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Bruises also called contusions develop when small blood vessels under the skin tear or rupture, most often from a bump or fall. A hematoma is similar, but more concentrated giving the skin a spongy, rubbery, lumpy feel.
Bruises are the second most common sports injury after strains, and although not considered a serious injury, they can cause mild discomfort and create quite a nasty looking discoloration on the skin.
Bruises change colors over time in a predictable pattern, so that it is possible to estimate when an injury occurred by the color of the bruise. Initially, a bruise will be reddish, the color of the blood under the skin. After one to two days, the red blood cells begin to break down, and the bruise will darken to a blue or purplish color. This fades to green at about day six. Around the eighth or ninth day, the skin over the bruised area will have a brown or yellowish appearance, and it will gradually diminish back to its normal color.
The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) may lead to increased bruising. Aspirin, antidepressants, asthma medications, and cortisone medications also have this effect. The anti-clotting medications also known as blood thinners, especially the drug warfarin (Coumadin) also increase risk of bruising.
Bruise treatment that lessens hemorrhaging (RICE):
20 minutes may be too long for people sensitive to cold (children and elderly people ). Well conditioned athletes, they can leave ice on for much longer.
Do not use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn) or ketoprofen (Actron or Orudis) ] for the first 24 hours after an injury that caused a bruise. NSAIDs may prolong bleeding under the skin.
After 3 days:
You will see a range of recommendations as to when to start applying heat.
Hematoma at www.home-remedies-for-you.com
You can use an ice pack 3 to 4 times a day. If the arm is sprained, wrap it with an elasticized bandage in between the ice treatments. On the third day, apply hot compress instead of ice. For the heat treatment use heat lamps, hot soaks, or heating pads. Massage the area gently to decrease the swelling. A hematoma responds well by and decreasing its swelling.
After your hematoma has fully formed, apply heat, using something like warm towels or heating pad. This promotes bruise treatment re-absorption and blood vessel repair.
Apply ice packs to the injured area immediately after the injury and hold pressure. The ice pack must be kept on for at least 20 minutes. It may be alternated with a heat pack for the next 48 hours. Although a bruise may be reduced by this method, it will have to undergo the appropriate stages of healing. It will change color from red to purple to yellow to brown.
Basophils, the rarest of the white cells, release heparin, which dissolves old clots. Links:
Bruises at Encyclopedia.com
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Information - Bruising
Bruising at Herbs2000.com
Bruises and Muscle Contusions - Get rid of that bruise quickly
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