A bruise, also known as a contusion, is a common injury that occurs when small blood vessels near the skin's surface break and leak blood into the surrounding tissues. Bruises can occur anywhere on the body and are often the result of an impact or trauma, such as a fall, bump, or blow.
The initial color of a bruise is typically red or purple, but it may darken to blue, green, or yellow over the next few days as the body reabsorbs the leaked blood. The size and severity of a bruise can vary, with larger or deeper bruises causing more pain and taking longer to heal.
Symptoms of a bruise may include:
Treatment for a bruise typically involves resting the affected area, applying ice or a cold compress to reduce swelling, and elevating the affected limb if possible. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may be used to manage pain and discomfort.
In most cases, bruises will heal on their own within a week or two. However, if a bruise is particularly large or painful, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or persistent pain, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out more serious injuries or underlying medical conditions.