12 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bruises — Fast

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How To Get Rid Of Bruises Fast: 12 Home Remedies

Something as simple as bumping your head on a door as you’re getting out of the car can create a nasty bruise that takes weeks to disappear. Without knowing how to get rid of bruises, you’re stuck covering it up with makeup or hiding it under your clothes.

Bruises are nothing to be embarrassed about, but they’re typically not something you want to draw too much attention to, either. 

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How Long Does it Take for a Bruise to Go Away?

Bruising happens when impact causes your blood to get trapped beneath the skin.

Tiny blood vessels get damaged from even a slight hit, causing blood to gather and create a dark patch under the surface of the skin. These patches vary in color from grayish-blue or purple, to green or even yellow, and are tender to touch. 

Bruises usually heal on their own but can take up to 2 weeks, so it’s no wonder so many people have come up with many home remedies to try and speed up this process.

Does Toothpaste Get Rid of Bruises? 

Toothpaste is one of the most common “hacks” when it comes to getting rid of bruises quickly.

Many fans of this remedy suggest applying a layer of toothpaste over a bruise and putting a bandage over the area to prevent the toothpaste from getting on your clothes. Then, leave this on overnight and repeat as needed.

The claim is that toothpaste breaks up clots and increases blood flow to the applied area, but there’s actually no science to support this remedy. In fact, dermatologists typically condemn this hack since many ingredients in toothpaste can irritate the skin.

That said, if you’re stuck and don’t have sensitive skin, it’s worth a shot. 

How to Get Rid of Bruises with Mouthwash

As for how to get rid of bruises using mouthwash? Again, this treatment could just be a popular myth since no scientific research has been done into this remedy.

The anti-septic qualities in an alcohol-based mouthwash could treat some of the discoloration associated with bruising, but this may also irritate the skin. Keep this in mind before trying this remedy.

Does Massaging a Bruise Help?

When a bruise develops, it can be tempting to massage the tender skin. This is not a good idea!

Pressing down on or massaging the bruise can cause even further damage to the blood vessels that have suffered impact. 

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12 Home Remedies for Healing Bruises

Enough about methods that don’t work. Here are the top scientifically-proven methods for quickly healing bruises at home.

1. Ice

Applying ice to an impacted area as soon as possible can reduce swelling and temporarily constrict blood flow. This allows blood vessels to heal and prevents blood from gathering to form a bruise.

Ideally, leave an ice pack on the area for between 10 and 30 minutes, repeating this process for 3 hours. 

2. Heat

After a bruise has formed, it is beneficial to boost circulation and blood flow to clear the patch of clotted blood underneath the bruise. Soaking the affected area in a warm bath or under a heating pad can also relax muscles and relieve pain. 

3. Elevation

Elevating the bruised area so it is above your heart allows blood to flow away from the bruise.

This encourages the trapped blood and fluid to move through the body. It also alleviates some of the pain of a bruise. 

4. Compression

Since bruises are caused by leaking blood vessels, constricting these vessels can prevent this leak and, in turn, prevent the bruise. Use an elastic bandage to tightly wrap the bruised area. 

5. Aloe vera

Aloe vera has important calming and anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce the swelling associated with bruising. Look for 100 percent aloe vera gel or use the gel directly from an aloe plant. 

6. Vitamin K cream

A 2002 study examined patients who were prone to bruising after laser therapy treatments. It concluded that vitamin K cream was an effective treatment for bruising since this vitamin is essential in preventing blood clotting.

A diet of vitamin K-rich foods — kale, soybeans, strawberries, and blueberries — could also be effective. 

7. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory and is essential for overall skin health.

Eating a diet rich in citrus fruits and berries can boost your vitamin C intake and treat bruising. Vitamin C can also be found in topical treatments like serums and creams, which may also be used.  

8. Bromelain

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes that have an anti-inflammatory property. Bromelain is found naturally in pineapple, but can also come as a topical ointment or an oral pill.

A 2014 study found that bromelain pills were effective in reducing pain and swelling after a tooth extraction. However, these pills are associated with digestive problems, so applying bromelain gel 2 to 3 times per day may be a safer approach.

Anyone who is allergic to pineapple should not use bromelain. 

9. Quercetin

Quercetin is another fruit-derived flavonoid that has similar properties to bromelain and is often included in bromelain creams. It can also be found naturally in apples, citrus fruits, red onion, dark-colored berries and cherries, and leafy green vegetables.

Supplementing your diet with these foods may help if you are prone to bruising easily. 

10. Arnica

This homeopathic herb is proven to effectively reduce inflammation and bruising. One study found it to be helpful in clearing post-surgery bruising while another claimed it sped up the healing process after laser-induced bruising. 

11. Comfrey 

Comfrey root is a plant that is frequently used in the treatment of skin injuries and inflammatory pains. A 2012 research paper praised its use in treating bruising.

Comfrey comes in a topical cream form but can also be made into a compress by steeping comfrey leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes, then wrapping in a cloth and applying to the affected area. 

12. Zinc

Zinc is an important nutrient in maintaining healthy skin tissue and treating wounds. Good sources of zinc include spinach, pumpkin seeds, crab, lobster, and legumes.

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How to Get Rid of Bruises on Face

This treatment for a bruised face can also be used to get rid of bruises on arms and bruises on legs. But since the skin on your face might be more prone to sensitivity, you can use this process instead of the others to quickly heal bruising. 

1. Immediately after being struck in the face, put an ice pack on the affected area. This will reduce swelling. 

2. Hold the ice on the sore skin for at least 10 minutes, but no more than 30 minutes.

3. Keep the ice off for 15 minutes. Repeat this on/off process for up to 3 hours. 

4. Repeat these steps a few times a day for the first 36 hours after trauma. 

5. Keep your head elevated during this time, sleeping on thick pillows. 

6. After 36 hours, swap your cold treatment for a warm compress, holding to your face 3 to 4 times a day for 30 minutes. 

How to Get Rid of Bruises on Legs

Legs really take a beating. From hitting thighs against table corners to bumping our shins on stairs and doorways, there are countless reasons why we find ourselves waking up with bruised legs.

Luckily, you can follow all the same treatments you would with any other bruise, as mentioned above. Large ice or heat pack can be particularly useful in treating this bigger area of flesh. 

How to Get Rid of Bruises on Arms

The same goes for arms.

Bruising on elbows, forearms, or shoulders can be easily treated by applying topical comfrey or bromelain, by using ice and heat, or by supplementing your diet with zinc and vitamin C.

When to Call a Doctor

Bruises are a somewhat unavoidable part of life, but frequent bruising could be a sign of an underlying illness or deficiency. Allow your bruises sufficient time to heal, but do contact a doctor if: 

  • You bruise frequently with no obvious explanation
  • Your bruises are still significantly painful for 3 days after a minor injury
  • You develop a lump over the bruise
  • You start bruising after taking a new medication or supplement
  • You notice bruises in strange places that don’t normally receive impact, such as your back or abdomen
  • You notice blood in your urine

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Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. When she’s not creating content for Your Tango, you can catch her working on creative fiction and vintage shopping.