How to Get Rid of Bruises

Three Methods:Recommended treatmentManaging the BruiseHome Remedies

Bruises happen when a blow breaks blood vessels near your skin's surface and blood leaks into the surrounding tissue. The trapped blood appears as that black-and-blue mark. It will fade on its own, but there are several steps you can take to encourage faster fading of the bruise. Here's what to do.

Method 1
Recommended treatment

  1. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 1
    Ice the area. Putting something cold on the bruise will reduce swelling and help it heal more quickly. Do this as soon as possible, and you can stop the bruise from spreading so far.
    • Fill a resealable plastic bag with ice chips, or find a bag of frozen vegetables like corn or peas. Wrap the bag in a towel or T-shirt, and lay it over the bruise.
    • Flexible gel-filled ice packs, specifically designed for injuries, are available from sports shops. Athletes usually keep a few on-hand to fight bruises.
    • Put ice on the area for 15 minutes out of every hour. Over-chilling the skin around the bruise can lead to frostbite.
  2. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 2
    Elevate the bruised area. Reduce blood flow to the area with gravity's help. Lifting the bruised area so that it's above your heart will prevent blood from pooling in the bruised area, and reduce discoloration.[1]
    • For instance, if the bruise is on your leg, settle onto the couch and rest your leg on top of a few pillows. If your leg is even a few inches above your heart, you're good.
    • If your arm is bruised, try to prop it up on an armrest or a few pillows, so that it's at heart-level or above.
    • If your torso is bruised, you might be out of luck. Focus on icing the area instead.
  3. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 3
    Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the bruise is particularly painful, take an over-the-counter painkiller for relief. Read the label for the recommended dose.
    • Avoid aspirin, which is a blood-thinner and could make your bruise worse.
  4. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 4
    Rest. Working your muscles increases blood flow to that area, and increased blood flow is not what you want to be doing to a bruise. Call it a day and cool your jets, both to prevent further injury and give your bruise a chance to heal.
    • Hang out on the couch. Watch a movie, play a game, read a book — just do something that doesn't require much physical activity.
    • Head to bed early. Your body needs sleep to repair itself, so hit the hay as soon as you feel tired.
  5. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 5
    Know when to see a doctor. Most bruises aren't indicative of a serious medical condition, and can be treated safely at home. However, consider calling a doctor if any of the following apply to you:[2]
    • You're bruising without any significant bumps, falls or other injuries.
    • You have a high fever, or you can see signs of infection around the bruise (redness, pus or other drainage).
    • If you feel extreme pressure around the bruise, which is large, call a doctor immediately. A significant decrease in blood an oxygen supply to one area is known as compartment syndrome, and can be life-threatening.

Method 2
Managing the Bruise

  1. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 6
    Gently massage the bruise and surrounding area. Do this several times a day beginning the day after the bruising occurs. This will help your body's normal lymphatic process to clear it away.
    • Keep in mind that the pressure shouldn't be painful. If the bruise is too painful to touch, hold off.
  2. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 7
    Get some sun. Ultraviolet light breaks down bilirubin, which is the product of hemoglobin breakdown that causes the yellowish color of a bruise. If possible, expose the bruise to sunlight (safe amounts, don't sunburn) to accelerate the isomerization of the remaining bilirubin.
    • Try to get 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day. This should be enough to help break up your bruise without leading to a sunburn.

Method 3
Home Remedies

  1. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 8
    Rub the bruise with vinegar. Mix vinegar with warm water, and rub it over the injured area. Vinegar increases blood flow near the skin's surface, so it may help to dissipate the blood that has pooled in the bruised area. Witch hazel will also do the trick.
  2. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 9
    Eat pineapple. Bromelain, a digestive enzyme found in pineapples, breaks down proteins that trap fluids in the tissues after an injury.
  3. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 10
    Apply parsley. Take a handful of fresh parsley leaves, crush them and spread them all over the bruise. Wrap the area with an elastic bandage. Some experts claim that parsley decreases inflammation, reduces pain and can make a bruise fade more quickly.
  4. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 11
    Use arnica ointment or gel daily. Arnica is an herb that has long been recommended for bruises. It contains a compound that reduces inflammation and swelling. Find an ointment that contains arnica, and rub it over the bruise once or twice a day.
  5. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 12
    Apply a live leech. If you have access to a holistic medicine supply store or a very well-stocked Chinese medicine store, you can apply a live leech. It will remove the surface blood in a bruise in a few seconds. The leech's saliva also acts as a mild painkiller, so you won't feel the bite. Apply rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly to remove the leech.
    • This is only recommended if you can be sure that the leech is farm-raised and free of disease.
  6. Image titled Get Rid of Bruises Step 13
    Apply heat. Elevate the injured area on a cushion or pillow. Use a reusable heat pack; try not to use electric blankets. Wet heat is better for injuries than dry heat.
    • Apply heat pack for only a couple of minutes at a time, and only after attempting to use an ice pack. Only try using the heat method if ice hurts too much or makes your skin ache. For some people, this is a real problem and ice can exacerbate cold reactions.


  • Do not pick or hit or scratch your bruise. It will just either make it spread or do more damage.
  • Don't massage directly around the bruise. Massage 1–2 centimeter (0.4–0.8 in) around from where the bruise is visible as bruises tend to be bigger than they look and massaging on a bruise can irritate it and make it worse.
  • Vitamin K cream helps to fade the bruise .
  • Try placing a banana peel on the bruise for 10-15 minutes. This should take the colour away.
  • Aloe Vera gel is soothing.
  • Never keep touching it because it could hurt and get more sore.
  • If you feel that you bruise too easily, you may be deficient in vitamin K, which is used as a co-factor in the synthesis of coagulation factors. If you take any blood thinners though, do not suddenly increase your vitamin K levels. Consult your doctor first.
  • You should always keep the injury elevated. Never attempt to exercise or be active or you may make the injury worse.
  • Add ice to it, but not for too long or it will appear reddish.
  • If the bruise hurts too much then don't massage it, go to a doctor to give you some advice.
  • If the bruise starts swelling or severe pain starts, see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • If your bruise is big apply a generous amount of Aloe Vera if it is small apply a little or it can worsen a bit with color.
  • Leave it and let it heal. If it hurts and you don't want it touched place a band-aid on the bruise.
  • Keep the bruised area elevated for the next few hours after the blow.
  • Don't put a Band-Aid on it if it's a baby bruise.
  • Try not to use the limb where the bruise is or else you might cause more damage or irritation.


  • When bruises appear suddenly without cause, you should seek medical advice from a health care professional.
  • Consult a doctor before starting any new medications or stopping any current ones.
  • Make sure you're not allergic to anything before trying any of the methods listed.
  • Do not apply arnica to a cut or open wound.
  • If the bruise spreads and becomes more painful, see a doctor. It could be a more serious injury.
  • Home remedies to prevent bruising aren't medically tested and, like any home remedy, carry unknown risks. [3]

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Injury and Accidents