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    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

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    Understanding Sprains and Strains -- Prevention

    The best way to prevent sprains or strains is to keep yourself in good physical shape -- with regular stretching and strengthening exercises -- so that your muscles, ligaments, and tendons are strong and flexible enough to resist trauma. To prevent recurrent injury, ask your doctor or physical therapist for exercises designed to rehabilitate the muscles in the injured area. You may benefit from a brace to protect the area while you are recovering from a recent injury. Use a brace for only a short...

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    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

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