A bruise forms when a blow breaks small blood vessels near the skin’s surface, allowing a small amount of blood to leak out under the skin. The trapped blood appears as a black-and-blue mark. Sometimes, there are tiny red dots or red splotches.
If the skin isn’t broken, a bandage isn’t necessary. You can, however, enhance healing with these steps:
Bruises respond well to compresses of Witch Hazel, Comfrey, or Arnica.
Elevate the injured area and apply ice or a cold pack for 30 to 60 minutes at a time for a day or two after the injury.
Diluted Witch Hazel can be poured into an ice tray and frozen before use.
Caution: See your doctor if:
You have large or painful bruises — particularly if your bruises seem to develop for no known reasons.
You bruise easily and you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from your nose or gums, or you notice blood in your eyes or your urine.
You have no history of bruising but suddenly experience bruises.
These signs and symptoms may indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood-clotting problem or blood-related disease. Bruises accompanied by persistent pain or headache also may indicate a more serious underlying illness and require medical attention.