When Treatment for Bruises May be Necessary
Treatment for minor bruises is generally rather straightforward. An application of ice being one of the more commonly used methods. Although this is mostly to keep any swelling down, which can also at times keep the size of the bruise at a minimum. Most of the bruises we suffer tend to be rather mild affairs. They most often are the result of a bump or a fall. Sometime you might even have unexplained bruising. The area that sustained the bruise will hurt at first, but the pain usually goes away fairly quickly. In its place, a bruise will eventually appear. The harder the bump, or the more damage that has been done to tissues, the larger the bruise will be. It may often be more colorful as well.
What a Bruise Is
In medical terms a bruise is a contusion. A contusion occurs when blood vessels are damaged to the extent they rupture. Most of these blood vessels lie just under the skin. For the most part they are tiny. The very smallest of them are referred to as capillaries. Should one or more of them break or spring a leak, it’s not quite the same as rupturing an artery. Nevertheless, there will be a loss of blood, which will collect under your skin since it has nowhere else to go. A collection of blood that lies just under the skin and is visible is what we call a bruise. When you receive a bruise it usually lasts for a few days to several weeks. The larger it is, the longer it tends to last. Eventually, your body reabsorbs the blood that has been lost and the bruise goes away.
There is usually no treatment for bruises that is needed when they are small, since they are generally harmless. Most bruises for that matter are harmless, although there are some exceptions. In general, the less harmful bruises tend to treat themselves quickly and efficiently. As they do so they will often change color. Color changes can sometimes leave you to wonder if something is going wrong. There should be no cause for alarm. Those color changes are usually an indication that things are going right.
The Transition from Red to Brown
When a bruise first appears it takes on a reddish color. This is the natural color of the blood, and the reddish color of the bruise is usually retained for a day or two. After that, your bruise may become purplish or blue in color. This is most often the case when there is some swelling involved. Swelling can cause oxygen to be cut off from the site of the bruise. When this happens, the hemoglobin in the blood turns blue.
The next thing that could happen is that your bruise will start to turn green. Green is not a natural color in the human body, or at least not one you’re used to seeing very often. The color green is often associated with something terrible like gangrene. That is something like what is happening here, but to a much smaller and usually completely harmless degree. The hemoglobin that had its oxygen cut off will begin to decompose. As it does so, it turns greenish in color. It’s not completely done changing color however. As it’s reabsorbed back into the body, it may turn yellowish or brown in color. Fortunately, all of these color changes are quite natural, and they are quite harmless as well. One could say that you body’s treatment for bruises is not only very effective, but quite colorful.
When Treatment May Be Necessary
Sometimes a bruise results from a more serious injury than a blow to the skin. Sometimes trauma is not a direct cause, and the bleeding that causes bruising is the result of a medical condition. When this is the case, treatment for bruises, and treatment of the underlying cause is often essential. If you experienced bruising without there being any apparent cause, you should see your doctor. Your problem may not be a serious one, but then again it could be.
If you’re experiencing multiple bruises that appear for no apparent reason it may be a sign that something is not as it should be with your autoimmune system. There are some autoimmune diseases in which the system attacks the body’s blood vessels, causing them to leak or rupture with the result being that of multiple bruising. If a bruise appears near your navel, and you have not experienced a blow of any kind to the area, it could be a sign of internal abdominal bleeding. If there is swelling in internal tissues or organs, that swelling could possibly cause bruises to appear on the surface. The bruises are harmless, but what is causing them may not be.
The bottom line is if you receive a bruise as the result of a blow or fall, and nothing appears to be strained, sprained, or broken, the bruise shouldn’t require any particular treatment. If on the other hand, you discover a bruise, and you don’t have any idea how it got there, it may be worthwhile having it looked into, especially if there is any associated pain that lingers on. If you suddenly begin to experience multiple bruising, you should definitely see a doctor.