Why Do Bruises Change Color & What Are The Colors They Change To As They Heal?

How Are Bruises Formed?

A bruise is an injury that appears as an area of skin discoloration usually after a blow or a direct trauma. The discoloration of the bruise is normally caused due to the capillaries and blood vessels near the surface if the skin breaks due to the blow. These broken capillaries leak blood in the surrounding tissues resulting in tenderness around the affected area. The article gives an idea about why do bruises change color and what are the color changes that occur during different stages of healing of a bruise.

Why Do Bruises Change Color?

Why Do Bruises Change Color?

Once the bruise starts healing, the body starts absorbing the leaked blood which causes a change in the appearance and color of the bruise. The color changes that the area of the bruise has during various stages of healing are because of breakdown of proteins within the while blood cells. It normally takes about three weeks for the bruise to completely go away, although it may take somewhat longer for bruises that occur in the upper or lower extremities to heal.

What Are The Colors The Bruises Change To As They Heal?

During the healing phase of a bruise, it tends to change many colors. The change of color of the bruise is extremely gradual and consists of:

Pink/Red Colored Bruise. Pink or red is the color of the bruise immediately after the injury. Additionally, the area of the bruise may be tender to touch and slightly swollen.

Blue/Dark Purple Colored Bruise. From pink or red the color of the bruise changes to blue or dark purple within a day or two of the injury. This color change of the bruise is due to low supply of oxygen to the affected area. This causes the hemoglobin, which is usually red in color to change to blue. It may take around three to four days for the color of the bruise to change from red to completely blue.

Pale Green Colored Bruise. About a week after the injury, the color of the bruise may start to appear greenish. This change in the bruise color is a sign that the hemoglobin around the injured site is breaking down and that the healing of the bruise has started.

Yellow/Brown Colored Bruise. About a week after the injury, the color of the bruise changes to yellow or brownish yellow in color. This is the final color that the bruise will have as this is the final stage of healing of the bruise. This brown colored bruise will gradually fade away and the individual will get his or her normal skin color back.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 5, 2018

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