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Bruises (cont.)

Are There Home Remedies for Bruises?

The treatment for a bruise is most effective right after the injury while the bruise is still reddish and fresh. Follow these home remedies to get rid of the discoloration of bruising more quickly.

  • A cold compress such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas should be applied to the affected area for 20 minutes every hour in order to speed healing and reduce swelling by constricting the underlying blood vessels in response to the cold. 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 (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may be taken for pain as instructed on the bottle. Avoid aspirin because aspirin slows the blood from clotting and may prolong the bleeding.
  • After about 48 hours, heat in the form of a warm washcloth or a warm heating pad applied to the bruise for 10 minutes two or 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.

There are some herbal and homeopathic remedies that claim to help relieve the pain, swelling, or discoloration of bruises. These treatments have not been proven to be effective by scientific testing. Before using any alternative remedy, consult your doctor as some may interact with medications you take or may cause allergic reactions on the skin in some individuals.

  • Arnica montana is a homeopathic remedy touted to help relieve pain and reduce swelling and discoloration due to bruises. It is often sold as a cream that is applied to the skin.
  • Apple cider vinegar is reported to increase blood flow to an injury, thus breaking up blood clots in bruised areas. It is usually diluted with warm water and applied as a compress.
  • Epsom salt baths relax muscles and can help reduce pain and swelling associated with bruises.
  • The enzyme bromelain, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory also reported to help dissolve blood clots, and may help reduce swelling associated with bruising.
  • Tea contains tannins that constrict (narrow) blood vessels. Tea bags from black tea or green tea applied directly to bruises are reported to help reduce discoloration from bruising.
  • Aloe vera is known for its healing properties, and many believe it speeds healing of bruises. Aloe gel is usually applied directly to the skin.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/1/2016

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