Blackmores bruising

Bruising

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Bruises are also known as contusions. They form when blood vessels rupture and blood seeps into the tissues, usually following a knock to the skin.

Symptoms

  • Skin discolouration that is initially reddish, becomes blue-purple, then takes on a greenish tinge before fading to brown, yellow and then reverting to the natural skin colour over approximately nine days
  • Discolouration may not be visible in individuals with dark skin tones
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling of the affected area
  • Use of the affected body part may be restricted, especially if a muscle is involved
  • Occasionally, a bruise develops into a haematoma, a large accumulation of blood in the muscle or beneath the skin that is firm and painful to touch. Seek medical advice.
  • Bruises deep within the muscle also sometimes cause complications, so see your doctor if you experience significant pain with any bruise
  • If bruising is accompanied by bleeding from the nose, gums or digestive tract, it is important to seek medical advice urgently

Causes

Bruises may be caused by anything that injures the blood vessels, allowing blood to leak out of them. Besides accidents, falls and other causes of trauma to the affected site, other causes may include:

  • Use of certain medicines (e.g. aspirin, warfarin and prednisone)
  • Bleeding disorders (e.g. haemophilia)
  • Other medical conditions, including cirrhosis, leukaemia and some forms of anaemia
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Deficiency of vitamin C

We become more susceptible to bruising as we get older and our blood vessels and skin become more delicate, so it’s not uncommon for older people to experience bruises of significant size without being able to recall any trauma to the tissue.

Women are more prone to bruising than men (perhaps due to hormonal differences).

Natural therapies

  • Skin that bruises easily may indicate inadequate consumption of vitamin C, which is important for the health and integrity of the capillaries. Vitamin C also supports wound healing, and plays a role in the production of collagen (one of the structural components of blood vessels). Taking vitamin C with bioflavonoids is more effective than taking vitamin C alone
  • Zinc is also beneficial to skin repair and wound healing.
  • If bruising affects a muscle, it may be beneficial to take a combination of vitamin C, magnesium, folic acid and vitamin B12, as all these nutrients are involved in the maintenance and repair of muscle tissue.

Diet and lifestyle

  • In the first 24 hours after a serious bruise occurs, follow the RICE protocol of first aid:
    - Rest the affected part
    - Ice packs should be applied on and off
    - Compression to help stem the bleeding 
    - Elevate the affected part above the heart if possible
  • Later, moist heat may help to promote circulation and healing.
  • Include plenty of citrus and other fresh fruit in your diet to provide vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Berries are also considered especially useful for helping to maintain healthy circulation.
  • Vitamin K is important for blood clotting, so make sure you consume plenty of leafy green vegetables.
  • Creams or ointments made from arnica or comfrey are traditionally used to promote the healing of bruises, but should not be applied to broken skin.
  • If you bruise easily, it’s important that you can navigate around your home without knocking yourself. Keep you home neat and tidy, and avoid clutter – especially in passageways.

Important notes

  • Occasionally, bruising is a symptom of more serious underlying disease. Consult your doctor if:
    - You bruise very easily or from no apparent cause
    - Your bruises take longer than two weeks to heal
    - You experience bruising around the eye, navel or ear
    - You are concerned that your prescribed medicine may be causing or contributing to your bruising
    - Your bruise is accompanied by headache, pain or bleeding from the nose, gums or digestive tract