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A bruise or contusion or ecchymosis is a kind of injury, usually caused by blunt impact, in which the capillariesare damaged, allowing bloodto seep into the surrounding tissue. Normally minor but painful, bruises can be serious, leading to hematoma, or can be associated with serious injuries, including fracturesand internal bleeding. Minor bruises are easily recognized by their characteristic blue or purple color in the days following the injury.

The word "bruise" is also used for fruit- a fruit is bruised when an impact breaks the internal water-containing structures, leading to a soft spot. More generally, "bruise" is used metaphoricallyto mean any minor injury: one's egomight be bruised if one's paintingwas not included in a galleryshowing, for example. The implication is that the injury is painful but minor and will recover on its own.

The presence of bruises may be seen in patients with plateletor coagulationdisorders. Unexplained bruising may be a warning sign of child abuseor serious medical problems, such as leukemiaand meningoccocalinfection. Anybody with unexplained bruising needs urgent examination by a doctor.

The extent of bruising depends on many factors. The state of the tissue (tensed muscle versus relaxed muscle, for example) can make a large difference, as can the effect of being crushed against underlying bone. People also vary in the sturdiness of their capillaries - some people bruise more easily than others. A deficiency in Vitamin Ccan make a person more susceptible to bruises.


  • 1 Light bruises
  • 2 Severe bruises
  • 3 See also
  • 4 External links

Light bruises


When struck, the victim normally feels some pain, although it may not be sharp and may even go unnoticed. The flesh quickly becomes red, tender, and swollen (this, like other effects, varies with the intensity of the bruising). Repeated impacts aggravate the bruising. Over the course of a day, blood seeps into the surrounding tissue while the capillaries are being repaired. The bruise gradually darkens. Over the course of a week or two, the bruise darkens to a livid red, then fades to purple, black, or blue, eventually fading to yellow and disappearing as healing progresses. Normal, light bruises heal completely in a week or two; more severe or deeper bruises may take longer. The striking colors of a bruise are due to hemoglobinand its breakdown products, bilirubinand biliverdin.

The treatment for light bruises is minimal. If swelling is severe, it might be reduced by applying iceor by elevating the affected area. Avoiding re-injury is, essential to quick recovery, so rest is probably called for; usually the pain of having a bruise bumped is a sufficient reminder. The bruises should not be massaged.

Severe bruises

If bruising is severe, complications may arise. Excess fluid may accumulate, forming a hard lump called a hematoma. Swelling may also be severe, and painmay be a serious problem. If internal bleeding inside the tissue is very severe, compartment syndromemay occur, leading to disrupted blood flow due to swelling; this can require surgery. More seriously, the impacts that cause severe bruising can also cause other damage: impacts to the torso may damage internal organs, and impacts to the headcan be very dangerous. Bones may be brokenby similar impacts, and joints can be sprainedor otherwise damaged as well. The symptoms of these injuries may appear to be those of simple bruising; if there is any possibility of one of these more severe injuries (difficulty moving an injured limb, severe abdominal bruising or a feeling of liquid under the skin) see a doctor immediately.

Treatments for severe bruising can include ice, elevation, rest, painkillers(particularly NSAIDs), and compression bandages. Massaging severe bruises will worsen the injury. Later in recovery, some light stretching exercises may be appropriate, but it is probably best to consult a doctoror physiotherapistabout longer-term recovery. If a severely bruised muscle is used too early in the recovery process, bonetissue may be formed inside the muscle, leading to lasting stiffness and pain. Severe bruises can be expected to take longer to heal.

See also

  • Burn
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Petechiae

External links

  • Firstaidweb on bruises
  • What is a bruise?for kids
  • Bruises in sports
  • Fake bruises as fashionde:Hämatom

fr:Ecchymose is:Marblettur nl:Bloeding sv:Blåmärke zh:??

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruise Wikipedia article Bruise.

  All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License