Why do bruises appear? Why do bruises change color?

Surely we have a bruise or bruise right now somewhere on our body. We will also see that it changes color and that is not bad at all. In this text we are going to explain what bruises are, because sometimes they come out without bumps and what the changes in colors they undergo mean.

When we were little we spent more time on the ground than standing and surely our arms and legs were with the occasional bruise. But it is not an exclusive condition of children, since anyone (and even animals) can bruise or bruise almost any part of the body.

Sometimes they are painful, whether or not they come preceded by a blow, pressure, tear, fall, etc. Let’s really find out what bruises are and how they form. In the same way that we will understand what the color changes of bruises are due to, so we will know when they will disappear and how we can accelerate healing.

What are bruises?

In a simple and logical way, a bruise is a mark that is reflected on our skin due to the accumulation of blood in that area. Bruising becomes visible when blood, instead of flowing in your blood vessels, gets trapped under the skin.

A more or less intense blow, a squeeze, a cut, a shot, etc. All of these are injuries that are caused in the area and can break the blood capillaries, but since it is a closed wound or injury, the blood cannot go outside and accumulates under our skin .

It can take days, weeks, and even months for a bruise to go away. The most normal thing is for the hematoma to tattoo our skin for at least 2 weeks and in this process it changes color.

Un chico con un moratón en el ojo

Ice is recommended (not directly, but with a cloth) to reduce inflammation, the size of the bruise itself, to reduce the damage or pain it causes, etc.

Bruises are usually painful and sometimes inflamed , but that depends on the injury that caused it, since sometimes there are bruises without having been blows. We will check this in the next section.

What does each bruise color mean?

The bruises have a deep reddish color and end up being light brown or yellowish brown. We have seen all kinds of bruises, on light and dark skin, with wounds, without injury, with blows, with broken bones and other types of injuries.

We are all clear about how they are, so now we are going to explain why they change color, that is, what in flux or what causes them to go from one color to another from the moment they appear until they disappear forever.

Deep red

This is how the large number of bruises start and it is because it is fresh blood rich in oxygen . Not all cardinals start out bright red. Some go straight to the next level. It is something that depends on the intensity of the blow, how much blood escapes, if there is a shortage of platelets, the color of the skin, the area, etc.

The bruises usually turn red immediately after the blow and their hue can even turn black. It is the most common when there is a blow, we do not have to be scared, unless it grows too large and, after a few days, it continues to hurt a lot.

Blue or purple

This is the color that it reaches after 2 days from its appearance. Sometimes it turns black, as we have said before, and it depends on the severity of the injury. The color change is due to the loss of oxygen in that blood accumulated under the skin.

Now we just have to watch that it does not increase in size and wait for the body to reabsorb that blood and thus the cardinal will disappear from our arm, musco, or wherever it is located. We can put ice to speed up the process, and even perform soft and superficial massages, put elastic bandages or use healing creams.

Colores de los hematomas

Yellow or green

After 5 days to 10 days, the hematoma turns yellow or green (depending on the injury and the color of the skin) and this color change is due to compounds known as biliverdin or bilirubin that break down hemoglobin.

Here the cardinal is losing intensity and if our skin is brown, it is hardly noticeable that there is a bruise on our arm or leg. We can continue to use ice, bandages and creams to accelerate healing, in the case in which it is after a blow or an injury such as sprains that usually cause bruises in the area.

Yellowish brown or light brown

Between the 10th and the 15th the bruise will turn yellowish brown or light brown and is an unmistakable sign that it is already in its last hours of life . It is a matter of a few days before the body absorbs what remains of that blood under our skin and there is no trace of the bruise.

Here it should no longer hurt, much less increase the size. If we see that the bruise has grown and darkens again, it is a sign that the inner wound has reopened. This is a very negative sign and we should see a doctor.

Do I have to worry?

A priori it would not be necessary to worry about a bruise after a blow or a fall, or the simple fact of carrying heavy bags on the wrists and forearm. In fact, we take the opportunity to recommend bags with wide handles, since the circulation cut in the wrists can cause serious damage.

We have to worry about a bruise when it appears for no apparent reason in somewhat strange areas or with certain characteristics:

  • If the bruise appears in the groin, chest, abdomen, back, neck, armpit, etc.
  • If the arm or leg falls asleep or we have tingles .
  • Let the bruise continue to grow.
  • That a bruise hurts and lasts for more than 15 days.
  • If it appears with a broken bone.
  • It affects our vision or hearing.