Bruises are caused by small torn blood vessels under the
skin and may occur after a bump or a fall. Blood seeps into tissues, turning
them reddish, then black and blue. Most bruises go away within 2 to 3 weeks,
after turning yellow, green, and brown. Home treatment may speed healing.
Bruising or discoloration can be more serious when it:
Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)
Actinic keratoses commonly appear in areas of chronic sun exposure, such as the face and dorsa of the hands. Actinic cheilitis is a related condition that usually appears on the lower lips...
Develops within 30 minutes of the injury. This
can occur with a severe bruise (contusion), dislocated jaw, broken facial bone,
or broken lower jawbone (mandible).
Occurs on the cheek or on the
floor of the mouth. This can be a sign of a broken jaw.
behind an ear ("Battle's sign") or around both eyes ("raccoon eyes"). If
bruising occurs in these areas and is not caused by direct injury to both eyes
or the forehead or behind an ear, it can be a symptom of a skull
fracture-especially if a head injury was also present-a broken cheekbone
(zygomatic fracture), or a broken nose.