When you fall or knock against a hard surface, the small blood vessels just under the surface of your skin (capillaries) burst and begin to leak red blood cells. This process is what causes a visible bruise.
As your body heals itself, the bruise will generally change colour as your body breaks down and absorbs the leaked blood cells. Bruises often start as red marks, quickly develop into a dark blue or black colour and eventually fade to a greenish yellow before disappearing.
When it comes to healing bruises, these are the four best ways to stop the pain and speed up your healing time:
1. Apply an ice pack:
Cold is best to apply as soon as you knock yourself. This is because it reduces swelling and slows down your blood flow which decreases the total amount of leaked blood. Apply an ice pack such as an Elastoplast Sport Hot/Cold Pack, for approximately 20 minutes, every hour for the first 48-72 hours.