To reduce the appearance of a bruise, immediately apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10 minutes, allowing at least 20 minutes between each icing, states Best Health. After icing the bruise, rest to minimize blood flow to the area, and begin applying heat after 24 hours.
Applying ice to a bruise minimizes the amount of blood that leaks into the surrounding tissue by cooling the blood vessels around the area. Icing should be done as soon as possible, according to Best Health. After 24 hours of icing, begin applying heat in the form of a warm compress. Using heat on the bruised area increases circulation and expels blood from the bruised area.
Vitamin K is one of the best vitamins for helping to heal bruises. It can be taken internally by eating foods that are rich in it. Green, leafy vegetables and broccoli are both high in vitamin K. Vitamin K creams can also be purchased over the counter and applied to bruises to help reduce their appearance.
When a bruise happens and there is open skin on top of the bruise, a petroleum cream or antibiotic ointment can be used to reduce the appearance of the broken skin. By reducing this, the bruise will begin to look better. Elevation can help a bruise because the blood will flow to different areas and will not continue to puddle in the same spot that the bruise is in. People who bruise easily may be deficient in vitamin C and should talk to their healthcare professionals about the use of vitamin C supplements.