Bruises are a common occurrence that can happen to anyone. They are often the result of an injury or trauma to the skin, which causes blood vessels to break and leak blood into the surrounding tissues. Bruises usually appear as discolored patches on the skin, ranging from blue and purple to yellow and green as they heal.
While bruises generally resolve on their own within a couple of weeks, there are several natural remedies that can help speed up the healing process and reduce their appearance. In this article, we will explore 16 natural remedies to get rid of bruises.
What Causes Bruising?
People usually get bruises when they hit a hard object. Other causes of bruises include:
1. Improper Diet
A balanced diet is essential for the body to work correctly. Iron deficiency, vitamin C, or K may result in easy bruising. Following a low-carb diet may also affect blood clotting.
Vitamin K helps the body in making clotting factors, which are required to form a blood clot. Without vitamin K, blood will not clot, leading to bruising, nosebleeds, and other bleeding issues.
Vitamin C deficiency can also result in bruising, as this vitamin is essential for collagen production. Lack of this vitamin weakens blood vessels due to collagen degeneration.
Most bruises occur when an injury or impact breaks capillaries or blood vessels near the skin’s surface of a blow.
As people age, the skin loses some fatty layers that cushion to protect capillaries from injury. The skin also becomes thinner and becomes prone to bruises. Older adults may also tend to bump into things frequently and get bruises.
4. Medical Conditions
Bruising may also indicate a severe medical condition, such as a blood disease or a blood-clotting problem. Visit your doctor if you:
- Constantly develop large bruises for no apparent reason
- Have easy bruising
- Suddenly get bruises, especially if you just started taking new medications
- Have a history of bleeding
- Have a family history of bleeding or easy bruising
People with diabetes can develop bruises quickly. Viral infections may also result in unexplained bruises. Some autoimmune bruising-related diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and vasculitis.
5. Supplements and Medication
Anti-platelet agents, aspirin, and anticoagulant medications can reduce blood clot ability. Taking antibiotics may also interfere with the clotting process, and bleeding from blood vessel damage may take longer than usual to stop.
Applying systemic and topical corticosteroids for treating skin problems may also result in skin thinning.
6. Sun Damage
Although the sun is necessary to help your body produce enough vitamin D, prolonged sun exposure can damage the skin and result in easy bruising.
7. Unexplained Bruises for No Apparent Reason
In some cases, you may not remember what caused your bruise. That does not mean you have a health condition, especially if it is small or only appears occasionally. Random bruises can be caused by mild trauma or injury.
Some medical conditions that may cause unexplained bruises include liver disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
16 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Bruises at Home
Here are the 16 best natural remedies to speed up the bruise healing process you should try.
1. Cold Compress
A cold compress is an effective remedy to reduce the swelling and pain associated with bruises. A cold compress to the affected area constricts the blood vessels, minimizing blood flow and preventing further leakage.
- Take some ice cubes and wrap them in a cloth.
- Gently press the cold compress against the bruise for 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat this process several times daily to reduce swelling and promote faster healing.
Arnica is a well-known herbal remedy for bruises and other forms of trauma to the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and promote healing.
- Apply arnica gel or cream directly to the bruise.
- Do a patch test first to check for any allergic reactions.
- Repeat the application a few times daily to benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help reduce the size and color of bruises. It contains tannins, which help constrict blood vessels and promote healing.
- Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel.
- Apply it to the bruise several times a day.
- Witch hazel’s tannins will help constrict blood vessels and promote healing.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming or applying fresh pineapple juice to the bruise can help reduce swelling and accelerate healing.
- Consume fresh pineapple or drink pineapple juice to benefit from its bromelain content.
- Alternatively, apply fresh pineapple juice directly to the bruise.
- Bromelain aids in reducing swelling and improving blood circulation.
Comfrey is a medicinal herb used for centuries to treat bruises, sprains, and other skin conditions. It contains allantoin, a compound that promotes cell regeneration and speeds up the healing of bruises.
- Apply comfrey ointment or cream to the bruise two to three times a day.
- Comfrey’s allantoin compound promotes cell regeneration and speeds up the healing process.
6. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is a natural remedy that can help relieve pain and reduce swelling associated with bruises. It contains magnesium sulfate, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Dissolve a cup of Epsom salt in warm water.
- Soak a clean cloth in the solution and apply it to the bruise for 15-20 minutes.
- Repeat this process twice a day to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
7. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is crucial in blood clotting, essential for healing bruises. Increasing your intake of vitamin K-rich foods can help promote faster healing and reduce the appearance of bruises.
- Include vitamin K-rich foods like kale, spinach, and broccoli.
- Vitamin K aids in blood clotting, which is crucial for healing bruises.
8. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain and reduce the appearance of bruises. In addition, you can also use Aloe vera gel as an alternative.
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf.
- Apply it directly to the bruise several times a day.
- Aloe vera’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties will help reduce pain and bruise appearance.
Calendula, also known as marigold, has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for bruises and skin inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce swelling and prevent infection.
- Apply calendula ointment or cream to the bruise a few times a day.
- Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that promote healing.
10. Essential Oils
Certain essential oils have properties that can aid in the healing of bruises. Lavender oil, for example, has soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Choose essential oils like lavender, helichrysum, chamomile, or frankincense.
- Apply a few drops directly to the bruise and gently massage.
- These oils have soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.
11. Heat Therapy
After the initial 48 hours of sustaining a bruise, heat therapy can be beneficial in promoting blood circulation and reducing the appearance of the bruise.
- Use a warm compress or a heating pad on a low setting.
- Increased blood flow to the area promotes healing.
12. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which plays a vital role in collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps repair damaged blood vessels and tissues. Including citrus fruits in your diet or applying citrus juice to the bruise can help speed healing.
- Consume citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
- The vitamin C in these fruits aids collagen production, repairing damaged blood vessels and tissues.
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory spice that can help reduce swelling and promote healing. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to have therapeutic effects on various skin conditions.
- Mix turmeric powder with water or coconut oil to form a paste.
- Apply the paste to the bruise.
- Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties will help reduce swelling and promote healing.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known for its numerous health benefits, including its ability to reduce inflammation.
- Dilute apple cider vinegar with water.
- Soak a cotton ball in the diluted solution and apply it to the bruise.
- The acidic properties of apple cider vinegar help break down blood clots and reduce bruise appearance.
15. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can also aid in the healing process of bruises. Drinking adequate water helps flush out toxins and promotes healthy blood circulation.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Staying hydrated helps flush out toxins and promotes healthy blood circulation, aiding healing.
16. Rest and Elevate
Resting and elevating the affected area can help reduce pain, swelling, and further damage to the bruised area.
- Rest the affected area to avoid further damage and promote healing.
- Elevate the bruised limb above heart level whenever possible.
- This helps reduce swelling and encourages blood flow away from the bruise.
1. How long does it take for a bruise to heal naturally?
Healing time for a bruise varies depending on the severity of the injury and the individual’s healing ability. Generally, mild bruises can take one to two weeks to heal, while more severe ones may take several weeks to fade completely.
2. Are there any specific foods that can worsen bruising?
Certain foods and supplements can thin the blood and increase the risk of bruising. These include garlic, ginger, ginkgo biloba, and fish oil. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you are taking any medications or have concerns about your diet and bruising.
3. Are there any signs that indicate a bruise may be more serious?
While most bruises are harmless and heal on their own, certain signs may indicate a more serious underlying condition. If a bruise is accompanied by severe pain or difficulty moving the affected area, or if it does not improve or worsens after a few weeks, it is recommended to seek medical attention.
4. Can I massage a bruise to promote healing?
Gentle massage around the bruised area can help improve blood circulation and promote healing. However, avoid applying excessive pressure directly on the bruise, which may cause further damage or prolong the healing process.
5. Are there any natural remedies that can prevent bruising?
While it’s challenging to prevent bruising completely, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. These include wearing protective gear during physical activities, maintaining a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, and avoiding activities that may result in trauma or injury.
6. When to See A Doctor?
See your doctor if you have set unexplained bruising with any of these symptoms:
- Severe pain in the injured area
- Signs of infection on or around the injured area
- Lump over the bruise
- The bruise does not disappear within two weeks
- You suddenly start to develop bruises easily
- You frequently notice unexplained bruises on your legs or other body parts.
Bruises can be unsightly and uncomfortable, but with the help of natural remedies, their appearance can be reduced, and the healing process can be accelerated. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or if the bruise does not improve over time.