How a Bruise Develops over Time
You’re walking along with your head in the clouds when suddenly you smack right into the corner of a coffee table. This type of blunt trauma marks the birth of a nasty bruise. The physical change in your skin and tissue takes place immediately and cycles through some very specific phases.
The Early Stages of a Bruise: Trauma and Immediate Aftermath
Building on the scenario of banging your shin against a coffee table, you undoubtedly feel pain and maybe even a little adrenaline rush in the immediate ensuing moments. While your mind is distracted by the pain, the blunt trauma is causing capillaries and other blood vessels to burst, releasing blood into the tissue under the skin where it doesn’t belong. The color may appear red at first, but it will take on a purple hue as the red blood cells in the pooling blood start to lose oxygen.
Accelerated Healing Tip: Apply ice to the point of impact immediately. If possible, add some mild pressure with a compression bandage and elevate the affected area. Ice slows the flow of blood, resulting in less pooling and discoloration around the impact site, and compression further impedes fluid buildup.
No matter how fast you act, some blood buildup is inevitable, but elevation helps drain fluid from the area, relieving some of the immediate pooling of blood under the skin. Acting quickly leads to less bruising, and smaller bruises naturally take less time to heal.
The Green Period: Why a Bruise Changes Colors
Within a few days, parts of the bruise start turning a greenish hue. This is due to hemoglobin in the red blood cells losing oxygen and breaking down into a substance called biliverdin. (This naturally occurring pigment is also found in bile.) When it comes to bruises, the change in color to green is a sign that your circulatory system is reabsorbing the fluid around the bruise. The green tends to show up on the outside edges first because there is less fluid around the outside of the bruise, leading those cells to lose oxygen and break down more quickly.
The immediate goal of bruise care is to lock down blood vessels and stop the flow of blood to the impact site. However, after the damaged vessels have healed and stopped leaking blood, you want to stimulate the undamaged blood vessels around the bruise without triggering further swelling. This is where Arnica Montana comes in handy for healing a bruise.
PROcure’s gel-based Arnica treatment can help stimulate blood flow to promote reabsorption of the blood cells forming the bruise and speed healing without exacerbating the injury or causing swelling. Gently apply Arnica to the site of the bruise, rubbing carefully to avoid further tissue damage. Biliverdin absorbs back into the bloodstream, where it’s processed by the liver, and your bruise is on the fast track to recovery.
As your bruise heals, your body works hard to clear out all the fluid that started accumulating the moment you injured yourself. The location of the bruise can make a difference as well, as deep tissue areas like the thighs often bruise more deeply and take longer to heal. Some patience is necessary as your circulatory system does its healing work, but you don’t have to simply wait it out. PROcure Bruise Remedy Gel is an all-natural treatment with Arnica that can speed the healing time of unsightly bruises.