Exams and Tests
If an injury is obviously a bruise and the doctor does not suspect any broken bones, the doctor will probably not perform any tests.
- If there is swelling or severe pain, the doctor may want to get an X-ray of the area to make sure there are no broken bones.
- If bruising occurs frequently and for no apparent reason, the doctor may have your blood tested to look for a bleeding disorder.
- Certain bruises, a pattern of bruises over time and in various stages of healing may alert a doctor to the possibility of physical abuse.
Bruises Treatment -- Home Remedies
The treatment for a bruise is most effective right after the injury, while the bruise is still reddish.
- A cold compress such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables should be applied to the affected area for 20-30 minutes in order to speed healing and reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Wrap the ice pack in a towel.
- If the bruise takes up a large area of the leg or foot, the leg should be kept elevated as much as possible during the first 24 hours after the injury.
- Acetaminophen may be taken for pain as instructed on the bottle. Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen because they slow the blood from clotting and may, in fact, prolong the bleeding.
- After about 48 hours, heat in the form of a warm washcloth applied to the bruise for 10 minutes or so two to three times a day may increase blood flow to the bruised area, allowing the skin to reabsorb the blood more quickly. Ultimately, the bruise will fade in color.
Medical Treatment for a Bruise
Doctors have no special treatment for bruises other than the techniques described above: ice packs and later heat, over-the-counter medications for pain, and elevation of the bruised area, if possible.
A suspected victim of domestic abuse may be referred to a social worker.
To prevent a bruise:
- Wear protective gear (like shin guards) while playing contact sports such a soccer.
- Place furniture away from doorways and common walking paths within your home.
- Keep phone and electrical cords away from open areas where you may trip and fall.
- Be sure floors are kept dry and that rugs are slip resistant.
- Keep floors free of clutter.
- Plug in a small night light or use a flashlight if you need to walk to the bathroom during the night.
- If your doctor has prescribed blood-thinning drugs, be sure to have regular monitoring and adjust medications as necessary.
Bruises typically take about two weeks to disappear.