Bruises: What to expect after an injury

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Bruises: What to expect after an injury

Everyone has suffered from a bruise at one time or another. It’s an easy injury to get, and usually, it’s one that won’t lead to lasting complications. Interestingly enough, some bruising is serious enough to require treatment. If you have significant bruising, it’s something you should have a doctor examine.

After any kind of injury, it’s normal to expect bruising. Small, broken blood vessels leak, discoloring the skin as blood gathers below the surface. Small bruises are normally nothing to worry about, but in some cases, there are reasons for concern. Here are a few kinds of bruises and what to expect.

1. Purpura

Purpura isn’t necessarily caused by an injury. Instead, it’s likely to form because of diseases or medications you’re taking. It forms a kind of mottled purple color, spotting the skin.

2. Hematomas

Hematomas are significant bruises. These bruises happen when blood pools in significant amounts around a site. Hematomas are painful in most cases and likely to cause swelling. Sometimes, hematomas happen spontaneously. Other times, blunt-force injuries result in hematomas. If they form in the organs, they’re potentially dangerous, so get medical help if one develops.

3. Contusions

Contusions are the most common kind of bruise people suffer. These are normally caused by trauma to a body part. For example, if you’re playing baseball and are hit by the ball, you’ll likely develop a contusion at the point of impact. During the healing process, you can expect a contusion to turn colors, including purple, red, green, blue or yellow.

Caring for bruises

In most cases, bruises resolve on their own with some at-home care. For example, you can rest the area, ice it, compress the wound and elevate it above the heart. Doing this during the first 24 to 48 hours helps reduce the pooling of blood and the overall length of time that the bruise remains.

Both bones and muscles can be bruised. Resting is the best option for those who have significant bruising. For bruises on the thighs or legs, consider using crutches to reduce strain and reduce the length of time the bruise remains.

For bruises that become swollen, hot or that continue to grow, medical care is necessary right away. A growing patch of bruises could be a sign of internal bleeding that may require emergency surgery. A medical professional can evaluate your contusion, hematoma or other bruising to determine if you should be admitted for further medical care.

If you have been injured in a car accident or another type of negligent behavior, you may be eligible for compensation. Speak with an attorney concerning your legal options.

After a serious car crash or personal injury, it’s likely that you’ll have at least some minor bruising. Following an accident, it’s a good idea to seek medical care. Then, if you have only minor bruising or injuries, you can follow the RICE protocol, (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to reduce swelling and bruising overall.