Bruising: Our Little Secret

Written by Dr. Paul M. Graham

bruising-easilyDo you ever wish that you can get rid of a bruise quicker? Well, you are in luck! This week’s article discusses how to expedite the elimination of a bruise.

With cosmetic procedures on the rise, bruising is an inevitable occurrence. The most common location for bruising in my practice is on the face. The facial skin is full of a web of arteries, veins, and capillaries, all of which contribute to the increased risk of bruising during injectable procedures.

Myk-haematomaA bruise typically occurs when there is an injury to a blood vessel, allowing the escape of small amounts of blood under the skin. If caught early, direct pressure and ice can be very effective at preventing a bruise. Unfortunately, many bruises occur several hours after a procedure and may not be noticeable during the early stages. Bruises often last 1-2 weeks, fading from dark purple to yellow/green over a period of time. The changing colors are caused by the breakdown of blood under the skin, indicating that the elimination process is occurring.

The good news is that if you follow these simple tips, you can cut the duration of your bruise in half!

  • oPressure, Pressure, Pressure!

    • Whenever you first notice a bruise, it is imperative that you hold pressure on the area for at least 2 minutes to slow the entry of blood into the skin
    • Applying twice the amount of pressure to the damaged vessel than the pressure inside the vessel will cause the blood outflow to cease
  • Cold-CompressUse a COLD compress

    • Apply immediately
    • Cold temperatures cause the damaged vessels to constrict, decreasing the rate of blood leakage into the surrounding skin
  • Apply HEAT

    • After the vessel damage has healed (usually 24-48 hours), a warm compress may be applied to the bruise
    • Heat speeds up the metabolism of the bruise by directly dilating the vessels, increasing the elimination of the extravasated red blood cells
  • pulsed-dye-laser-300x222Consider early pulsed-dye or KTP laser treatment

    • The pulsed-dye laser (PDL) and KTP are the gold standard devices for the treatment of post-procedural bruising and can speed up the recovery time of a bruise significantly
    • Visit your local board-certified dermatologist for treatment with this device

Now that you know a dermatologist’s secret to expedite the healing of a post-procedural bruise, make sure to spread the word! If a bruise is present for longer than 2 weeks, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with your board-certified dermatologist

Importantly, if a bruise lasts for longer than 2 weeks, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with your board-certified dermatologist for a thorough evaluation as bruises can sometimes indicate an underlying diagnosis. Here is a link to find one closest to you: Find a Dermatologist. Thank you for reading!

Please note, our medical disclaimer applies to all information, images, recommendations, and comments published on this page.


Published by Dr. Paul M. Graham

Paul M. Graham, D.O. (Founder/Editor-in-chief) founded Dimensional Dermatology in May 2016 with the vision to provide concise, easy to read, up-to-date dermatology and aesthetic medicine information to patients, medical staff, providers, and the general public. Dr. Graham is currently completing his training as a cosmetic dermatologic surgery fellow in Virginia Beach, Virginia at the McDaniel Laser and Cosmetic Center. He completed his dermatology training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and was a clinical instructor at Michigan State University. He received his B.S. degree as Summa Cum Laude at Old Dominion University, his D.O. degree as Cum Laude at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, completed his internship at Largo Medical Center in Largo, Florida as chief intern, and completed his dermatology residency training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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