Bruises, known medically as contusions, form when blood vessels break. Blood pools under the skin causing it to become red, dark purple, or blue within a few hours. The closer to the surface the damaged capillaries are, the more intense the discoloration. Swelling and pain are often associated with bruises. These symptoms can last for weeks but some home remedies might help speed the healing time.
Ice causes blood vessels to constrict, preventing additional blood from seeping beneath the skin. Not only does applying an ice pack slow discoloration or stop it completely, but it can also ease pain and swelling. Remember to never apply ice directly to the skin — always wrap packs in a cloth and do not place on the bruised area for longer than 15 minutes.
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