Bruising is a normal symptom of injuries. It occurs as blood pools under the skin. Medical professionals refer to bruising as contusions, which simply show where small blood vessels have been broken in the body.
The interesting thing is that while most bruises aren't serious, they do have the potential to become dangerous or to show that there's a problem under the skin.
How long do bruises take to heal?
Typical mild or moderate bruises tend to heal within two to four weeks. You'll notice the bruise change colors as it heals. Many start dark, almost black, blue or purple, and then they lighten to yellows, browns and peaches as they heal. The healing time for bruises depends on the location of the bruise. Areas that move more or that have better circulation recover faster than those that do not.
What serious problems could bruises signify?
Bruises initially only show that a person's body is injured in some way. For instance, a bruise on the arm shows that you impacted the area and caused small vessels to break. When bruises happen after trauma, they're expected.
Bruises can be a sign of many serious issues, however. Around the joints, bruises could indicate that broken bones or damaged joints are present. Bruising along the abdomen could mean that a patient has an internal bleed much more serious than a minor bruise on an arm or leg.
What should you remember about bruising?
After a serious car crash, you may be amazed at how few bruises you have. Remember that these take time to develop. Sometimes, people don't develop bruises for several days.
Something you need to be aware of is that internal bleeding can lead to sudden bruising. If you notice a bruise that is growing in size or that suddenly appears very dark, it's worth going to the hospital for a check-up.
In the majority of cases, bruises are not life-threatening conditions. However, it's possible that bruises could be a sign of dangerous bleeding or blot clotting issues that must be addressed quickly to prevent you from suffering from complications due to your injuries.
After a car crash, take the time to go to the hospital for a check-up. Even if you think it's unnecessary, the medical providers there will look for signs, like unusual bruises, to make sure you are in the best possible condition before you're allowed to return home.