What are the best treatments for bruising and swelling?

injured leg.

Bruising and swelling usually occurs when blood vessels under the skin rupture after surgery, a fall, or a blow to the body. The best treatments include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). People with this type of injury should rest and apply an ice pack to the affected area to help prevent the bruise from spreading and the swelling going down. They should keep the area elevated if possible. After the first day of ice pack treatment, heat packs should be applied to help relieve pain and facilitate healing of the injured area.

An ice pack, which can help with bruising and swelling.

On approximately the first day after the hematoma occurs, the area should be treated with an ice pack for short periods of time – no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. An ice pack wrapped in a towel provides light compression and doesn’t constrict the injured skin too much. Patients should never apply ice packs directly to the skin. As soon as the bruises stop spreading after a day or two, a heat pack or warm compress can be applied. The heat will help transport blood cells away from the ruptured vessels and relieve bruising and swelling.

A person with a bruised nail.

The black and blue color of a bruise occurs when there is swelling and blood from the ruptured vessels receives less oxygen. Trapped blood spreads under the skin, making it appear blue or black, which is the color of a newly injured area. As the blood under the bruised area continues to break down and heal, the bruise turns yellowish-green. A mild bruise may take several days to heal, while a more severe or deep bruise may take several weeks to return to normal, or at least significantly lighten.

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It is important to rest a swollen area.

Aspirin should be avoided until the hematoma begins to heal, as it is an anticoagulant and prevents blood from clotting quickly. If the blood doesn’t clot quickly, it can cause more extensive bruising under the skin. Only pain relievers such as acetaminophen, which does not contain aspirin, should be used so that clotting is not affected.

When injured, the body is normally able to heal itself.

There are many natural remedies to reduce swelling and bruising. Witch hazel is a herbal astringent that can be applied directly to the skin to accelerate the healing of bruises and skin inflammation. Another herbal remedy used to reduce inflammation is arnica, which is available in a gel, cream, ointment or liniment and can be applied directly to the bruised and swollen area. Bruises and bumps that appear suddenly, and without known trauma to the skin, should be checked by a medical professional, who may recommend a different treatment.

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