Bruises often look worse than they feel. A bruise, also called a contusion or hematoma, results when you bump into something hard enough to crush the blood vessels underneath the skin without breaking the skin. The vessels begin to leak, explains the National Institutes of Health, causing the red or purple blotch on your skin. As bruises heal, they turn greenish-yellow before your skin tone evens out. Most bruises last a couple of weeks, although they can linger longer. Simple home remedies can help you get rid of bruises quicker.
Immediately apply an ice pack or cold pack to the injured area as soon as you can, advises "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies," originally published by the editors of Prevention Magazine in 1990. Not only does this cause the injured blood vessels to constrict, you'll also reduce swelling and numb the pain. Ice the area for 15-minute intervals, allowing your skin to warm up naturally after treatment. If you suspect a particularly nasty bruise will emerge, continue this home treatment for 24 hours.
In "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies," dermatologist Sheldon Pollack of Duke University Medical School advises applying heat to the bruised area after 24 hours have lapsed. This makes the blood vessels open up and improves circulation.
Keep the injured area elevated if you can, advises the Mayo Clinic. "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies" describes bruises as "little reservoirs of blood." If the bruise is on your leg, for example, the blood that's pooled in the bruise will find other places to settle.
Take 500 mg of vitamin C three times a day, advises Pollack. Studies indicate that people who are vitamin C deficient may bruise easier and heal more slowly. Vitamin C encourages collagen tissue to form around your blood vessels, and in turn, this offers them better protection.
The Mayo Clinic urges you to contact your doctor if you bruise easily or develop large, painful bruises for no apparent reason; notice bleeding on other parts of your body, such as the nose or gums; or see blood in your eyes, urine or bowel movements. This could suggest you have a serious medical condition that needs to be treated.