Bruises are purplish, red or black-blue spots on the skin that are caused due to an injury. When any of part of your body gets a hard knock, the small blood vessels under the skin get damaged. A sudden blood leak from these blood vessels pushes into the surrounding tissues, causing the black-blue marks (1). A bruise is medically termed as a contusion. It only takes minutes for your skin to turn dark with a bruise after a hard hit. You may also feel pain and inflammation in the affected area. Bruises heal in around 12-15 days. However, if you follow the remedies on how to get rid of bruises quickly, you can prevent a bruise overnight.
Home Remedies for Bruises
The following are some useful home remedies to get rid of bruises before they turn into a major scar.
1. Ice Therapy
An ice pack is the best first aid for bruises. Ice packs cool down the damaged blood vessels, control the blood leakage and reduce swelling.
When flesh and skin are swollen, this is when secondary damage occurs to tissue so it is vital to apply an ice pack as quickly as possible to prevent bruising.
- Alternatively, if an ice pack is not available, then soak a cotton cloth in ice cold water and place it on the affected area. Repeat it several times a day for about 10 minutes (4).
- Moreover, frozen vegetables can also help you get rid of bruises overnight. Wrap them in a soft cotton towel and place it on the bruise (5).
- Another option is to take two stainless steel spoons and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. Later, place them on your bruise. This helps reduce the blood clot.
2. Elastic Bandage
3. Hot Water Bottle
In case of swelling, first, apply a cold compress and then hot compress. (9).
Moist heat works better on bruised tissues in comparison to dry heat therapy, as it goes deeper and spreads quickly.
Apart from hot water, you can also use hot bath, hot water soaked towel or a warm Jacuzzi (10).
Note: Water used should be warm, not too hot and it should have a consistent temperature.
Once bruises appear, mix vinegar with warm water and apply it on the affected area to treat blood clot instantly.
Taking at least 500 milligrams of bromelain each day can fade away bruise faster.
6. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an effective remedy to treat blood clotting and tissue damage in the body (14). To treat bruises quickly, eat vitamin K rich vegetables.
Add Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables to your meal.
- Alternatively, buy vitamin K cream from the nearby drug store and apply it on the bruises to treat them faster.
Chocolates contain cocoa bioactive compounds that have an anti-inflammatory property that proves very beneficial for skin health (15).
Melt some chocolate and keep that warm melted chocolate on the bruised area. Now cover it with a bandage to let the chocolate dry over the affected area.
This hot chocolate pack compresses the damaged blood vessels to control the blood flow. This also reduces bruises instantly.
Note – When trying a hot chocolate pack, be careful not to burn yourself.
This fruit contains an enzyme called Papain which is used to treat many skin problems (16). Therefore, eat papaya to get rid of bruises faster.
9. Vitamin C
According to research, this vitamin is very safe to be used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, photoaging, tissue inflammation and also for tissue healing (17).
10. Grape Seed
Grape seed fastens wound healing (18). Crush a few grape seeds to extract the juice from it. Apply this flavonoid-rich grape seed juice to heal the bruise. Alternatively, drink this juice twice a day for effective results.
11. Turmeric and Tamarind Paste
Turmeric is traditionally used in many South Asian countries as a remedy to get rid of bruises because of its therapeutic and medicinal properties.
Tamarind is also used commonly for healing wounds and cure inflammation because of its antioxidants and antimicrobial activity (21).
Make a thick paste of tamarind and add two pinches of turmeric to it. Now heat this pack and gently apply the hot pack on the bruise. Cover the bruise with a soft cotton cloth to let it disappear faster.
When bruises are caused due to blood vessels injury, you can extract onion juice and apply it on your bruise.
Let the skin absorb juice so that it works deep within the blocked blood vessels to treat the blood clot (23).
Apply lemon juice on your bruise and gently rub for about 5 minutes. It will soon heal the bruises.
14. Black Coffee
15. Sugar or Honey
Apply hot sugar syrup on the bruise and tie it with a bandage. If hot syrup sounds scary to you, then first apply thick sugar syrup on the bruise and afterward place an ice pack on the affected area.
Now, let the sugar dry to tighten the skin so that bruises stop spreading all over.
16. Black Pepper, Vaseline, and Cayenne
Apply it directly on the skin to get rid of bruises (30). Mix cayenne and pepper with Vaseline, and then apply it on your bruise to heal it quickly.
Butter has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proved through several studies that butter has medicinal properties which can cure skin problems (31).
For treating minor bruises and burns, you can use butter. Apply fresh butter on the bruise and gently massage your skin.
18. Castor Oil
Rubbing castor oil on the bruise not only reduces it but also prevents the skin from peeling off once the bruise is gone (32).
19. Raw Potato
Ginger contains antioxidants which are very beneficial for skin health (33).
Slice some ginger and soak them in hot water for some time.
Then, strain the water and drink it. Alternatively, rub the crushed ginger directly on the bruises.
21. Comfrey Leaves
Let it boil for 15 minutes and strain the water to treat bruises overnight.
Comfrey ointments can be applied directly to bruises to heal the pain and reduce swelling (34).
Comfrey root extract also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation (35).
According to a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, this herb is very effective in curing bruises (36).
Arnica can be applied directly to the affected area to reduce pain and swelling caused due to bruises. Alternatively, you can also consume arnica orally (37).
Deficiency of vitamin K also causes bruises. Include parsley in your diet to overcome Vitamin K deficiency (38).
Once you wrap your bruise with an elastic bandage, keep some crushed fresh parsley leaves underneath the bandage.
This not only checks bruises, but also controls blood clot, inflammation, and reduces the pain caused due to bruising.
24. St. John’s Wort
It is used as a topical application in the form of oils or tinctures (39).
It also helps relieve pain.
Apply St. John’s wort oil on your bruise, or you can boil dried St. John’s wort in water.
Strain the water and drink till the bruises are completely gone.
25. Herbal Tea Compress
Dip unbleached muslin cloth in the water and apply it on the bruise.
Essential oil like Eucalyptus, lavender, geranium, peppermint, and ginger can be used (42).
26. Olive Oil and Mullein Flowers
Mix macerated mullein flowers and olive oil. Store the mixture in a corked bottle and keep it in sunlight for a long time.
The procedure produces an oil that can be applied directly on bruises and gives relief from pain and inflammation.
Alternatively, oil can also be produced by placing the flowers near the fire for several days (43).
29. Arnica, Chamomile, and Yarrow
Arnica is popularly used to get rid of bruises (46). Chamomile possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help to get rid of wounds.
It can be used both internally and externally for treating many health conditions.
Take arnica, chamomile, and yarrow, and mix them together to form an herbal infusion. Apply it regularly on the bruise to make it fade away faster.
You can consume bilberry extract or can take it in the form of pills.
31. Witch Hazel
The active ingredients found in witch hazel have astringent properties which prove useful to cure bruises (49).
Apply a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel on the bruise to speed up the healing process and soothe the inflammation.
You can also apply witch hazel astringent bark tea on bruises for curing pain and inflammation (50).
- Use the above remedies as many times as possible in a day.
- There are microwave moist heat packs available in the market. You can buy such heat packs to treat your bruises better.
- Soon after treating your bruise with cold or warm packs, a soothing massage is recommended. If you cannot tolerate the pain then miss this step.
- You can combine both warm and cold bruise treatments alternately to get better relief from a bruise. However, it is recommended that you give at least 2 hours gap between these treatments.
- If you are living in a tropical area then expose your bruise to direct sunlight. Sunlight breaks down the bilirubin to make the bruise yellow in color, thus, it fades away faster.
- If possible, keep the affected area elevated (51, 52).
- After bruises appear, restrict moving around often. The more you walk, run, jump or move around, the bruise develops more. Avoid putting strain on the affected area (53, 54).
- Start your treatment as soon as the injury is sustained as the blood clot may get severe.
- Avoid intake of aspirin.
Sometime bruises may occur without a fall, trip or any other injury. This is a serious condition and you should consult your doctor. Bruises can also appear due to leukemia, anemia, and hemophilia that are deadly, so consult your doctor immediately.