A contusion occurs when blood vessels are damaged or broken after an injury. The raised area of the contusion is the result of blood and fluid leaking from the injured blood vessels into the tissue. You usually see a discolored, purplish area that takes 2-3 weeks to go away.
The condition is a minor problem that usually needs little treatment. Consult with your doctor if the injury does not clear up within a few weeks or if it is severe.
|Contusion of Skin|
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Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options to help lessen the swelling and pain include:
- Applying ice or a cold pack to the injured area (do not place ice directly on your skin.)
- Elevating the injured area above the level of your heart
- Taking pain relievers if recommended by your doctor
Additional treatment may be needed if:
- Have a more serious injury (such as fracture)
- Have broken the skin (may need a tetanus shot or antibiotics)
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Bruises. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital web site. Available at: http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=bruises-90-P02795. Accessed July 23, 2012.
Bruise control. University of Rochester, Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/Encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=ContentID=1384. Accessed July 23, 2012.