A bruise, also called a contusion or ecchymosis, is an injury to biological tissue
in which the capillaries are damaged, allowing blood to seep into the
surrounding tissue. Though bruises can cause a lot of pain, they usually aren't
dangerous. However, severe bruising can be dangerous and medical attention
should be sought.
The Ice Cure- An injury should be treated immediately after occurrence, despite
not having formed a bruise yet. Ice should be applied to the injury for periods of
15 minutes at a time, with 10 minute rests between. The cooling from the ice
constricts the blood vessels, decreasing the amount of blood that enters the
tissues and in turn reducing the severity of the bruise.
Follow Up with Applied Heat- After the first 24 hours of treatment, a heat pad,
warm bath, or warm washcloth can be used to dilate the blood vessels to
improve the area's circulation.
Using Vitamin C to Prevent Bruises- Studies show that those who lack
Vitamin C intake tend to bruise more easily and heal more slowly. What Vitamin
C does is help build protective collagen tissue around the blood vessels,
improving your guard to bruising.
The Exercise Connection- An injury isn't required for a bruise to form.
Exercising can naturally cause tears in the blood vessels below the skin,
allowing blood to seep into the tissues, inducing a bruise. If you believe your
bruise has occurred from exercise, start treatment with applied heat rather than
Avoid Smoke and Alcohol- Smokers and alcoholics tend to be more prone to
bruising, studies show.
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