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First Aid for Bruise

Last updated March 5, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

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Bruises are visible discoloration of skin due to collection of blood under the skin.

What is Bruise?

  • Bruises are visible discolorations of skin due to collection of blood under the skin. It is usually a mild condition that resolves with adequate treatment
  • The condition can be caused by a striking force on the body (such as due to sports injuries or physical abuse). Certain coagulation disorders can lead to an increased risk for Bruising
  • Older adults are susceptible to Easy Bruising

What are the Causes of Bruise?

Blood leakage into tissues under the skin, due to breakage of blood vessels causes Bruises.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bruise?

The signs and symptoms of Bruises include:

  • Black, blue, or purple patches of marks, visible near trauma sites
  • Swelling
  • Sensitive/painful areas on the skin

How is First Aid administered for Bruise?

First Aid tips for Bruises include:

  • Apply ice (wrapped in cloth), frozen pack of vegetables, or cold pack on the Bruise, to reduce swelling
  • To ease pain, the individual may take acetaminophen/ibuprofen; if they are not allergic to them, and there are no other contraindications

Who should administer First Aid for Bruise?

The individual (himself/herself) with the Bruise or someone nearby can administer First Aid.

What is the Prognosis of Bruise?

The length of time for a Bruise to heal, changes with the severity of bruising and age of the affected individual. However, Bruises rarely persist for more than a few days to weeks.

How can Bruise be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to prevent Bruises:

  • Use appropriate protective equipment
  • Be careful when participating in contact sports
  • Avoid interpersonal violence
  • Fall-proofing the house, especially for the elderly

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Seek medical help, if there is abnormal bleeding due to the Bruise, or if it develops without any reason
  • Seek medical help if injury is to the head, and/or if headache and pain due to the Bruise, persists for long time

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: May 28, 2013
Last updated: March 5, 2018