Home treatments for bruised skin include applying ice to lessen pain and swelling, compression to reduce swelling, massaging or rubbing the area to promote blood flow, and elevating the bruised body part, explains WebMD. Rest, taking over-the-counter pain relievers and applying arnica may also reduce discomfort.
Compression wraps should not be too tight around the bruised area because too much pressure can increase rather than reduce swelling, notes WebMD. While massaging bruised areas of skin can often reduce pain and increase blood flow, people should not use this at-home treatment method if it makes the bruised area hurt worse. Using tobacco products can cause bruises to heal at a slower pace because they lower the body's ability to repair tissues while reducing blood flow to the area.
Severe bruising may be a sign of an underlying injury requiring professional medical attention, such as a fracture, warns WebMD. Other reasons to seek medical attention include signs of infection, the development of new symptoms, and bruising that lasts more than two weeks. Additionally, it is important keep in mind that bruises can result from abuse. Individuals should consider reporting bruising that seems suspicious, such as when the person is unable to explain where the bruising came from or provides unlikely explanations.