Are you looking for home remedies for bruises that work? While bruises usually heal without treatment alternative remedies are simple but effective ways to cure symptoms such as swelling and pain. Below learn more on natural, homeopathic and herbal remedies for bruises on the face, arms, and legs.
Bruises medically known as contusions develop when small blood vessels under the skin tear or rupture from a bump or a fall. This makes blood leak into tissues under the skin giving a black or dark blue color. Most bruises do not warrant medical attention as they will away on their own. Using home remedies for bruises may reduce pain and swelling and speed up the healing process.
Even people with dark skin can have bruising tendencies but may show up more on fair-skinned people. The time that bruises take to disappear may vary. Most fade within two weeks.
What are the symptoms of bruises?
A fresh bruise appears as a tender bump on the skin that is red or purple in color. It gradually changes from a reddish color to bluish-purple and then green-yellow before it fades to light brown then disappears.
According to Webmd.com on Bruises and Blood Spots Under the Skin, People with thin skin tend to bruise more easily and this does not point to a serious health condition. Other people who tend to bruise more easily are the elderly because their skin becomes less flexible and thinner. Women bruise more easily from minor injuries on thighs, buttocks and upper arms. The article continues to explain that bruising also runs in families. Other causes of bruising include deficiency of vitamin Kand as a side effect of drugs such as warfarin, quinine, and corticosteroids.
10 Best Home Remedies for Bruises
It is important to note that severe bruising, swelling and pain that begins within 30 minutes of an injury may be an indication of a more serious problem. Seek immediate medical attention to rule out a fracture or sprain. Sudden unexplained bleeding without injury may be a symptom of illness and a problem with clotting factors. Here is how to cure bruising with home remedies.
Soaking in water with Epsom salt may reduce the appearance of bruises. Epsom salt is known to relax muscles- it is for this reason that it is believed to reduce swelling and pain around the area that is bruised.
- Add 2 cups of Epsom salt in a warm water bath
- Soak the bruised area until the water cools
- Rinse with clean water
Epsom salt may cause irritation as it dries the skin and may leave crystals on the skin surface. Rinsing with clean water ensures you get rid of magnesium crystals.
Using cabbage leaves is one of the old home remedies for bruises. It is loaded with vitamins and phytonutrients which possess anti-inflammatory properties. It also has lots of vitamins K and C which are great anti-bruising agents.
- Cut out the hard stems off cabbage leaves
- Soak the leaves in hot water to make them softer
- Using a rolling pin, knead on the leaves to make a paste
- Place the crushed cabbage leaves on the affected area and secure with gauze and leave it on for 30 minutes
You can do this several times a day until the bruising disappears.
Cayenne Pepper and Vaseline for bruises
Cayenne pepper has excellent healing properties which are why it is used as a natural cure for bruises. It used by mixing it with Vaseline to increase effectiveness and mask the stinging nature of cayenne pepper when applied on the skin.
- Mix one tablespoon of cayenne pepper with five tablespoons of melted Vaseline
- Allow it to cool and apply to the bruised skin
- Apply this remedy daily until the bruising disappears usually 4-5 days
Be sure to test a small part of your skin for allergies to cayenne.
According to huffingtonpost.com on Surgeon Secrets to Reduce Bruising and Swelling,” Bromelain is derived from pineapples (actually the stem), and is a potent enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties and plays a role in reducing bruising and swelling.”
When used as a topical lotion applied directly over skin bruises, bromelain helps to reduce inflammation and pain, and break down the blood proteins that have coagulated or clotted to form the bruise. Bromelain also helps to fade the bruise quickly and prevent further blood clots from forming.
Eating pineapples is one way to treat and prevent bruising days before a surgical or cosmetic procedure, but the amounts absorbed when internally consumed have been found to be insufficient.
- Mash up a ripe banana or extract the juice with a blender. Apply it on your skin and allow it to stay on for not more than 5 minutes
- Alternatively, you can cut up a slice of pineapple and gently rub it on the affected skin
- Allowing pineapple for more than five minutes on your skin can cause burn your skin. This leaves you with the option of drinking pineapple juice as frequently as possible to naturally cure bruises.
Pineapple is also a good anti-aging agent. It has lots of alpha hydroxyl acids that slow down aging, get rid of dark spots, freckles, and wrinkles.
Tea Bags for Healing Bruises
Tea contains tannins which when applied to the skin constrict blood vessels. This stops blood from flowing to the bruises helping to get rid of discoloration. It is an excellent remedy for a black eye; tea bags also help to reduce swelling and pain.
- Simply soak the tea bags in warm water for 3 minutes
- Place the warm tea bag on the affected skin and leave it on for minutes
- Do this several times a day to cure bruises and get rid of skin discolorations
Both black and green tea bags can be used as home remedies for bruises on the face as they also help to get rid of dark spots and dark under-eye circles.
Onions for Relieving Bruising
As long as the skin is not cut, onion can be used effectively to naturally cure bruises. Onions contain a compound known as allicin responsible for making you tear. When applied to the skin allicin stimulates the lymphatic flow pushing away excess blow from collecting below the skin.
- Depending on the size of the bruise, peel and cut enough slices of onion. Place the piece or pieces on the bruise and strap it on for up to 15 minutes
- Alternatively, you can dip an onion slice in apple cider vinegar and use it to gently rub on the bruised area
Toothpaste as Easy Remedy for Bruising
Toothpaste is one of the home remedies for bruises that make the discoloration and swelling disappear faster. Toothpaste also calms inflammation.
- Mix toothpaste with lotion
- Apply the mixture to bruised skin before you go to bed
- Cover the area with an ace bandage to prevent staining bedding
- Wash off the paste in the morning
- Do this for the next 2-3 nights for maximum results
According to grandmas-wisdom.com, on Mullein Tea, “A compress of mullein flowers relieves bruises, rashes and skin irritation.”
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried mullein flowers into a cup of boiling water
- Let it steep for a few minutes
- Allow it to cool and strain
- Soak a clean cloth in the mullein tea and wring out excess water and place it on the affected areas
- Secure the cloth with a plastic wrap and change twice daily until the bruising is gone
Vanilla contains lots of antibacterial and antioxidants that help in faster healing and promotes the regeneration of new cells. It is a traditional remedy for burns, bruises, and cuts.
- Simply use concentrated vanilla extracts or essential oil
- Apply it directly to the bruised area to get rid of discoloration
DO NOT apply vanilla extracts onto burns
According to youngliving.com, using therapeutic grade lavender is highly regarded for the skin. It may help cleanse and soothe cuts, bruises, and other skin irritations. Lavender has an antibiotic with antiseptic properties that make it ideal for bruises by promoting healing and reduce scarring.
- In a bowl with cold water, add several drops of lavender oil
- Soak a cloth in this water and apply it on the bruise
Lavender oil also helps to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Herbal Remedies for Bruises as Alternative Cures
Herbs that possess anti-inflammatory properties discourage swelling and promote fast healing which makes them ideal bruise treatments. The effect of these herbs, however, depends on one’s skin sensitivity.
Witch hazel has been used as an alternative treatment for skin problems by Native Americans. Its natural astringent properties make it an excellent remedy for bruises and minor bumps on the skin. Applying witch hazel on bruises can also help fade discoloration and speed up the healing process.
Soak a thin cloth or a cosmetic pad in witch hazel and apply it to a bruise and hold it in place for a few minutes. Repeat this bruise treatment twice every day until the bruising disappears.
Aloe Vera is one of the commonly used home remedies for bruises. It contains lots of enzymes that speed up healing bruises and small wounds. It also seals off bruised areas preventing bacteria from getting in.
- Break off the tip of aloe Vera leaf to extract the fresh gel. Apply the fresh gel onto the bruised area and allow it to stay on for some time.
- Alternatively, you can buy pre-packed aloe Vera gel form the store and apply it to the bruised area. If you decide to choose lotions or creams with aloe Vera, go for one with at least 80% aloe Vera content.
Fresh parsley is one of the easiest and fast home remedies for bruising. It decreases pain, calms irritation and helps to get rid of dark blue marks on the skin.
- Crush some parsley leaves
- Spread the crushed parsley over the affected area and secure with a bandage
St. John’s Wort Oil
St. John’s wort is one of the old tale home remedies for bruises. Its juice softened seeds and oil can be used topically to cure bruises. It has anti-inflammatory properties that when applied on the skin, reduces swelling and dramatically get rid of the discoloration.
- Apply St. John’s wort oil on the bruise several times a day.
- Alternatively, you can soak the seeds or use fresh sap juice thinned with chamomile tea and apply it directly to the area of the bruise to speed of healing
Natural Remedies for Bruises
Natural remedies for bruises can be used together with or without herbal remedies to reduce inflammation and hasten to heal.
Cold compresses can help reduce the size and appearance of a bruise significantly. The best thing would be to do it as soon as the injury occurs. Cold therapy constricts blood vessels reducing the flow of blood to the affected area. This significantly reduces swelling and numbs the nerve ending reducing the perception of pain on the skin.
- Make a cold compress with ice packs or a bag full of frozen peas
- Wrap it in a towel to prevent skin injury
- Apply the cold compress directly to the bruised area for 15 minutes
- Repeat this several times a day until the bruise is gone
Do not place the ice on the skin for too long to avoid frostbite.
It is recommended that you avoid anything that may stimulate blood flow and increase swelling for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, when the swelling is gone, apply moist heat to help stimulate blood flow and restore mobility to the affected area. You can alternate between heat and cold treatments. While cold compress helps to get rid of inflammation, warm compresses speed up the healing process.
Expose to Sunlight.
According to wikihow.com, “Ultraviolet light breaks down bilirubin, which is the product of hemoglobin breakdown that causes the yellowish color of a bruise. If possible, expose the bruise to sunlight (safe amounts, don’t sunburn) to accelerate the isomerization of the remaining bilirubin.”
Getting yourself some 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight in the day should be enough to break the bruise without getting skin burns.
Elevating the bruised area
The elevation is a good home remedy for bruises on the legs and arms as they can be raised above the level of the heart. Elevation helps reduce the blood supply to the area which in turn reduces the pain, swelling and stops further discoloration due to blood rush to the area. Elevate the injured area as soon as the injury occurs to get the best results.
Gentle massage of the outer edge of the bruise stimulates the lymphatic system which in turn initiates healing by breaking down the bruise, preventing infection and hastens to heal.
Massaging also helps to relieve pain and stimulate blood flow to the area. Do not massage the center of the bruise and stop if it causes you any pain.
OTC Pain Relievers
Taking over the counter painkillers like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen will help to reduce pain and swelling. DO NOT take aspirin as it is known to thin blood and may cause the bruise to get worse.
Frequent bruising may be a sign of a problem with your blood clotting factors. According to livestrong.com, a severe deficiency of vitamin K may cause symptoms related to bleeding such as easy bruising. Increasing the intake of vitamin K is one of the best easy bruising remedies.
However, if your bruising is caused by something else asides the deficiency, taking vitamin K may not help with your condition. Vitamin K is readily found in foods like broccoli and other dark leafy green vegetables; it is also produced by bacteria in the gastrointestinal system.
Dr. Axe on How to Heal Bruises Fast says, citrus, colorful fruits, and vegetables contain vitamin C and bioflavonoids which help in faster-wound healing. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids found in citrus fruits help to manufacture collagen essential for the repair of damaged blood vessels.
Homeopathic Remedies for Bruises
Homeopathic remedies for bruises such as arnica are good for the treatment of skin problems such as burns, wounds, sore muscles and bruises. Arnica Montana is highly recommended by surgeons to reduce bruising and swelling after surgery.
The Britishhomeopathic.org records that Arnica Montana is the best known homeopathic remedy that has been used to demonstrate the effect of homeopathic remedies on bruising and trauma. Arnica possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for faster healing of wounds and bruises.
Pierre Barrieu, a former head fitness coach for the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, recommends the application of topical arnica as soon as possible after the traumatic event. It will accelerate healing and reduce inflammation. Gently rub arnica gel over the bruised area once or twice a day.
Consult a doctor when:
- You notice very painful swelling in the bruised area
- You are still experiencing pain three days after a seemingly minor injury
- Have frequent, large or painful bruises, particularly if your bruises appear on your trunk, back or face, or seem to develop for no known reasons
- Have easy bruising and a history of significant bleeding, such as during a surgical procedure
- Notice a lump (hematoma) form over the bruise
- Are experiencing abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from your nose or gums or in urine or stool
- Suddenly begin bruising, but have no history of bruising
- Have a family history of easy bruising or bleeding
Home remedies for bruises work differently depending on one’s skin sensitivity and the cause of bruising. Remember to always rule out allergies and skin sensitivity before using herbs and other home remedies that can cause allergic reactions when applied to the skin.