The vast majority of bruises occurs secondary to trauma, banging
your leg on a piece of furniture, being hit or falling down.
This causes a breakage of blood vessels under the skin and
subsequently the black and blue mark that is seen. For this
article we will address first aid treatment for basic bruises.
without associated trauma should be assessed by a healthcare
provider as it could be an indicator for possible bleeding
or other underlying metabolic disorder.
the initial trauma, icing is helpful as it constricts blood
vessels, reduces swelling and can have a soothing effect.
After that, wet warmth is very effective in helping the body
reabsorb the bruised area. No heating pads, as this healthcare
provider has seen individuals get burnt by leaving heating
pads on too long.
is a myth that bruises from trauma are blood clots that are
going to go to your heart or lungs and cause serious problems.
These are not the types of clots that one reads about that
cause permanent pulmonary emboli. That is deep venous thrombosis,
which one is not able to visualize. Superficial bruising
of the skin does not cause life-threatening blood clots.
important fact that needs mentioning is that when you sprain
an ankle or knee, in a few days you will find bruising down
by the foot or down below the injured area. This is due to
gravity; blood pools in the muscular compartments and gravity
pulls the blood down to the lower areas of the body. Frequently
individuals will come in concerned that they sprained their
ankle and now their foot is black and blue!
severe cases of trauma or bruising, there are situations called
compartment syndrome. These are medical emergencies, where
the pooling of blood is either so intense and the volume so
great that it compromises neurological and vascular function.
If the areas distal to the bruise, toes, hands or fingers,
become cold or numb, you should get to a healthcare provider
as soon as possible.
NOT take aspirin or Ibuprofen for pain as those medications
will increase bleeding time, as well as the size of the bruise.
It is advisable to take Acetaminophen.