Home > Lifestyle > Man > Your body 29 June 2005 First aid for bruises Most bruises are relatively minor and heal on their own over a period of about ten days. 0 Follow us Facebook » Ask CyberShrink » Receive Health tips » Test Your sex toy IQ » How tattoos change over 50 years All the tests you'll ever need A bruise is caused by blood seeping into the tissues due to breakage of small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. It is usually caused by a bump or fall. Older people tend to bruise more easily. Most bruises are relatively minor and heal on their own over a period of about ten days. Home treatment Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and to relieve pain. The sooner you do so, the smaller the bruise will be. Make an ice pack by wrapping crushed ice or frozen peas in a damp cloth. Don’t put it directly onto the skin as this could cause damage. Apply the ice pack for 15 minutes every two hours for the first 24 hours. After 48 hours, apply a heat pad a few times a day to dilate the blood vessels to speed up the absorption of the bruise. If the bruise is on the leg or arm, elevate the limb to limit more bruising and swelling. Arnica oil or witch hazel ointment speeds up healing. Pineapple in the diet helps to speed up healing and prevents easy bruising. If you need a pain killer, take paracetamol. Do not use aspirin or ibuprofen for the first 24 hours. See a doctor if: the pain is severe or limits normal movement. the bruise occurs on the abdomen or loin and is due to a high-speed fall from a bicycle or other traumatic accident. There may be less obvious underlying injuries. there is a bruise behind the ear following a head injury. It may be a sign of a skull fracture. there are signs of infection. bruises occur without any apparent reason. Repeated, spontaneous bruises may indicate a blood problem or due to certain medications a bruise does not start to fade within a week. More in Lifestyle Male rape still considered a joke in South Africa More: ManYour body advertisement Get a quote Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors Dehydration at a glance What could happen in the next 37 seconds? Fifty and fabulous! There’s something newly cool about turning 50 World Thrombosis Day 2015 Live healthier World Thrombosis Day » World Thrombosis Day 2015 The next 37 seconds The dangers of blood clots Deep vein thrombosis can happen to anyone Blood clots can be deadly when they form inside arteries, especially the deep veins of the legs. Dr Ismail Shaik shares his experience. Up for grabs » Babies smell mom Partner trouble affects parenting Healthy mom-child relationship How you can win R2500 Tell us what it's like being a working mom in SA and you could win R2500 in cold, hard cash.