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|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Contusions are caused by minor accidents to your skin, such as falling, bumping into something, or being hit, or kicked.
Almost everyone suffers contusions as a result of routine bumps. People who are at higher risk include:
- Children and teens
- People who play contact sports
- People with blood-clotting problems
- People taking blood-thinners, such as aspirin
Contusions may cause:
- Skin discoloration (usually blue and/or purple, fading to yellow)
The skin discoloration, pain, and swelling of a contusion are enough to diagnose the condition.
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)
Using proper safety equipment can help prevent contusions.
- Michael Woods, MD
- Reviewed: 11/2014
All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.
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.