When bruises are particularly painful, unsightly or are located in very visible locations, most people want to make them go away as quickly as possible. How long do bruises last is a question that will almost invariably come to mind. The answer, however, does not generally please.
In most cases, the answer to the question of how long do bruises last is about two weeks. In certain cases, the process might take a little less time or even quite a bit more. There are things that people can do to speed up the answer. Understanding what bruises are and why it takes so long to heal them can help ease the pain, however.
Where Bruises Come From
Bruises originate from the breaking of small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. This can happen due to a bang, bump or even a serious accident. In some cases, there is no known reason for the appearance of bruises.
The discoloration caused by bruises comes from blood pooling near the surface of the skin. As it begins to dissipate, the dark coloration will slowly become lighter, and even yellow to greenish. The overall process that answers the question of how long do bruises last involves the slow removal of the pooled blood under the skin.
Speeding Up The Process
Bruises can be treated and in some cases it is possible to speed up the healing a bit. People should not expect miracles, however. Some of the steps to take to help lessen the typical answer to how long do bruises last include:
Icing. When a bruised area is treated with ice for about 20 minutes at a time, pain and swelling can be reduced. This will generally help at least alleviate the pain and might assist in speeding up healing.
Topical treatments. Herbal treatments like Witch Hazel can help lessen pain and even speed up healing to an extent.
Heat. Using heat after a few days might help speed up the removal of the pooled blood. Make sure heat is warm, not super hot.
Elevation. Keeping the affected area elevated can assist with pain and swelling reduction.
How long do bruises last is a question that can be difficult to answer. The rule of thumb is about two weeks, but it some cases it can be less or more. If bruises do last for more than two weeks, have an unknown origin or are associated with increasing pain and swelling, medical attention should be sought. Bruising is a normal reaction of the body to trauma, but sometimes it is indicative of other conditions.