Learn About First-Aid for Bruises
A bruise can be a result of a minor injury or an indication of a serious health problem. In either case, you will want to treat bruises if they appear on your body. Having the knowledge of how to treat a bruise and first-aid items on hand can reduce the amount of time a bruise is visible on your skin. In some cases, a bruise may need professional medical attention. This guide will address several scenarios for treating bruises, from first-aid kit essentials to home remedies, and will focus on how to effectively heal from an unpleasant bruise in no time.
Find Out First-Aid Kit Must-Haves for Bruises
In the event of a bruise forming on your body, you will likely want to treat it quickly to minimize the duration of its appearance. The below items are essential components for bruise-healing protocol. Most of these items are commonplace at your local general store, pharmacy or even sporting goods store. All of them can be purchased online as well.
Make sure your home first-aid kit has the following items for treating bruises:
- Cold pack – Cold packs have gel within them that turns cold once they are broken within their package.
- Sandwich bags – In the absence of cold packs, you will need to place ice in the sandwich bags.
- Elastic bandage – Elastic bandages can be used to apply compression to the bruised area, as well as to secure a cold pack or ice bag to the afflicted area for a short period of time.
- Pain relief medication – Over the counter pain medication can help to relieve the pain associated with bruised injuries caused by bumping into things, falling or playing sports, among other activities.
Learn About Natural Supplements That Can Help Bruises
The presence of a bruise is often undesired. In addition to first-aid kit essentials, you can supplement your treatment with natural foods and supplements you may already have at the house.
To speed up the healing process, use the following household items and foods. Remember, though, one should not rely solely on the natural supplements below when treating a bruise. Some beneficial foods and supplements for bruises include the following:
- Ice – Ice can numb pain and reduce swelling.
- Vitamin C – An antioxidant, this vitamin can help the body produce collagen, which can promote healing in damaged blood vessels. You can take vitamin C supplements or eat spinach, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple and other fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.
- Vitamin K – This vitamin promotes blood clotting. Eat leafy greens such as spinach or kale and healthy oils like olive oil to aid in the healing of your bruise. If you are currently taking blood thinners, however, do not take vitamin K supplements, which can decrease the effects of blood thinner medications.
- Vitamin B-12 – Vitamin B-12 promotes platelet production, which in turn supports blood clotting. Add a B-12 supplement to your daily routine or eat eggs and fish to get it from your food sources.
- Folate – Folate is necessary for cell division, which is part of the bruise healing process. Eat nuts, bananas, dried beans and spinach to meet your folate needs after bruising occurs.
- Pineapple – This tropical fruit contains bromelain, a chemical enzyme which reduces swelling.
- Frankincense essential oil – This essential oil has boswellia, which can minimize the bruise in appearance. If the skin is not broken, rub it onto the bruised area of your body two times daily for a few days after the onset of the bruise.
How to Take Care of Bruises
Whenever a bruise forms on the body, it’s usually a result of impact or injury. This likely means the bruised part of the body has been strained, sprained or has otherwise gone through some form of fatigue or pain. In these situations, medical professionals recommend the RICE approach to dealing with a bruised injury.
To heal a bruise using the RICE method, do the following steps:
- Rest – Allow the bruised part of the body to rest. Do not put any additional stress on the muscles or tendons of the injured area. Resting the entire body is best if possible. If not, avoid walking on bruised ankles or handling anything heavy with strained wrists.
- Ice – Ice the bruised area using an ice pack or cold pack wrapped in cloth. The ice will minimize swelling and reduce blood flow to the bruised area. Allow the ice to rest on the injured area for 10 to 20 minutes for up to two days, or as needed according to pain levels and swelling.
- Compress – Using an elastic bandage, wrap around the bruise to keep swelling from growing. Avoid wrapping the bandage too tightly around the bruise, as it may agitate it.
- Elevate – Raise the injured and bruised area above the heart. You can use cushions, blankets or pillows to help prop up the afflicted limb. Doing so will help allow fluids and blood to move away from the bruised area.
When to Go to the Hospital for Bruises
Bruises typically heal by themselves over time. With applied first-aid, a bruise may heal even faster. However, sometimes you may want to have a doctor look at a bruise if you notice any of the following issues:
- There is a lump, known as a hematoma, present in the bruised area.
- You have a history of bruising easily and bleeding.
- Painful or large bruises appear on your body, but you cannot recall what provoked their appearance.
- Pain and swelling occur in the bruised area.
- You have begun to form bruises more frequently, with no prior history of bruising.
- Many people in your family bruise and bleed easily.
- You notice unwarranted bleeding in other areas of the body, such as in your gums or nose.
In the event you notice any of the above symptoms, the bruising may be more than just a result of a minor injury but signs of other serious and potentially life-threatening health issues.
You may want to consult your primary physician for severe bruising. If the pain from a bruise is so intense, you may want to call for emergency assistance immediately or have a friend or relative drive you to the emergency room. Be sure to apply pressure on the bruised or injured area to keep swelling down until you can receive medical assistance.
If you have taken care of a bruise at home without the aid of medical personnel, you may want to make an appointment with your primary physician to examine your injury, especially if bruising has not healed within two weeks.