Anatomy And Physiology

Bruises



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Definition: An injury where the skin has become discoloured, caused by a blow or impact. It ruptures capillaries and this is what causes the bruise to appear.

There are three different types of bruises; Subcutaneous, Intramuscular and Periosteal (where they are located in the body depends on what they are called)

Subcutaneous bruises are located just beneath the tissue of the skin which means they are probably the most common. In contrast, Intramuscular bruises are situated right inside the muscle. Periosteal bruises are formed when you bruise the bone; these types take the longest to heal out of all three.

How a bruise is formed: When you bump or knock into something, it will usually hurt. However, if it’s been badly banged, a bruise may appear. A bruise is formed when you breach one (or maybe more) of your capillaries. Capillaries are miniature veins that are located near to the surface of your skin. When you puncture these, the blood spills out creating a reddish puddle under the tissue of your skin. The blood will then become trapped and form a red/purple mark that is tender when touched. The size of the bruise depends on the amount of capillaries you’ve punctured; the harder the blow, the larger the bruise.

When it will go: After one or two days, the hemoglobin (transported by the red blood cells and carries the oxygen) has made the bruise turn a bluish or even black colour. Soon after five days, the bruise will turn a yellow/ green colour. Finally, after another two weeks, the bruise will gradually fade away. As this process happens, you will find that the bruise was becoming less and less tender.

Some people are more likely to get bruises, than others, for instance, people with tougher skin can withstand more brutality before their capillaries break than someone with thinner tissue. As you get older, you become more prone to bruises and this is because their blood vessels tend to be more fragile, this means they are easier to rupture.

 To help you feel better, put a pack of ice cubes or frozen vegetables, this helps slow down the blood flow to help stop the bruise from becoming larger and also helps retaliate against swelling.

To conclude, there are three different types of bruises that are located in different parts of your body. They are formed by the puncturing of capillaries which in turn spill out blood to create a small (or big) bruise. The older you are the more fragile your capillaries are and this means you are more likely to get bruises. If you wish to help them heal, use an icepack to help reduce any swelling.

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