Bruise Healing Tips
Bruises heal at different rates based upon the severity of the bruise, how your body naturally heals itself, and actions you take to minimize the bruise or speed up the healing process. Over many years athletic trainers and medical professionals have developed several “rules” for helping bruises heal faster. The good news is that the solution is easy to do, inexpensive, and simple to remember. Just think of ICE. That’s right, I – C – E which stands for Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Immediately following a bruise you can limit the impact on your body from the trauma that caused the bruise. The first thing you want to do place ice directly on the affected area of your body. There are some simple ways to do this. You can simply get a zip-lock bag and fill it with ice (best if the ice is crushed or shaved), then wrap it in a damp towel and place it directly on the bruise. Others sources for ice treatment: old fashioned ice bags, commercial ice packs, frozen bags of peas or corn (and of course, don't eat the food in the bags after you've sued it in this manner). The ice reduces blood flow to the area and minimizes the amount of blood and body fluids that collect and help form a bruise. This helps reduce the size of the bruise and also dulls the pain associated with a bruise. The ice should be applied for about 20 minutes (10 – 15 minutes for kids) for 1 – 2 days following the initial injury.
Between applications of ice you should place an elastic bandage around the affected area to again limit the amount of blood and fluids that can collect in the bruised area. You should apply the bandage with modest pressure – if the area begins to throb, or turn white or feel cool to the touch, it is probably too tight. When you apply the bandage, start at the point furthest from the heart, and work your way towards the heart. Do not wear the elastic bandage while you sleep.
While at rest, if possible, rest the injured area so that it is above your heart. This is easier with arms than legs. If the bruise is on your leg, simply lay or sit back, and place a pillow or blanket under the limb and position it above your heart. This simple technique reduces the flow of blood and fluids to the injured area, once again limiting the size of the bruise. While you sleep, simply place the affected area on a pillow to elevate it.
>> ACCELERATE HEALING
After the first 24 – 48 hours following the bruise, your body should be starting the recovery process. You can continue to apply ice to the affected area, but now it is for therapeutic reasons – increasing blood flow to accelerate healing. Very simply put, the ice will compress the blood vessels and when you remove the ice and the area begins to warm, blood will flow to the bruised area. This is part of the body's natural healing process. A great way to apply ice for this purpose is by way of an ice massage. Here’s a trick of the trade. Get a paper Dixie cup - fill it with water and freeze it. When frozen, peel some of the paper off the open end of the cup, wet that end and move it across the bruise area. Your treatment is done when the ice is melted. Do that 3 or 4 times during the course of a day until the bruise is gone.
A perfect complement to ice massage is BruiseMD. Both BruiseMD tablets and topicals help the body heal faster. BruiseMD works at the site of the bruise to help the body clear away the debris that forms the bruise (basically dead protein from blood and other fluids), and reduces pain and inflammation. You can take the BruiseMD tablets or topicals alone, or in combination. If you use on of the topicals, especially the ointment, you can massage the area of the bruise, helping break the bruise up and increase blood flow to the area, accelerating bruise healing. BruiseMD is a safe (even for children) and effective way to help those bruises disappear and heal faster.