A bump or injury can cause a bruise when the blood vessels under your skin break, and blood leaks into the surrounding tissues. Most bruises do not require medical attention, but they can be painful. Bruises can last anywhere from several days to several months, according to the website drugs.com. While you wait for the bruise to heal, try these tips to ease pain and swelling.
Care for a Bruise
Basic first-aid care for a bruise will help speed healing and help relieve pain. Try to get to an area where you can rest and elevate the bruised area as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Elevating the bruised part of your body will help keep swelling and pain to a minimum. Apply an ice pack to the bruise as soon as possible. The cold will relieve inflammation and numb the area to ease pain. Keep the ice pack on the bruise for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, and repeat this process several times a day for at least the first 24 to 48 hours following the injury. Never apply ice directly to your skin.
Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen. Ibuprofen medications, such as Motrin and Advil, can also help reduce pain and swelling. Be careful when moving around or using the bruised body part for at least the first few days. Accidently bumping your bruise or moving a bruised joint too quickly can cause the pain to return and may delay the healing process.
Some activities can make your bruise worse, increasing your pain levels. Never try to lance or pierce your bruise with a needle to drain the blood. Bruises usually heal on their own with basic first-aid care. If you bruise yourself while playing a sport or engaging in other physical activity, do not continue using the bruised part of your body. Do not ignore swelling or pain. Not taking care of your bruise can cause the bruise to get worse and heal slowly. See your doctor if your bruise is extremely large or if you experience severe pain.
If you find yourself bruising easily or find bruises that you are not sure how you got them, check with your doctor to rule out conditions that are more serious.