“How can I get rid of an old bruise?” you ask? Whether it’s from getting poked in the ribs with the corner of a table or a nice shiner from the fight you won, a bruise is a discolored and achy reminder. When blood vessels within the muscles break, they bleed out a tiny bit, which is what causes the purplish staining of the skin. This sounds scary, but a typical bruise is really nothing to lose sleep over, and neither is the bruise changing colors. Have you ever noticed that a bruise will go from purple to green to brown? This is just the blood vessels and muscle healing itself and is not a cause for concern.
But sometimes that bruise might show up at a bad time or in an inconvenient place on your body, like on your neck or your forearm, and you may want to get rid of it ASAP. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of an old bruise.
- Put ice on the area. This will cause less blood to seep into the area and will diminish the size and color of the bruise. After about a day of using ice, apply some heat, such as a warm compress or a heating pad. This is to move the blood away that’s stuck in the bruise.
- If you’re a vitamins and minerals kind of person, use a more herbal way to get rid of an old bruise. Apply fresh parsley to the affected area and wrap it in a plastic bandage.
- Use a little warm water mixed with either vinegar or witch hazel. It’ll smell bad, but both of those fluids will help with blood circulation in ways similar to the heating pad.
- If possible, elevate the bruised area so it’s above your heart. This will keep blood from pooling in the injured area.
- Be gentle to the bruised spot. If it’s on your leg, don’t go out for a jog every single day, as it will prolong the healing process and can also result in further bruising.
- Vitamins are your friends. so be sure to take a good multi-vitamin or vitamin C supplements. These will help not only to heal current bruising, but will strengthen the muscle and help prevent easy bruising in the future.
These remedies are a little confusing, what with some saying to encourage blood flow to the bruise and others saying to decrease it. It’s not flowing blood that’s a problem—blood flow is good, and is sort of one of those things that keeps you alive.
But with bruises, blood will flow through the broken vessels and right into the bruised, damaged muscle where it will sit like stagnant pond water. A bruise may linger for a little bit, but if it’s there for longer than three weeks (or covers a very large area), it’s time to see the doctor.
Lingering bruising can be a sign of a clotting disorder or a vitamin K deficiency and all the ice and parsley leaves in the world won’t help get rid of an old bruise.
Furthermore, a bruise that spans more than a few inches can be indicative of internal bleeding and that is very dangerous.