What are Bruising?
Bruising occurs when the tissues beneath the skin become injured.A bruise is also called a contusion. Contusions occur when a direct blow or repeated blows from a blunt object strike part of your body, crushing underlying muscle fibers and connective tissue without breaking the skin. You can also get a contusion by falling or jamming part of your body against a hard surface. Most contusions are minor and heal quickly without taking you out of the game. But severe contusions can cause deep tissue damage and lead to complications and/or keep you out of sports for months. When these tissues are injured, small veins and capillaries (the tiniest blood vessels) under the skin sometimes break. These blood vessels then leak out red blood cells.
The red blood cells that collect under your skin are what cause that bluish, purplish, reddish, or blackish mark. That’s where black-and-blue marks get their name – from their color on the skin.
Causes of Bruising
Bruises are caused by bumping into a hard surface, a sudden blow to the body, a fall or other injury. People who do not eat enough fresh uncooked foods high in nutrients can be more susceptible to bruising than those who consume a healthy diet. Heavy smoking, menstruation or underlying health conditions, such as AIDS, allergies, anemia, cancer, hemophilia, infections, obesity, myelocytic leukemia and abnormal platelet function, can all be causes of easy and frequent bruising. Anyone with thin, delicate skin can also be prone to bruising.
Symptoms of Bruising
Bruises look like areas of blue to purple-colored skin that may turn yellow to dark brown over the course of a few days.
Treatment of Bruising
Treatment of bruising will vary depending on the underlying cause of the bruise. When an injury occurs, the application of an ice pack off and on for the first 24 hours will reduce further bruising and swelling. After 24 hours, a hot pack to the area will help the bruise heal more quickly.
Beneficial Supplements Dietary
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids supplies oxygen to injured cells and strengthens capillary walls.
- Multivitamin and Mineral Complex with zinc strengthens skin and reduces bruising.
- Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting and healing.
- Vitamin E improves circulation in the body.
- Coenzyme Q10 is essential for constructing and rebuilding cells in the body.
- DMG improves oxygen metabolism in the tissues and cells.
- Comfrey reduces swelling, pain and the discoloration of bruises.
- Arnica and Alfalfa stimulate healing.
- Witch Hazel helps heal damaged veins.
Tips for Prevention of Bruising
To prevent bruising, eat plenty of fresh, uncooked foods high in mineral content. Eat dark green leafy vegetables, buckwheat and fresh fruits high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and spinach. Eat foods high in zinc, like chicken, eggs and soybeans, to strengthen blood vessels. Do not take blood-thinning pain relievers, like aspirin and ibuprofen, because they can make discoloration worse. Acetaminophen, like Tylenol, relieves pain without thinning the blood.
Suggestions of Bruising
- To minimize bruising, as soon as possible after an injury, place an ice pack on the bruised area and keep it in place for thirty minutes.
- Eat a diet including an abundance of dark green leafy vegetables, buckwheat, and fresh fruits. These foods are high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which help to prevent bruising. Leafy greens such as kale are also good sources of vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and healing.
- Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, and others), or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If bruising is frequent, consult yourhealth care provider.