How to Heal Bruises Fast

Two Methods:Treating BruisesPreventing Bruises

Bruises happen when your body experiences a mild to severe impact, causing blood vessels under the skin to break. If you have somewhere to go, you might not want your bruise to show. Treat your bruise by alternating between ice and heat, resting the bruised area, and using over the counter meds. You should also take action to make sure bruising does not reoccur.

Method 1
Treating Bruises

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    Apply ice for the first 48 hours. A bruise is formed when a fall or blow causes blood vessels to break, causing blood flow to move to the skin's surface. When you first notice a bruise, apply ice right away. Ice can help heal a bruise fast by constricting underlying blood vessels.
    • An ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables, or ice in a plastic bag can serve as a cold compress. Remember, do not place an ice pack directly on the skin. Always wrap an ice pack in a cloth or towel.[1]
    • Every hour, apply the cold compress for at least 20 minutes. Do this for the first 48 hours you notice a bruise.[2]
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    Treat with heat after 48 hours. After 48 hours, transition from a cold compress to a warm one. This can increase blood flow to the area, allowing the skin to heal quicker. You can make a warm compress by running warm water over a wash cloth. Apply the compress to the bruise for 10 minutes two to three times a day.[3]
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    Try over-the-counter medications. Over-the-counter pain medications might help with the healing of a bruise. Most over-the-counter pain meds reduce swelling, which can make the bruise less noticeable.
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) are your best options for a bruise. Take in the recommended dose at the recommended intervals.[4]
    • Before taking any over the counter meds, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist to make sure they won't interact with any existing medication you're taking.[5]
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    Elevate and rest the bruise. Elevate the bruise as much as possible during the first 24 hours. This is especially important if you have a large bruise on an area like your leg or foot. Try to get some rest as well, avoiding exerting the body part where the bruise occurred.[6]

Method 2
Preventing Bruises

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    Use protective gear when engaging in exercise and sports. If you engage in vigorous exercise or sports, always wear protective gear. Invest in supplies like shoulder pads, knee pads, helmets, and other gear. If you're unsure what kind of equipment to buy, talk to a worker at a local sports or fitness shop.[7]
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    Keep floors and walkways clear. Bruises are often caused by accidental falls. Make sure you keep your floors and walkways clear of clutter to prevent bruising.
    • If you have young children, this can be difficult. Make sure to ask your kids to pick up after themselves and work on instilling good habits from an early. Explain to them the dangers associated with falling.[8]
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    Assure you get adequate vitamin B12, vitamin C, and folic acid. The vitamins B12 and C, as well as folic acid, boosts your body's natural immune response to injury. Making sure your diet is high in these vitamins and minerals can prevent bruising and decrease healing time for existing bruises.[9]
    • B12 is found in many organ meats, like liver, as well as shellfish like clams. Eggs, milk, and dairy products are also rich in B12. If you're vegetarian or vegan, consider asking a doctor about taking B12 supplements.[10]
    • Many fruits contain vitamin C. Fruits like mango, pineapple, strawberries, papaya, citrus fruits, and cantaloupe are particularly high in vitamin C. Veggies high in vitamin C include broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and winter squash.[11]
    • Folic acid is found in citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, and legumes like peas and dried beans.[12]
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    Talk to your doctor about your medications. Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can cause you to bruise more easily. Anticoagulants such as lovenox, warfarin, aspirin, and heparin can thin the blood and lead to increased bruising. Other medication such as NSAIDS, corticosteroids, and even supplements like fish oil and vitamin E may cause you to bruise easily. Your doctor may be able to switch you to a different medication if you are concerned about bruising.
    • Bruising easily may also be a sign of an underlying health problem, such as liver disease or a vitamin K deficiency related to celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and alcohol abuse. Talk to your doctor if you seem to bruise at the smallest bump or often have bruises and you don't know where they came from, if you have a hematoma (lump) over the bruise, pain three days after a minor injury, if you have a family history of bruising or bleeding easily, or if you suddenly begin bruising easily when you did not before.[13]
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    Wear a seat belt. Always wear a seat belt when driving. Not only does this prevent driving-related bruising, seat belts keep you safe from potentially fatal injuries in the event of a car crash.[14]


  • Bruises are not usually a cause of medical concern. However, if you have a bruise that's not in response to an injury and does not go away on its own within two weeks you should consult a doctor.[15]

Article Info

Categories: First Aid and Emergencies