How to Care for a Bruise Naturally

Two Methods:Using First Aid on a BruiseUnderstanding Bruises

A bruise, also known as a contusion, is an area of ruptured blood vessels, usually caused by some blow or impact to the area which does not break the skin. The ruptured blood vessels bleed, seeping around the injured tissue. This leaves a spot on the skin that can range in color from black to yellow to red. The size of the bruise can depend on the extent of the injury and the force behind the injury. Any tissue with blood vessels can be bruised, which includes skin, muscle, and bone. Bruises are quite common, and there are easy ways to take care of them naturally.

Method 1
Using First Aid on a Bruise

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    Apply an ice pack. As soon as you can after you hit yourself and you think it might bruise, apply an ice pack to the area of the bruise. This will help slow the blood flow and reduce inflammation. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth instead of putting it directly against your skin. It can cause cold burn on your skin. You should also limit how long you leave the pack on your skin because it can cause skin irritation or low blood pressure.
    • You can also use ice cubes wrapped in a towel or a bag of frozen vegetables if you don’t have a pack handy. Frozen peas or other small vegetables work very well because they conform to your body shape. After use, you can refreeze them and use them as an ice pack again. You shouldn’t eat them, however, since they have been used in such a way.
    • If you have a bruised or black eye, you can use a steak as well.[1][2]
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    Bandage the area. You can apply a pressure bandage, which is also called an elastic bandage, around the bruised area. This will limit the amount of blood and fluids that can leak. Make sure you don’t apply the pressure bandage too tightly
    • Remember to take it off after one to two hours. Restricting blood flow for extended periods of time is not healthy for you.
    • If the bruised area is swelling, try to raise that part of your body above the level of your heart.[3]
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    Use arnica. If you want to use a more homeopathic remedy, you can take arnica. Arnica is an plant that is in the daisy family and helps bruises as well as sprains and sore muscles. Arnica is used to reduce the amount of bruising and pain. It can also speed healing. It can come in tablet form as well as a cream or gel.
    • Take three to five of the tablet as soon as possible after bruising. You can continue to take arnica daily as long as needed for the bruise.
    • Creams or gels containing Arnica can be used daily as long as the skin has not been broken. Using arnica on broken skin will sting. Try brands such as Nelson’s Arnica Cream and Boiron’s Arnicare, which can be found in most larger drugstores and pharmacies.[4][5]
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    Make a parsley rub. You can make a homemade parsley rub to treat your bruise. Parsley is high in vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. Take some dried parsley, enough to lightly cover the bruise. In order to keep the parsley together as you soak it, take a clean nylon knee-high and fill the toe or foot, depending on the size of the bruise, with parsley. Tie off the end of the knee-high and soak the parsley-filled end in a bowl of witch hazel. Squeeze out the excess witch hazel and cover the bruise with the parsley-filled knee-high. Spread out the parsley evenly over the bruise.[6]
    • Leave this compress on for about 30 minutes and repeat twice a day.
    • You can only reuse the parsley twice, so you need to make a new poultice daily.
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    Take vitamin C. Some people bruise easily due to vitamin deficiencies. A diet that is high in vitamins C helps build your resistance to bruising. Vitamin C also thickens the walls of blood cells. Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits. You can also take vitamin C supplements, which are readily available at more grocery stores and health stores.
    • Increasing your vitamin K intake may also help reduce bruising because it helps with blood clotting.[7]
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    Try essential oils. There are some herbal essential oils that can be useful for your bruise. Add the essential oil directly onto the bruise. The amount will vary depending on the size of the bruise. Massage into the bruise. Do this at least once a day. The bruise should heal within one to two weeks. There are a few herbs that support wound healing that can be helpful for your bruise:
    • Hypericum/St John’s wort
    • Symphytum/Comfrey
    • Achillea /Yarrow
    • Plantago/Plantain
    • Calendula/Marigold[8]

Method 2
Understanding Bruises

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    Know the stages of bruising. Bruises can takes days or up to months to disappear. The stages of bruise healing are:
    • Day 1: The blood appears under the skin, which makes the area reddish.
    • Day 1-2: The bruise begins to turn darker blue-purple because of the hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying substance in the blood, gets darker.
    • Day 5-10: The bruise begins to change color, turning yellowish or greenish.
    • Day 10-14: As the bruise is healing, it turns lighter and lighter, turning a yellow-brown or light brown color. It will then eventually fade.[9]
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    Deal with bruises due to medication. If you are taking any anticoagulant (blood thinner) such as Warfarin, Coumadin, aspirin, Heparin, Rivaroxaban/Xarelto, or Dabigatran/Pradaxa, bruises may look worse than they used to before you started taking the medication. This is because part of the process of bruising is the clotting of the blood leaking out of the broken vessels. Your blood thinner is preventing or inhibiting that clotting, so it will take longer for the blood to start leaking.
    • Follow the methods suggested while on these medications, but contact your physician if the bruise is spreading or if there is significant pain or swelling.[10]
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    Get medical help. Bruises may be a way of your body telling you something bigger is going on. If any of the following apply to you, call your physician for an appointment:
    • There has been no improvement after 2 weeks.
    • You seem to get bruises all the time and they don’t heal quickly.
    • You don’t know why you have a bruise.
    • You experience painful swelling or a lump over the bruise.
    • You can't move a joint under or near the bruise.
    • You think a bone may have been broken.
    • There is abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as your nose or excretions.
    • Your eye is bruised and you are having difficulty moving your eyes or having trouble seeing normally.[11][12]


  • Women are more likely than men to bruise easily. Both genders bruise more as they age due to thinning skin and weakening capillaries. For the elderly, small blows to the skin can cause bruising where, in the past, they may not have.[13]
  • Although doctors really have no treatments for bruises, you should always see a doctor if a bruise covers a large portion of your body or limb. You should also seek medical treatment if the trauma that created the bruise was severe enough to also cause internal injuries.

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Categories: Skin Conditions