28 Home Remedies for Lightening Bruises

A bruise, also called a contusion, is a result of capillaries (tiny blood vessels) burst under the skin because of some form of trauma. The darkness of the bruise comes from the blood from the capillaries being trapped under the skin. Luckily, lightening bruises is fairly easy with the use of home remedies.

Bruising can come from just minor injuries, walking into things, but it can also come from underlying issues such as thrombocytopenia, Von Willebrand disease, Leukemia, concussions, sprains, Hemophilia A and B, muscle strain, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and varicose veins.


Types of Bruising

There are three different kinds of bruising. Theses are periosteal bruising, subcutaneous bruising, and intramuscular bruising.  Periosteal bruising which you get from bruising a bone. The most common kind of bruising is subcutaneous and that is when the bruising just under the skin. The last kind of bruising is more or less in the name. Intramuscular is bruising under the muscle.


Home Remedies for LIghtening Bruises

home remedies for lightening bruises

These home remedies can lighten bruises anywhere on the body

  1. Raise it Up

Rising the bruised area above your heart is a great way to lessen the darkness of the bruise because the limits the blood flow to the area and therefore the blood does not go through the bruised tissue.


  1. Ice Packs

Putting an ice pack on the bruised area for 15 minutes every hour as needed can lessen the inflammation and swelling. The coldness of the ice pack is amazing for constricting the burst capillaries so the color (the darkness and surface area) might shrink at least a little even if just for a while.


  1. Prevention

There are some rather easy steps you can take to stop the chances of bruising. If you are in a sport, go biking, or other take part in some other activity, then you should consider wearing pads if you are more accident prone than others. The pads help to protect the direct skin and the muscle under it.

bruises, volleyball, sports, knee pads

Protection is espeically important if you are in a sport or another environment which comes with a higher risk of bruising

  1. Compression

You can wrap the bruised area in an elastic bandage, or some stores even sell special compression sleeves. Compression can be useful when it comes to bruises because it constricts the surrounding the tissue which helps the blood vessels to not leak, it can lessen the swelling, pain, and the severeness of the bruise.


  1. Heat

Apply a hot water bottle or a heating pad to the bruised area can work for relieving the pain and swelling by improving the blood flow to push out the trapped blood so the bruise can start healing fast. If the bruise in the muscle, then the heat can relax the muscle a bit.

You can use melted chocolate to make a compress too. Melt the chocolate down, let it cool it is still warm without being burn, spread it to the bruise, and cover it. You want to leave everything in place overnight and wash it off the morning. The higher the iron content is the better.  

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is amazing for limiting inflammation and thereby pain. You want to apply pure aloe vera directly the bruise. You can use this home remedy for lightening bruises up to four times a day.


  1. Arnica

Arnica is a kind of herb that lessens swelling and pain. You can get different ointments and lotions that contain the herb or you can also take it orally. Use these products as directed on the packaging.

arnica, ad

Arnicare Cream, 2.5 oz ($7.49)

  1. Pineapple

Pineapple has an enzyme mix called bromelain. This mix of amino acids helps to calm swelling as well. If you do not like pineapple, then it is entirely possible to get bromelain in pill supplements or in a cream or lotion.


  1. Vitamin K Cream

Vitamin K is incredible when it comes to blood clotting. The best thing to do is to get a lotion or cream that has vitamin K in it and apply it directly to the bruised area.


  1. Quercetin

Quercetin is a kind of flavonoid that comes fruits and is great for keeping inflammation down and this can lessen the pain. This is another sort of cream and or lotion you want to look into. You just follow the instructions on the tube when you buy it.

If the cream does not work or if you want to give the cream a boost, there are foods that you can add to your diet. You can add red onion, leafy greens, and darker fruits like cherries and berries.   


  1. RICE

RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The rest helps the bruise simply because putting too much weight or pressure or using the area with the bruising can just make the pain worse than it was, to begin with.

feet, socks, cozy, table, walking pain

Even putting your feet up on a coffee table can help

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important because it quickens the healing time of the bruise and increases the body’s response to bruises in general. You can take vitamin C in supplement pills or you can some different foods to your diet. Foods to look into are papayas, kale, mangoes, broccoli, oranges, and spinach.


  1. Iron

Having an iron deficiency in iron called anemia can make it easier for you to bruise. Adding iron through supplement pills or adding foods to your diet are both good ways to get your iron levels up. If you want to add the foods to your diet, you can try leafy greens, just about any meat, and beans.


  1. Do Not Touch It

Poking and prodding at the bruise can make the bruise worse because the pressure can cause even more of the capillaries to burst so that more of the blood gets trapped under the skin and makes the bruise darker.

  1. Quit Smoking

The chemicals in tobacco are never good for your body and they certainly do not help you when bruising is involved. Smoking drastically slows the healing process by slowing tissue repairs and lowering your blood supply.


  1. Take Action Right Away

As soon as you start to notice the bruise forming, either apply heat, cold or a compress. Taking immediate action helps the affected tissue of the area to start healing faster.

alarm clock, sleep, cellulite

The more often you use the home remedies, the faster they will work

  1. Cayenne Pepper

The next time you get a bruise, try making a mixture with one part cayenne pepper and five parts petroleum jelly and applying it to the bruise. The cayenne pepper helps because of the capsaicin that it has. The capsaicin limits the color of the bruise and lessens the pain.


  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is good for lightening bruises. All you need is ten to 15 minutes of sun on the bruise a day can help. The rays from the sun also break up the bilirubin. The bilirubin is what makes the bruise turn yellow.


  1. Onion

Using onion for lightening bruises is a good idea because it fights off the swelling. There are two different ways you can use onion for this. You can thinly dice up half an onion and mix in two to three tablespoons of salt, rub it over the bruise, cover for the night, and rinse it off in the morning. The other way is to take a slice of raw onion, use a compress to keep the onion on the wound for ten to 20 minutes.


  1. Parsley

It was talked about earlier how vitamin K helps with bruises. Parsley has plenty of it and can be used in a compress. You need to grind up fresh parsley, apply it to the wound, and wrap the area in plastic wrap.

parsley, herb, bee

You can also drink parsley tea or add parsley to your meals to benefit from this home remedy

  1. Essential Oils

Another good way of dealing with bruises is using essential oils. Mixing one to three drops of either tea tree or lavender oil with about a tablespoon of a carrier oil and massaging it gently into the bruise can help by speeding up the healing process and calming the muscle around it.


  1. Epsom Salt

Epsom salts are a gold mine when it comes to reducing pain and swelling. You can soak in a bath with a cup of Epsom salt stirred in with the bathwater for about 20 minutes or you can mix Epsom salts and warm water in a cup, wet a cotton ball, and use the cotton to apply the mixture to the bruise. It should be noted that you should not use Epsom salts if the bruise is the result of any kind of open wound.

  1. Vinegar

For this trick, it does not matter if you use apple cider vinegar or just regular white vinegar. Mixing a couple drops of vinegar in with a third cup of water and applying it to the bruised area twice a day for a five to six days will hurry up the healing by increasing the blood flow. Increasing the blood flow is helpful because it helps to push out blood that has pooled up under the skin.


  1. Toothpaste

As crazy as this might sound, applying a little bit of toothpaste to the bruise and covering just enough that the toothpaste does not get on things is a good way to reduce the swelling. Keep the toothpaste on the bruise overnight and rinse it off in the morning. You should see the bruise a bit lighter in the morning because the toothpaste also helps to break down the clotting. Repeat this for two or three nights for the best results.

toothpaste, baking soda, burning mouth

Any kind of toothpaste should be able to work for this home remedy

  1. Ginger

Ginger is a root herb that countless people use for use reducing swelling of wounds. To the ginger, you want to crush up the ginger with the skins on, apply it to the bruise, and cover it overnight with a plastic wrap or compress. Feel free to do this for a day or two if you need to.


  1. Witch Hazel

Using this herb on a bruise will help the inflammation and quickens the healing. The best way to use witch hazel is to get a cream or lotion that contains the herb and apply it with a cotton ball. You can use this a couple times a day, but you should not wipe or rinse it off.


  1. Vanilla Extract

You can apply the vanilla extract to a bruise two or three times to stop the bruise from going that blue-ish black-ish color. What stops the bruise from turning that color is that antioxidants in the vanilla. Those same antioxidants also stop inflammation and help to increase cell regeneration.


  1. Thyme

This another amazing herb that helps the bruising to fade more quickly. One of the easiest ways to use thyme to tend to a bruise is make a sort of poultice with 15 to 20 ground leaves in a coarse cloth like a cheese cloth. You just need to take a 20 minute to half hour soak in the tub.        

Thyme, Impetigo

Fresh thyme will work the best for this home remedy

You should talk to your doctor about the bruising if the bruises are black, not sore or painful to the touch, have appeared in the same area without injury, or reoccur in a pattern without reason. This could be a sign of a more serious complication.











Bruise Picture Attribution: Whoisjohngalt atEnglish Wikipedia


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