Bruises refer to injuries on the skin that result from blood being trapped beneath the skin surface. Some people call it contusion. Basically, bruises are caused by bleeding of internal tissues that is initiated by a blunt trauma. This results to damage of via deceleration forces and physical compression. These injuries make the skin discolored. Sometimes, venules and capillaries may be damaged causing blood to stagnate in the surrounding tissues. At skin level, bruises involve capillaries muscles, subcutaneous tissue or even bones. Depending on its length, a bruise can be given different names. A bruise that is not larger than 3mm is called petechia. Pupura refers to a bruise whose diameter is 1cm to 3mm. This can also be called ecchymosis. These names may also be used in reference to internal bleeding that does not result from trauma.
Causes of Bruises
Bruises occur when something bumps into the skin of an individual or they bump into it. This causes rapture to tiny capillaries beneath the skin. The area affected by the rapture is usually darkened. There are individuals whose skins are easily bruised than others. This could be due to poor health, fragile capillaries or inability of such skins to produce collage. For such people, bruises may appear without any apparent cause. Studies also reveal that individuals with frequent bruising could be lacking some nutrients. These could be Vitamin C, E and K. Lack of bioflavonoid and also Zinc may cause easy bruising.
Nevertheless, there are major causes of bruises that are common in many people.
- Bruising may occur in some individuals who engage in rigorous exercising. These include weight lifters and athletes. Such bruises may be as a result of microscopic tears that occur in blood capillaries beneath the skin. In athletes, bruising can occur due to direct trauma or impact and hematoma might accompany it.
- Bleeding disorder can be another cause of bruising in some individuals. This is a form of bruising that does not have any apparent cause. It is caused by blood-thinning medications also called anticoagulants. These bruises are usually accompanied by bleeding gums and nosebleeds.
- There are cases when bruises results from bumping into objects or a bedpost. This may cause a bruise on the thigh or shin.
- In aged persons, bruising may result from thinning of the skin. This usually happens as someone age and the skin is usually left without the ability to support blood capillaries beneath it. These capillaries are also fragile and a minor injury can easily cause damage on them resulting to internal bleeding.
- Bruising may also be an indication of child physical abuse.
Symptoms of Bruises
There are many signs that can be used to identify bruises. This may depend on the level or stage of the bruise. They include the following;
- Major signs of bruises are skin discoloration, swelling and sometimes pain. A bruised muscle may be difficult to use in running or even walking around.
- At the start, a fresh bruise is usually reddish in color. Eventually, it turns dark purple or blue within duration of few hours. Later on, it becomes green or yellow during the healing process that might take some days.
- Bruises are commonly tender. They may turn painful sometimes during the first days. Nevertheless, this pain fades away as they heal with the changes in color being seen. However, since there is not damage on the skin there is no risk of infection. Bruises are not as a result of cut or scrape on the skin. Thus, no chances of infection.
- Repeated bruising on the same area may result to permanent staining of a spot in a yellowish-brown color. This is usually due to deposits of iron on in skin tissue.
Bruise Home Remedies
There are many remedies that have been used in healing bruises. These range from first aid treatments to hospital medications. They include the following. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Ice– Use of ice on the bruised skin surface. This helps in reducing the swelling. However, ice should not be placed on the skin directly. Rather, it should be placed on a cloth ad left there for about 15 minutes.
- Keeping the bruised part above the level of your heart. This helps in keeping blood from pooling into the tissues affected by the bruise.
- Resting the bruised part by not engaging the muscles with a bruise in physical exercise.
- Butter– You may apply butter on the bruised surface. This should be applied immediately an individual has been bruised.
- Cabbage has also been used as a remedy for bruises. It should be applied gently on the affected area.
- Calendula tincture or cream may also be applied on the bruise. It helps in reducing pain that may be resulting from the bruise.
- Mustard poultice can also be applied on the bruise. It can be combined with honey and onion then applied on the bruise before being rubbed using a bandage. This draws blood from bruises.
- Onions and pepper also draw blood from bruised part.
- Vinegar can also be used to alleviate swelling and bruise.
- Vitamin K cream can also be rubbed on the bruises at least twice per day. This helps the body in breaking down the accumulated blood in the bruises. Rubbing the cream on the bruises increase the healing process.
- Zinc tablets can also be used in treating bruises. However, they should only be taken with medical supervision. This is because continued use of these tablets without medical advise can result to interference with the process of absorption of essential minerals such as copper.
- Amica is also used in alleviating dark color and swelling on the bruises. Application of Amica gel on the bruises also help in reducing pain that results from bruises, sprains and affected muscles. Basically, this gel helps in improving discoloration, stiffness and swelling on the bruised part. However, it is important to note that some skins may react to Amica. Therefore, its use should be discontinued in case the skin become inflamed, itchy or reddish.
Although there are many remedies for bruises, it is important to know more about a remedy before you start using it. This is very important to avoid a possible negative reaction of the remedy with your skin.
Diet for Bruises
Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help in preventing and treating bruises. This is because it ensures that the body gets essential nutrients and vitamins that are essential for proper clotting of blood. In most cases, bruises results from stagnation of blood in the tissues underlying the skin. It may also result from damage on the blood vessels that may result to internal bleeding. All these can be prevented or cured through proper dieting. A good diet should include;
- Sources of vitamin K: These include leafy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, spinach, Swiss chard, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, mustard greens, kale, among others. There are also friendly bacteria found in the intestine that are capable of synthesizing this vitamin. There are also diets that have live culture that can be of great benefits to individuals with intestinal flora imbalance. This could be as a result of intestine diseases or continued use of antibiotics.
- Moderate consumption of fatty acids. Although fatty acids are responsible for preventing some modern diseases that result from chronic inflammation, its excessive use may increase bruising. Inflammation after bruising is a body's attempt to prevent more damage on the tissue. Thus, anti-inflammation foods such as fatty acids, turmeric, ginger and garlic can lead to more bruising.
- Increased intake of vitamin C while reducing sweets in snacks. People lacking vitamin C are more likely to experience bruising. This is because vitamin c helps in strengthening blood vessels. This reduces chances of bruising occurring. On the other hand, individuals who take large amount of sugary foods and sweets are at a greater risk of bruising. This is because they are likely to have vitamin C deficiency. Basically, sugar and vitamin C have the same chemical structures. Therefore, there is always a competition between the two as they try to enter into the cells. Therefore, individuals should lower their consumption of sugars while increasing consumption of foods rich in vitamin C.
Prevention of Bruises
Bruises result from direct injuries. This makes it possible to prevent them by taking precautions aimed at ensuring that injuries are avoided. Some of the important measures that can be used to prevent bruises include the following;
- Training children on safety measures
- Being cautious in places where one can fall and sustain bruises. For instance, being careful when climbing a tree or ladders.
- Wearing safety belts when in a motor vehicle
- Wearing the right clothing during sporting activities. Clothing that offer protection to body parts that are prone to bruises is very important. These include hip guards, thigh pads, shin guards, knee pads and elbow pads while playing hockey and football.
- Bruises can also be prevented by constructing buildings and maintaining them in a way that reduces chances of accidents. For instance, slippery floors can be avoided in buildings.
Bruises can be avoided if people are cautions in what they do and where they live. It is also important to train children as they grow on how to avoid activities that can result to injuries which in turn can cause bruises.
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