Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

Treatment for Bruises

Treating a Bruise at Home

1. Reduce Bruising and Swelling

  • Ice the area on and off for the first 24-48 hours.
  • Apply ice for about 15 minutes at a time, and always put something like a towel or wash cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Rest the affected area.
  • If possible, elevate the affected area.

2. Treat Symptoms

Recommended Related to First Aid

Understanding Insect and Spider Bites -- Symptoms

Most insect bites produce only minor irritation, with symptoms such as: Swelling at the site of the bite Itching or burning Local numbness or tingling Bites of poisonous spiders and scorpions may produce these symptoms: Intense pain at the site of the wound Stiffness or joint pain Muscle spasms Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting Fever or chills Difficulty breathing or swallowing A spreading, ulcerated wound or tissue death Dizziness,...

Read the Understanding Insect and Spider Bites -- Symptoms article > >

3. When to Call a Doctor

  • If bruise is accompanied by extreme pain, swelling or redness
  • If the person is taking a blood-thinning medication
  • If bruises appear on skin for no apparent reason
  • The bruise in on the face or head
  • You can’t move a joint
  • You may have a broken bone

4. Follow Up

  • Two days after a bruise develops, apply a heat pack or wash cloth soaked in warm water to the area several times a day to promote healing.
  • Pain and tenderness should get better within a few days and the bruise should go away within a couple of weeks.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 15, 2015

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
3d scan of fractured skull
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Person taking food from oven
sniffling child
wound care true or false
caring for wounds
Harvest mite

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More