Do you bruise like a ripe banana? I do! Above is my most recent one on my thigh from resting a heavy piece of wood on it while trying to assemble a storage bench. I sat down with our derm for The Skiny on why bruising happens and what can be done to hasten its healing.
Q: When someone says ‘black and blue’ to refer to an injury we all know that it means a bruise. What exactly is a bruise and what causes the skin turn to colour?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: A bruise is basically is an injury to the blood vessels underneath the skin and when they rupture they have blood leaking underneath the skin and that’s the bluish colour we see.
Q: There are some people who say that they bruise all the time from seemingly nothing. And some people who don’t heal as quickly from bruises. When does bruising become a medical condition?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: The healing time can vary greatly from person to person. For some people, bruises can take 3-4 days to heal while others it can take ten days or more. Bruising can indicate an underlying medical condition related to a low platelet (a type of blood cell) count and other clogging factors in the blood. To rule out a medical concern, it is best to get some blood work done from your family physician.
Q: In your practice, do you find that women bruise more easily than men when it comes to injectables?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Not really. Both men and women can bruise but the people who bruise the most are those who with fair skin and light eyes.
Q: For people who bruise easily after injectables, are there any preventative measures they can take to minimize bruising?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Yes there are. Two weeks prior to an injectable treatments, avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Advil. Alcohol should be avoided also, as it can affect some of the factors in the blood that are responsible for clotting.
Q: Does the homeopathic medicine Arnica work to minimize or prevent bruising?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: There are some studies that suggest that Arnica is helpful, but there are also other studies that say it doesn’t do anything. Because the risk of taking it is so low, there are some people who like using it before injectable work.
Q: Are there certain clinical treatments or supplements that can help discolouration resolve more quickly?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Lasers and light treatments can help the bruise heal more quickly – this is a popular choice for actors who are filming a t.v. show or movie and need quick and effective results. In general, a diet that is rich with green leafy vegetables and foods with vitamin C can help with healing bruised skin. Additionally, topical vitamin C can also be helpful in the healing process.
Thanks again Dr. Kellett for your expertise! Visit DLK on Avenue.com to find out what they can do for you.