Knowing how to treat a bruise can shorten your healing time and make sure that you don't look like a boxer on date night. A bruise is caused when the blood vessels at the surface of the skin are broken, causing blood to rush to the skin's surface. The blood clotting at the surface of the skin is what causes the black and blue marks that we come to know as a bruise. Because a bruise is accumulated blood at the surface of the skin, the best way to treat a bruise is to stop the flow of blood to the area and break up the blood clots. Treating a bruise only takes a few minutes and can be done with things that you already have around the house.
- Elevate the bruised area. When you know that you have done something that may cause a bruise, try to keep the area elevated. Keeping the bruised area elevated will help keep the blood from the broken blood vessels from pooling in one place. Elevation will not completely stop a bruise from forming, but it can help lessen the severity of the bruise.
- Apply some ice to the bruise. Put some ice into a plastic zipper bag and put it on your bruise. If you don't have any ice you can use a cold towel or a bag of frozen vegetables. Treating a bruise with cold temperatures constricts the blood vessels in the skin, this stops the bleeding and can help reduce the swelling that accompanies a fresh bruise.
Apply some heat to the bruise. Use either a heating pad or a warm towel on the bruise. Treating a bruise with heat helps break up the small blood clots that have formed at the surface of the skin, causing the bruise. Breaking up the blood clots makes it easier for your body to absorb the blood back into your system. The faster your body reabsorbs the blood that is causing the bruise, the faster the bruise heals.