13 ways to get rid of bruises

Your fool-proof guide to banishing bruises.
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We can never remember how we got them, but we know how to get rid of them!

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What Is A Bruise?

We’ve all been bruised a few times in our lives. Whether it was from gym class, playing a sport, or just from our own clumsiness, bruises are pretty common. Also called contusions, bruises are injuries that have been caused by some impact which then ruptures underlying blood vessels, resulting in discoloured skin on the body, which is why our bruises tend to change different colours over its life-cycle.

What Causes Bruising?

Almost all bruises are caused by physical injuries, though for some people, bruising easily is an embarrassing issue. If you’re wondering how to reduce bruising by avoiding it outright; the common causes of bruising are:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Concussions
  • Head Injuries
  • Muscle Sprains
  • Blunt Force Trauma
  • Medications (like blood thinners)
  • Supplements

Are There Different Types Of Bruises?

There are three different types of bruises that can occur:

  • Subcutaneous bruises
  • Bruises appearing just beneath the skin
  • Intramuscular bruises
  • Bruises happening in the underlying muscles
  • Periosteal bruises
  • Bruises occurring on the bones

How Long Do Bruises Last?

Most bruises will disappear after 2 weeks, some fade away later depending on the damage. The stages of bruising typically come in four parts.
At first, you will notice a bump that starts to look reddish or purplish on where you were hit, which may or may not swell up. After a few days, it will start to look blueish or blackish. After 5 to 10 days, it will start to fade into a greenish or yellowish colour. At 10 to 14 days, it will start to look light brown and get lighter after time until it fades away.

How To Heal A Bruise?

So you’ve had a rough tumble, and you’re wondering how to get rid of bruises quickly?

Bruises go through a number of colourful stages as they heal. As your body repairs the bruises, they change colour as a sign that your body is breaking down the blood cells in the skin. A bruise can be painful and look unsightly, luckily, there are a few easy bruise treatments to help speed up the healing process.

Here are 13 great ways to get rid of bruises quickly:

13. Witch Hazel

Apply witch hazel solution or toner to a cotton ball and rub and pat it gently on your bruise. Let it dry off, do not wipe off. You can do this two to three times a day. Depending on how big or how many bruises there are, you may also take a bath with witch hazel to help promote healing.
Witch hazel is commonly used for subcutaneous bruises appearing on the face and neck area.

Why It Works

Witch Hazel is not only popular in the beauty community as a toner, but it is also a natural astringent and is very popular as well when it comes to healing cuts. Applying Witch Hazel to a bruise helps reduce swelling.

You can buy Witch Hazel here.

witch hazel

12. Vanilla Extract

Apply one to two drops of concentrated vanilla extract to the bruise, gently massaging it in for a minute. Repeat this process two to three times a day.

Because vanilla extract is usually pretty sticky, it’s best to use this on bruises that are far from reach. Vanilla extract works best on subcutaneous-type bruises.

Why It Works

Applying vanilla extract to bruises can help prevent it from turning blue to black. Its antioxidant properties help in the regenerations of cells, which therefore speeds up the healing of bruises.

11. Compression

Wrap the bruise using an elastic bandage. Replace bandage every other hour with 20 minutes intervals. Do this for the one week as soon as you notice bruising.

Compression therapy for bruises is best used for bruises around the arms or legs for easier bandage wrapping. If you have bruised ribs though, it’s wise to avoid using the compression method entirely.

Why It Works

Squeezing the tissues can help prevent blood vessels from leaking. Compressing a bruise can lessen the severity of the bruise and reduce the pain and swelling.

10. Arnica

Arnica ointment or cream is popularly used for laser-induced bruises. You can often find Arnica labelled as “bruise cream.” Apply arnica ointment or gel topically on the bruise as many times as needed during the day.

Arnica can be used for any type of bruise found anywhere on your body.

Why It Works

Arnica for bruises is a popular homeopathic herb that can reduce inflammation and swelling.

You can buy arnica cream here.


9. Toothpaste

Before bed, wipe toothpaste on your bruise and cover with a bandage to avoid staining your clothes. Leave it on overnight and remove the bandage in the morning, wash with water, and reapply and bandage again at night. Repeat this for two to three nights.

Why It Works

Toothpaste helps break up clots and increases blood flow in the bruised and affected area. After one night, you will already notice your bruise getting lighter and a reduction in swelling.

8. Sugar or Honey

You will need sugar syrup, a bandage, and an ice pack. Pour warm sugar syrup on the bruise and cover with the bandage. Let the sugar solidify, and follow with an ice pack. Change the bandage every other hour. You can also use honey instead of sugar syrup.

It is best to use sugar or honey to treat bruises in areas where there is not a lot of body hair. Because the ingredients used are quite sticky, it might be painful to wash off due to hair sticking. When washing off honey or sugar from the body, make sure to use warm water.

Why It Works

Sugar and honey are usually used for skin-care rather than injury treatment, but they can work well on a bruises since they both have antibacterial properties.

7. Ginger

Wash ginger thoroughly, crush and apply to the swollen area—peeling the ginger is not necessary. Hold the ginger in place using gauze and/or plaster. Leave on overnight for the best results, and repeat for a day or two.

Why It Works

Ginger works wonders on inflamed, injured skin. Many people also use this method paired with a cold ice pack in the mornings for a speedy healing process.

6. Parsley

Wash a handful of parsley and crush with a mortar and pestle or chop finely. Apply this to the bruised area of your skin and wrap with an elastic bandage or cloth bandage. Leave it on for seven to eight minutes as often as needed with intervals in between.

Why It Works

Parsley is a popular anti-inflammatory herb. It is popularly used as well to help with pain and get rid of bruising colouration.

5. Aloe Vera

Apply aloe vera gel topically on your bruise. Aloe vera gel is readily available in most drugstores and beauty stores. Aloe vera can be used for bruising appearing anywhere on your body, but works especially well for facial bruises.

Why It Works

Aloe vera is known to be popular as an anti-inflammatory. For best results, make sure the aloe vera gel is pure, or better yet, straight from the actual plant itself.

You can buy aloe vera gel here.

aloe vera

4. Vitamin K Cream

Vitamin K ointment or cream can be purchased at most drug stores, over-the-counter. Vitamin K creams can typically be used for subcutaneous bruises, especially on the face. Apply the ointment to your bruise in gentle, circular motions. You may do this twice a day.

Why It Works

Vitamin K has properties that help to encourage blood clotting in order to prevent further blood loss.

3. Heat

Using heat is one of the most popular ways to help heal bruises. You can use a heating pad or a hot water bottle or even soak in a hot bath to promote healing. For bruises on your back and/or tailbone, lie down on your stomach and place a heating pad on your back for about 20 o 30 minutes. For bruises on legs, you may elevate your bruised leg while applying heat.

Why It Works

Applying heat to a bruise helps to boost blood circulation and increase blood flow. Any trapped blood from the bruise formation will be cleared away thanks to the heat. The heat helps to relieve any tension in the muscles as well.

2. Hirudoid Cream or Gel

Hirudoid cream is typically used for bruises with swelling, scarring, and even inflammatory conditions of the veins. To use, simply rub in a thin layer of the cream on the bruise, once or twice daily. Hirudoid creams may also come in gel form and are usually used to help heal bruises on veins.

Why It Works

Hirudoid creams and gels contain the active ingredient heparinoid. It is absorbed into the skin and works by dissolving small blood clots. This is why Hirudoid Cream is effective in treating bruises that are painful or uncomfortable. Hirudoid creams are very effective, but usually, require medical advice before use.

You can buy Hirudoid cream here.

hirudoid cream

1. Ice Pack

Use a reusable ice pack, a bag of ice, or even a bag of frozen food wrapped in cloth. Apply ice to the bruised area for 10 minutes at a time, with 20-minute waiting intervals before reapplying.
An ice pack is the best way to help heal a black eye, a bruised knee, a bruised heel, as well as most periosteal bruises. This includes bruises occurring on the toes, fingers, nails, knuckles, ankles, and foot.

Why It Works

Cooling your bruise with an ice pack helps the blood vessels reduce the amount of blood that leaks into the surrounding tissue. Using an ice pack on a fresh bruise can help reduce discolouration and swelling.

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