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Home :: Bruising

Bruising - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Alternative names :: Ecchymoses, Skin spots - red, Pinpoint red spots on the skin, Petechiae

What is bruising?

A bruise occurs when the tissues underlying the skin become injured. The skin is not broken, but the delicate capillaries (small blood vesselS')' below the skin's surface rupture, and blood drains out into the surrounding area. The blood seeps into the layers of the skin, resulting in pain, swelling, and "black-and-blue marks" -discoloration that starts out red, then turns dark and bluish, and finally may become a yellowish color as the blood under the skin is absorbed.

Causes of bruising

Body parts often become bruised after banging into hard objects; this is normal. However, there are other factors that do not involve a trauma to the skin that can cause bruising. People who do not eat enough fresh, uncooked foods to supply the body with needed nutrients are prone to easy bruising. Nutritional deficiencies, especially in vitamin C, or blood-clotting disorders can make the blood-vessel walls very thin and delicate, causing them to rupture with even the slightest amount of pressure, such as leaning against a table or having someone grab you firmly with his or her hand. Unexplained or easy bruising can be related to heavy smoking or menstruation, or it can be an indication of an underlying health condition, including AIDS (AlDS-related bruises do not go away), allergies, anemia, cancer, hemophilia, infections, obesity, myelocytic leukemia, and abnormal platelet function caused by a liver or kidney disorder. Some of the common causes are :-

  • Injury or trauma.
  • Bruise (ecchymosis).
  • Antiplatelet medications such as clopidogrel (Plavix).
  • Aging skin (ecchymosis).
  • Leukemia (purpura and ecchymosis).

Symptoms of bruising

Symptoms of bruising vary depending on the cause of the bruising. Bruises look like areas of blue to purple-colored skin that may turn yellow to dark brown over the course of a few days. The bruise may be very small and may blend in with the texture of the skin, or it may be large, swollen, and painful.

Natural home treatment of bruising

  • Alfalfa supplies beneficial minerals and vitamin K which is needed for healing. Take it in tablet form as directed on the product label.
  • An ointment made by adding one part ground cayenne pepper to five parts melted Vaseline has been used successfully in China and Taiwan for treating bruises. Mix the combination well and cool. Apply it once every one or two days.
  • Fresh parsley leaves, crushed and applied directly to the bruise, are known to ease discoloration within a few days.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoid of 3,000-10,000 mg daily, in divided doses it helps to prevent bruising by supplying oxygen to the injured cells and strengthening capillary walls.
  • Wild pansy can be applied externally to treat a bruise.
  • To minimize bruising, as soon as possible after an injury, place an ice pack on the bruised area and keep it in place for twenty to thirty minutes. This stops the bleeding by constricting the blood vessels. If the bruise is severe, you may wish to further treat the injured area with an ice pack every two to three waking hours for twenty-four to forty­eight hours, and then switch to fifteen minutes of heat, three times daily. The injured area should also be elevated above heart level, if possible, to allow blood to flow away from the injured area and minimize the bruise.
  • To reduce the pain, swelling, and discoloration of a black eye, immediately apply cold compresses and an ice pack to the injury. Unfortunately, if the discoloration has set in before the ice bag has been applied, there will be hope of lightening the bruise.
  • Rub a sterile cotton ball soaked with distilled witch hazel on an injury to stop the swelling.
  • Vitamin K - helps strengthen blood vessel walls. Alfalfa tablets are a good source of vitamin K.

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