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Video:How to Get Rid of Bruises

with Jonathon E. Stewart

We all get them - through sports, minor accidents, or just plain clumsiness. But before they turn into purple-green monsters, here's how you can nip bruises in the bud for good. See how to treat bruises quickly.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Get Rid of Bruises

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Maybe you're a boxer, maybe you don't get enough vitamin C, and maybe, you're just clumsy. But whatever the cause, if you've got a bruise that you want to banish, take a look at the following tips. Check it out.

What Causes Bruises?

A bruise, or what your doctor might call a contusion, is the result of rupturing capillaries underneath your skin, usually from being hit or bumped. Once these tiny blood vessels break open, small amounts of blood flow out to the surrounding area, which gives a bruise its reddish-purple coloration. And also explains why they hurt.

Now, while this may not be a technical medical distinction, it seems that there are only two major classifications of bruises: ones that you know you get right away - often characterized by someone around you saying, "Man, that's gonna hurt" - and those that sneak up on you and you wonder how you got them, often after a night of heavy drinking.

Ice Bruise Treatment

If you know you've got one coming, your number one best bet it to get ice on it immediately. Fill a ziplock bag with cubes from your freezer, and place the pack directly on your skin, or wrap it in a paper towel if you've got particularly sensitive skin. You can also use a cold compress if you've got one. Ice for about 10 minutes, then take it off for about 10, and repeat as many cycles as you can within the first 24 hours. Keeping your bruise elevated will also help to keep down swelling and discoloration. Never place ice directly against your skin. You saw that Christmas movie where that young man stuck his tongue on the flagpole. Poor fella.

Herbal Bruise Remedies

After the first 24 hours, you might want to try using an Arnica gel or cream, which is an herbal remedy that helps your body to remove the excess blood and minimize bruising and swelling. Some people swear by simply rubbing the bruise gently to help disperse the pooled blood and speed healing time. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help to alleviate pain associated with bruising, though both may cause blood to thin which can hinder healing time. Let's see, rub it, which is painful, take drugs to deal with pain, drugs slow healing - you know, it's probably best to just be a little more careful and avoid the whole mess.

Concealing Bruises

Finally, you can attempt to cover your bruise with foundation makeup, specifically a yellow-based pot concealer for lighter skin types, or a darker shade for darker skin types. Dab lightly in the middle of the bruise with your finger or a makeup sponge, and carefully blend out towards the edge of the discoloration. Eating lots of high nutrient foods like fruits and vegetables and getting plenty of rest can also put your body in high gear to heal itself. You might also try shin guards, which work well against mischievous pieces of low-lying furniture.

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