing on their own. However, some faint discoloration may last for months, especially with severe bruising. Applying correct first aid following an injury aids the healing process, and is your best chance of minimizing purple bruising. Controversy remains over whether certain natural ingredients, most notably Arnica and vitamin K, are effective at fading dark bruises when applied topically.
Wash the wound with clean water to prevent infection. Skip this step if the skin is not broken.
Wrap an elastic bandage around the injured part to help prevent blood vessels from leaking.
Apply an ice or a cold pack to the affected body area to reduce swelling.
Apply pressure and keep the ice pack on for at least 20 minutes.
Keep the injured area elevated to reduce blood flow.
Reapply the ice pack (as per steps 3 and 4) on and off for 24 hours following the injury.
Replace the ice pack with a heat pack or electric head pad after 24 hours. Apply the heat pack for 20 minutes on and off over the course of the next 24 hours.
Keep the bruised area rested.
Buy a cream or gel containing Arnica montana or vitamin K.
Rub a thin layer of the product onto the bruise.
Reapply twice a day or as directed by the manufacturer until the bruise fades.