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Bruising can be a sign of more significant injuries

When you're in a crash, you might not think much about bruising that you find on your body. After all, bruising is fairly common, especially when your body has been hit or impacted.

The truth is that there are some times when these injuries, which are often perceived as minor, are actually signs of significant problems that need attention from a medical provider.

What should you expect from a normal bruise?

The life cycle of the typical bruise is approximately two weeks long. The bruise starts off red in many cases, but after one to two days, it will look purple, brown or black.

Within 10 days, the bruise should become yellow or green. Then, by the 14th day, it should turn light brown or light yellow-green before disappearing completely.

Some people heal faster or slower than others, but this is the general timeline of what to expect. If your bruise appears red for multiple days or if it remains dark, there could be a more significant underlying issue.

When should you seek attention for bruising?

It's sometimes necessary to seek medical attention for bruising. If you're in a crash, it's best to go to the hospital immediately to make sure you receive a medical exam. This rules out things like internal bleeding or hemorrhaging that you may not notice immediately.

If you don't go to the hospital or notice changes in bruising days after an incident, you may wish to return if you have symptoms such as:

  • A bruise that is growing in size
  • A bruise that keeps occurring in the same spot, healing and returning
  • Bruising that is combined with numbness of an arm or leg
  • A bruise that causes impairment of your vision, such as a large, swollen bruise on the eyelid
  • A bruise that occurs on the abdomen, trunk or head, since this could signify damage to an internal organ
  • A bruise that is on the head or neck

While these aren't always signs of something more significant than bleeding that has stopped and has yet to be healed completely, continual bleeding could signify problems such as internal organ damage, damage to a joint, broken bones and other issues that cause veins to break or bleed out. Treatment is sometimes as simple as rest, but other times, surgical intervention may be necessary to prevent complications as a result of internal bleeding or pressure from bleeding.

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