• LaurenWallace

How to Get Rid of Bruises: 10 Natural Remedies

By Annie Price, CHHC

November 7, 2018

Original article and page source found here.

Whether you have a bruised face, bruised arm or bruised knee, most people just find bruises to be unsightly and unpleasant. Most of the time, they’re nothing serious, yet knowing how get rid of bruises faster is a popular topic.

Bruises are caused by an injury or blow to a specific body part that breaks blood vessels underneath the skin. Blood seeps out of the vessels, causing discoloration, swelling and pain.

Bruises can also be caused by nutrient deficiencies, the use of certain medications or bleeding disorders. Women also typically bruise easier than men. (1)

If you’re wondering how to get rid of bruises fast, there are are a lot of natural bruise remedies that can help, and they’re not hard or complicated at all! Plus, I’ll answer some common bruise-related questions, including: how long does it take for a bruise to heal?

What Is a Bruise?

A bruise appears on the skin when an area of the body experiences some type of trauma that causes small blood vessels under the skin to rupture and leak out blood. Since the blood has nowhere to go, it gets trapped under the skin and pools, forming a colorful spot on the skin that is tender to the touch. This is a bruise, also called a contusion, and it’s not permanent because your body reabsorbs the blood after some amount of time and the bruise completely disappears.

Bruises can occur for various reasons, but most are caused by bumping or banging into something. These colorful marks can also occur because someone or something bumps into you.

How long does a bruise take to heal?

If you’re wondering how to get rid of bruises in 24 hours, I’m sorry to tell you it’s a pretty impossible goal. It generally takes about two, maybe three, weeks for a bruise due to a minor injury or accident to heal. Sometimes it may take months depending on the severity of the bruise. A few weeks of healing time is also without treatment, so it may be faster if you use some of the natural remedies I’m about to share with you. But before a bruise completely goes away, it goes through several stages. (2, 3)

Stages of Bruising

As a bruise heals, hemoglobin (an iron-rich substance found in blood) breaks down into other compounds. This break down process causes a bruise to change colors and go through the following stages of bruising: (4)

Stage 1: A bruise is typically red right after the injury, because fresh blood rich in oxygen is gathering underneath the skin.

Stage 2: Within one to two days, a bruise begins to change color, and by day three or four, it will often be a purplish or black and blue.

Stage 3: After five to 10 days have passed, your bruise will likely appear yellow or greenish-yellow. These colors come from compounds called biliverdin and bilirubin that the body produces when it breaks down hemoglobin.

Stage 4: In 10–14 days, it’s yellowish-brown or light brown.

10 Natural Bruise Remedies

Wondering, “How can I make a bruise go away faster?” Let’s take a good look at how to make bruises go away using natural bruise remedies.

1. Cold & Hot

How do you treat a bad bruise? You want to start by applying some coldness. For the first 24 hours, it’s commonly recommended to apply an ice pack to the bruised area. Wrap the ice pack in a thin towel so it’s not in direct contact with your skin. A cold compress like an ice pack will help to decrease swelling. It can also help to reduce any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing as a result of the bruise. A day or two after you get a bruise, you can apply a warm compress, or take a warm bath, to aid healing. (5)

If you’re specifically looking into how to get rid of a black eye, cold is key! According to Mayo Clinic, applying a cold compress as soon as you can is key to decreasing swelling. Repeat the application of a cold compress several times a day for one to two days. Then you can do warm compresses. Be careful not to apply any pressure to the eye itself. (6)

2. Elevation

Another one of those simple yet highly effective bruise remedies is if possible, elevate the area of your body that has the bruise. When it comes to how to get rid of bruises on legs, this is an especially doable and helpful tip. Elevating the bruised area (your shin, for example, above heart level helps to decrease swelling and bruising. Elevation helps to prevent blood from pooling in the bruised area.

3. Top Foods to Heal Bruises

As with many cosmetic or external health concerns like bruises, addressing the issue internally is just as important, if not sometimes more important, than the natural bruise remedies you use topically on your skin. If you’re wondering how to get rid of bruises fast, you’ll want to consider consuming more foods that will promote healing and also even discourage bruising in the first place. These include:

Green leafy vegetables — Veggies like kale, collard greens and spinach provide vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. Severe vitamin K deficiency is also known to contribute to bruising and bleeding problems. (7) Citrus fruits (and other colorful fruits and veggies) — Citrus provides vitamin C and bioflavonoids that help with wound healing. Zinc — The chemical reactions necessary to promote wound healing require zinc. To increase your intake of zinc, add high zinc foods to your diet, like grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds and spinach.

Clean, lean protein — Healthy, high-quality protein is helpful for strengthening blood vessels and encouraging their repair after a bruise-causing injury. (8) Aim for at least four to five ounces per meal daily.

4. Foods to Avoid

Healing bruises is not just about what you add to your diet, but also about what you take away. I highly recommend avoiding the following foods that are counterproductive to bruise healing and overall health:

Sugar — Refined sugar promotes inflammatory responses in the body and is counterproductive to healing. In general, diets high in sugar, refined starches and saturated and trans-fats but low in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber are known for encouraging inflammation. (9) Trans fats — Trans fats are known for triggering inflammation throughout the entire body. Trans fats can be found in fast foods, fried products and processed foods. (10) Processed foods — Not only do they often contain trans fat, but they also may contain chemicals, dyes and other unhealthy additives. White and wheat products — These can act as anti-nutrients, pulling beneficial vitamins and minerals out of your body.

5. Essential Oils

Frankincense essential oil is highly anti-inflammatory, making it a great choice for bruise healing. (11) Rub a couple of drops of frankincense oil directly on the bruised area three times daily. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the frankincense oil with a carrier oil first. If you’re curious how to reduce bruising on face, frankincense oil is a great choice, but make sure to keep it away from your eyes.

You can also try making this bruise cream with arnica and bilberry yourself at home. It’s loaded with beneficial ingredients like frankincense oil to help get rid of a bruise fast!

Cypress is another essential oil with a reputation for improving bruises. (12) Simply combine a drop or two of