First aid: Bruise
A bruise forms when a blow breaks blood vessels near your skin's surface, allowing a small amount of blood to leak into the tissues under your skin. The trapped blood appears as a black-and-blue mark.
If your skin isn't broken, you don't need a bandage, but you enhance bruise healing with these simple techniques:
See your doctor if:
These signs and symptoms may indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood-clotting problem or blood-related disease. Bruises accompanied by persistent pain or headache also may indicate a more serious underlying illness and require medical attention.
Last Updated: 2009-11-14
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