[generic: warfarin], Dicumarol, Miradon) or aspirin, which interfere with clotting. If the blood doesn’t clot properly, more of it will leak out under the skin when trauma occurs.
The treatment for a bruise is most effective when instituted immediately.
To treat a bruise, the first step is to apply ice (icepack or a bag of frozen peas). You can do this on an interim basis for not more than 15 minutes at a time. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Wrap the icepack in a towel. This numbs the pain, reduces swelling and slows down the bleeding.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken for pain as instructed on the bottle. Avoid aspirin because aspirin slows the blood from clotting and may, in fact, prolong the bleeding.
After about 48 hours, heat in the form of a warm washcloth applied to the bruise for 10 minutes or so, 2 or 3 times a day will increase circulation to the bruised area allowing the skin to reabsorb the blood more quickly. Ultimately, the bruise will fade.
When to Call
If the pain worsens; the pain should lessen with time.
The bruise is accompanied by swelling and extreme pain, especially if you take a blood-thinning medication for a medical condition.
A bruise does not improve within 2 weeks or fails to completely clear after 3 or 4 weeks.