When the human skin gets damaged, the underlying soft tissue turns red or black-and-blue and the resulting discoloration in the skin is called a bruise - bruising is the term applied to any damage suffered by the skin which leads to some change in the color of the skin. Bruises often change in color largely dependant on the depth of the bruise, thus the color of the bruise may change from yellow to green. This change in coloration occurs because of chemical decomposition in the affected area of the skin. The change is thus a result of the removal of dead cells and the replacement of the tissues by the body itself. The time taken for the affected area of the skin will depend on the severity of the bruise and the type of blow or impact that caused the injury. Full recovery from a bruise may therefore take from days to weeks, with various factors such as depth of injury dictating the rate of healing in the tissue.
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The breakage in blood vessels and the subsequent leakage of blood into the skin cause the actual discoloration of tissues at the site of the bruise. Thus deep and true bruises can be the result of sprains, serious falls or broken bones, while superficial bruising can come about because of bumps, pinches or suction on the surface of the skin. Certain individuals have a greater susceptibility to developing bruises on their bodies following an injury. The presence of disorders like anemia and obesity in the individual increases the chances of bruises occurring after injury. Additionally, an easily bruised skin can indicate brittleness in the walls of the blood vessels or some deficiency in the blood-clotting factors of the individual. The presence of a serious disorder like leukemia is possible if the person develops bruises on the surface of the skin without good cause suddenly. Bruises are also much more likely to occur in individual if the blood-platelet levels are low as a result of using some blood-thinning medications - anticoagulants to treat other unrelated disorders. Bruises also occur in some individuals without any apparent cause and in hemophiliacs, bruising may occur in the soft tissues surrounding the joints quite suddenly without external causes due to internal hemorrhages. An individual lacking in essential nutrients like the vitamin C and bioflavonoids is also likely to suffer from brittle blood vessels and he or she will be very prone to developing bruises even from minor injuries.
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To ensure that the body receives adequate amounts of the blood-clotting agent vitamin K, make sure that the diet contains abundant quantities of dark green and leafy vegetables, including alfalfa sprouts. Another essential mineral iron is also found in abundant quantities in such foods and this mineral is very important for its ability in combating anemia, which is probably a very important factor in the formation of bruises in some cases. The body builds up strong capillaries utilizing vitamin K and vitamin C along with bioflavonoids-citrus fruits are very rich in these compounds and diets must include abundant quantities of these fruits. Another nutrient important in the clotting of blood is the vitamin D, this vitamin is manufactured on the skin with the aid of sunlight, and a good food source of this vitamin is through the consumption of fatty fishes such as the mackerel and salmon.
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A body lacking in the vitamin C is prone to being easily bruised and much slower in its ability to bring about recovery in the affected region of skin. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids work together within the body and exist in nature within the same types of food. Supplements of the vitamin C formula must therefore always include bioflavonoid to bring about the maximum benefit to the person. Healing and recovery from bruises is also accomplished by the vitamin E, this vitamin is also responsible for bolstering the body and prevents easy bruising in the human skin. The antioxidant action of both the vitamins C and E, in addition prevents free-radical damage to the tissues on the site of injury and increase the rate of cell and tissue reconstruction. The haling in the site of the bruise is also accelerated by another supplemental compound called bromelain - this can also be taken as a supplemental measure against bruising.
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Rub the injured area or site of the bruise using the essential oils of the thyme and tea tree oil diluted in some olive oil, repeat this topical treatment two times everyday. Bathing in bath water infused with herbs is also an excellent idea, dilute bath water by adding about 15 drops of comfrey tincture to warm water and take daily baths. Following the daily bath, further treatment of the bruised skin can be carried out using applications of an arnica salve on the injured area to absorb the blood. The oil of the St. John's wort herb can also be used instead of the arnica, the herbal application in both cases will speed the healing of the area and help in relieving the pain. Bath water can also be prepared by adding an infusion of herbs like the chamomile, the horsetail and the thyme. Direct topical treatment of the affected area can be done using compresses made from the St. John's wort herb, the comfrey, the fennel, the chamomile, the witch hazel, and from blossoms of the calendula, the peppermint can also be used. These compresses when applied will soothe and heal the skin. Bruising on the skin that has been caused by a deficiency of the vitamin C can be remedied by drinking large doses of an herbal tea made from the rose hip herb.
Commonly used essential oils for bruising:
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All the homeopathic remedies given below can be taken at dosage strengths of about 6, 12 or 30th potency. Doses can be once every hour or less, alternately the remedy can also be used as and when necessary. For example, the tincture made from the arnica tincture works effectively as a topical measure in injured areas where the skin is not broken.
Topical measures can be tried out at the initial state of treatment itself as a first aid treatment following injury, use cold wraps or compresses made from healing clay, from quark or the leaves of cabbage, when these are applied directly onto the site of injury, they will soothe and relieve the pain felt in the area. Icepacks can also be used as a first aid measure to treat cases where severe swelling occurs in the area. To bring about a reduction in the swelling and pain, a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a small towel can be held directly on the bruise for about ten minutes.
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