10 Ways to Get Rid of Bruises

Medically reviewed by Elaine K. Luo, MD on June 1, 2017Written by Emily Cronkleton on June 1, 2017

Treatments for bruises

Bruises are the result of some type of trauma or injury to the skin that causes blood vessels to burst. Bruises usually go away on their own, but you can take steps to lessen the pain and reduce the visibility.

10 Natural ways to treat bruises

The following treatments can be done at home:

1. Ice therapy

Apply ice immediately after the injury to reduce blood flow around the area. Cooling the blood vessels can reduce the amount of blood that leaks into the surrounding tissue. This can prevent the bruise from being as apparent and reduce swelling.

You can use a reusable ice pack, a bag of ice, or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel. Ice the bruise for 10 minutes at a time. Wait 20 minutes before reapplying.

2. Heat

You can apply heat to boost circulation and increase blood flow. This will help to clear away the trapped blood after the bruise has already formed. Applying heat can also help to loosen tense muscles and relieve pain. You can use a heating pad or a hot water bottle. Soaking in a hot bath is another option.

3. Compression

Wrap the bruised area in an elastic bandage. This will squeeze the tissues and help prevent blood vessels from leaking. Using compression can lessen the severity of the bruise and help to reduce pain and swelling.

4. Elevation

Elevate the bruised area so that it’s above the heart. This helps to relieve pain and drain fluid away from the bruised area. Elevation can also reduce pressure and compression. This gives you the perfect chance to rest and relax, which can also help the healing process.

5. Arnica

Arnica is a homeopathic herb that is said to reduce inflammation and swelling, thus making it an ideal treatment for bruising. A 2010 study found that topical arnica ointment effectively reduced laser-induced bruising. You can use an arnica ointment or gel on the bruise a few times per day. You can also take arnica orally.

6. Vitamin K cream

Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that helps with blood clotting. Vitamin K cream was shown to reduce the severity of bruising after laser treatment in a small 2002 study. To use this treatment, gently rub vitamin K cream onto the bruise at least two times per day.

7. Aloe vera

Aloe vera has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. You can apply it topically to the affected area. Make sure to use a gel that is pure aloe vera. Read the label carefully to check for additives.

8. Vitamin C

Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to promote wound healing. You can also find gels, creams, or serums that contain vitamin C. You can apply these topically. You can also take it as a supplement. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as well.

9. Pineapple

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in pineapple. Bromelain can help to reduce the severity of the bruise and reduce inflammation. You can eat pineapple or take bromelain supplements. You can also apply it topically as a cream.

10. Comfrey

Comfrey is a plant that is often used to treat skin ailments and inflammation. Comfrey cream has been shown to have healing powers that can be used to treat bruises.

You can apply the cream to your bruise a few times a day. You can also make a compress using dried comfrey leaves. Steep the leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then strain out the liquid and wrap the leaves in a towel or cloth. Apply it to the bruised area.

The bottom line

Bruises may take a few weeks to heal. Take care to rest your body to allow for maximum healing. Using some of the home remedies described here can help to speed up the healing process. Keep an eye on your progression. Keep in mind that bruises can be the result of a severe sprain or fracture. Call your doctor if:

  • the injury seemed minor, but you’re still experiencing pain after three days
  • you develop a lump over your bruise
  • you seem to be bruising for no reason
  • you notice blood in your urine or stool

These are symptoms of a more serious injury.

Healthline and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link above.

CMS Id: 122435