From ArticleWorld

A bruise (contusion, ecchymosis) is an injury caused by a blunt impact which makes the blood enter the surrounding tissues. This happens because the capillaries are damaged or broken.

Bruises are generally just painful, not dangerous, but they may appear associated with serious conditions, including fractures, leukemia or internal bleeding. They are recognizable by their blue or purple color.

If they do not appear after an impact or some similar triggering condition, medical advice should be seeked immediately, because they may announce severe conditions like leukemia.

Light cases

Light bruises are simply painful, but often go unnoticed because not even the pain is too severe. The skin becomes tender and swollen, red at first, and the green and blue, gradually darkening. They can be aggravated by repeated shocks.

The capillaries are repaired in a variable amount of time, usually one or two weeks, a time during which the bruise remains darkened, due to the bilirubin and biliverdin.

The treatment these cases require is trivial. Serious swelling can be reduced by applying cold compresses and elevating the bruised area, while avoiding repeated shocks. Bruises should not be massaged, as it can further damage the capillaries.

Severe cases

Serious bruises may lead to to a number of complications. If a larger quantity of fluid accumulates in the affected area, a hematoma may appear. If the internal bleeding is very severe, the accumulation of fluid may obstruct the bloodflow, requiring immediate surgery.

Bruises often appear with physical affections like fractures, and are dangerous when appearing in the head. Symptoms like difficulties in moving an injured limb, abdominal bruises or a feeling of liquid underneath the skin require immediate medical attention.

In these cases, treatment include painkillers and compression bandages, in addition to the usual methods used in lighter cases. Severe bruises obviously take longer to heal.