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Bruise mark treatment

Alternative Names

Ecchymosis treatment; Hematoma or contusion treatment



Is there a way to reduce black-and-blue bruises caused by trauma?


Apply ice packs to the injured body area immediately after the injury and apply pressure. The ice pack should be kept on for at least 20 minutes initially, and then for 20 minutes every hour while you are awake for the next 24 hours, to be most effective. After that, it should be replaced with a heat pack, following the same schedule as for the ice pack, for the next 48 hours. The bruise must still undergo the normal stages of healing, but applying heat may speed up the process. The bruise will change color from red to purple to yellow to brown before disappearing, but faint discoloration may persist for several weeks or months.

See: Bruising

Seek help from a health care provider if:

  • The bruise is a result of a recent procedure or surgery
  • The injury is due to severe trauma
  • There are bruise marks that do not resolve with time
  • There is severe pain, redness, swelling or warmth to touch accompanying the bruise
  • Significant bruising occurs with minimal injury
  • You also have a fever greater than 100.8 degrees Fahrenheit (38.2 degrees centigrade)

Review Date: 7/13/2009
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, Clinic. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.