A contusion is an injury to the soft tissue where the skin is intact.
Bruising often accompanies a contusion.

Bruises occur when blood vessels beneath the skin have been damaged and leak into the surrounding soft tissue. This can result in skin taking on a black-and-blue hue.

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Symptoms of Bruises

Symptoms of a contusion include localized pain, swelling and bruising.

Who is at Risk for Bruises?

We are all at risk of injury as we go through life. Contusions and bruising can be more severe in the elderly if they have less fat and muscle under the skin. Anyone who is on blood thinning medications can have more significant bruising and consequently pain from a contusion.

Treatment of Bruises

There are several steps you can take to treat a contusion:

  • Protect the injured area

  • Ice the bruise to ease pain and reduce swelling

  • If possible, elevate the part of the body that has been injured

  • Wrap the bruise with a bandage to reduce swelling


When should I see a Doctor for Bruising?

Most contusions resolve uneventfully. However, if you have persistent swelling or pain, consider speaking with a medical professional, as your symptoms might be indicative of a more serious injury, such as a fracture or sprain.

This page offers general health information to facilitate discussion with your telehealth provider. You must not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If this is a medical emergency, please call 911. For mental health emergencies, call 988.

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