There are various excessive pressure to the skin that may cause discolored areas referred as bruises. These occur when any part of the body is struck, breaking small capillaries underneath the skin without breaking the surface of the skin. As a result, blood from these broken capillaries leak out under the skin, causing discolored region of the skin that may appear reddish or purplish. The most common injuries causing visible bruises are bumping or banging into things.
Are bruises permanent?
Bruises are visible because the muscles and connective tissues under the skin are crushed due to hard pressure, while the skin itself is not broken or torn. Despite the damage undergone by the tissues and muscles under the skin, bruises are mostly not permanent. As a part of natural healing process, the body will start fixing the damaged tissues until it eventually fades and thus, the natural skin tone is restored. Although some people are more susceptible to bruising—such as the elderly, bruises occurring on their skin are not permanent issue, as well.
How long a bruise lasts
Bruises that come from blood leaking from small blood vessels under the skin take time to develop before they are fully healed and the skin tone is restored. There are some contributing factors influencing how long bruises may stay visible on the skin, such as:
- The age of the patient. Younger people have got more elastic skin with sufficient collagen level that may absorb any pressure from blows or bumps without too much damage. On the other hand, the elderly have got fragile blood vessels, causing it to be more susceptible to damage and rupture. This is also the reason why the elderly experience bruises more easily than the younger people.
- The force of blow or bumps. How powerful the causal blows and bumps triggering bruises also determine the length of time required by the body to fully fix the leakage and restore the original skin tone.
- The location of bruises. Blows affecting the areas over bones will be more severe than the one affecting the soft tissues. Hence, blows over bones take more time to completely heal. If there is fracture on this area, caused bruises will be worse and thus, take longer time to heal.
- The blood disorder issues. People with blood-clotting-related issue, such as hemophilia may find it difficult for appearing bruises to go away.
Although based on the above factors, the length of time elapsed by bruises before fully healed may be various, in general bruises will last for approximately 2 to 14 days, depending mostly on the injuries. During this time, there are some phases elapsed by the damaged blood vessels, influencing the color of bruises indicating each healing phase.
- Immediately after injuries, you may spot reddish, swollen skin region as a result of blows or bumps. This inflamed area may or may not be painful. This reddish appearance of bumps indicate there is leaked blood from capillaries under the skin surface.
- Within 1 to 2 days, your hemoglobin inside the blood changes, causing bruises to change color into purple, blue, or even black.
- Afterwards, you might notice these bruises change its color into greenish or yellowish.
- After 10 to 14 days of healing, bruises are going to change color into yellowish-brown or light brown and is eventually restored to your original skin tone color.
Speeding bruises healing process
Although most bruises will fade away within 2 weeks without any left scars or signs, the healing process may vary among people, depending on the type of skin tissues, health condition, or certain taken medicines. Fortunately, there are some methods to speed bruise healing process and alleviate pain resulted from bruises, such as:
- Applying cold compress regularly
Cold compresses can be beneficial for promoting faster healing to bruises as they help making bruised area smaller by reducing blood flowing into the affected region. Proper cold compresses also reduce swelling and thus, alleviate pain sensation that may come with certain bruises. Apply a cold pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in cloth onto the affected area for 15 minutes and repeat the treatment several times a day to make the bruises smaller and the pain subside.
- Elevating body parts with bruises above the level of the heart
If you have got bruises on the legs, it is helpful to elevate the affected body part, bringing it above the level of the heart. This will help reduce bruises by slowing down blood flow into the site, so that the blood around the site will not leak through the damaged blood vessels, but flowing back to the rest areas of the body, instead. Hence, the bruised areas will improve, causing them to be less visible.