One of the questions I most often get asked before and after procedures is “How can I prevent a bruise and if I do get a bruise, how can I make it go away faster.” Good questions!
First what causes bruising? Bruises are commonly caused when small blood vessels near the skins surface are broken either by impact of a blow or injury such as that caused by surgery or injections. The blood then leaks out of the vessel causing a bluish-black discoloration that slowly gets resorbed by the body and becomes yellow-green before finally disappearing. While this can take 24-48 hours in smaller bruises, some larger bruises can last up to 14 days.
PREVENTION: What can we do to help minimize bruising?
In each appointment I always ask my patients about medications and supplements. Often times these can be the culprit. Commonly used medications such as aspirin or other anticoagulants help reduce your bodies ability to clot, which in turn allows blood to leak longer from the vessel causing a larger bruise. Topical and systemic corticosteroids will also make it easier to bruise by making your blood vessels more fragile.
This list is not all encompassing, but I recommend avoiding:
1. Any common over the counter medications with aspirin or aspirin like products: cold and sinus pills, headache medications, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, or other blood thinners and to replace with acetaminophen instead.
2. Any diet pills or herbs designed to control appetite
3. Herbs: ginkgo, ginseng, glucosamine, tumeric, clove
4. Fish oils, Omega 3, 6 and 9
5. Vitamin E
10. St. John’s Wort
Prior to a procedure I do recommend
1. Arnica supplements to help prevent bruising
2. Increase vitamin K (80 micrograms), C (1000 milligrams), D and Zinc (15 milligrams) orally. Vitamin K can be found in all dark green and leafy vegetables but can also be found in a cream form as well called Vitamin K Clarifying Cream. Similarly, I recommend a topical vitamin C called Cellex-C. Both of which can be found on Amazon. Vitamin K and C together with bi0flavonoid citrus fruits help build stronger capillaries
How to Heal a Bruise:
1. Apply a cold compress for the first 24-48 years after the injury. The more you ice immediately afterwards, the more you minimize bruising. Avoid massaging the bruise or applying heat because it may make the bruise larger. After 48 hours a warm compress can be used to help break apart the bruise and to encourage lymphatic drainage.
2. Healing from bruises can be accelerated with vitamin E, which is responsible for bolstering the body. In combination with Vitamin C, it increases the rate of cell and tissue reconstruction.
3. Bromelain, a supplement derived from pineapple stems may reduce swelling and bruising as well.
4. Vitamin K, applied topically, can help fade bruises and will help make you less prone to bruising. I recommend Vitamin K clarifying cream.
5. A pulse dye laser can be used to help clear bruises within 24-48 hours after the bruise appears.
Hope this is helpful. Prevention is key!