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Sunday, July 12, 2015

How to Heal Your Bruises a Whole Lot Faster

Warmer weather is finally (finally!) here, and you know what that means—it’s time to show off your gams in cute skirts and sundresses. Granted, you may feel less inclined to reach for your favorite pair of Daisy Dukes if you experience bruising on the regular. Find out what’s to blame for your dark spots—and follow these doctor-approved tricks to speed up the healing process.
Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that transport nutrients between blood and surrounding tissues—and any change to them can lead to a bruise. "You have little capillaries that are only cushioned by tissue [collagen] and skin," says Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City. "Anything that causes that skin to thin, the collagen to decrease, or the actual walls of the capillaries to be weaker [and break], is going to increase your likelihood of bruising."
RELATED: 7 Reasons You Bruise Easily
Some areas—like the shins—have less cushion, making them more prone to bruising. Another culprit? Vitamin deficiency. The two main vitamins you need to prevent them are vitamin C and K, says Nazarian. "If you're vitamin deficient, you actually have a clotting abnormality," she says.
And unfortunately, some people are just more susceptible to bruising than others. "When the skin is more transparent [a.k.a. you're pale], the blood underneath is going to be more obvious," says Nazarian. So while you may not actually be bruising more, the marks are more apparent.
How to Speed up the Healing Process

If your bruise is changing color, that’s a good sign. What starts as a deep red-purple will eventually turn into a yellow-green, and then a golden brown before the bruise disappears. But we know that can feel like it takes forever. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to speed things along. Dermend Moisturizing Bruise Formula Cream ($30, cvs.com) is one topical treatment you can use daily if you're prone to bruising. You can also use it when you have a bruise since it’s infused with arneca, a flower that increases blood circulation and treats inflammation, says Nazarian.
If you’re vitamin-deficient, ingesting vitamins C and K, either through your diet or via supplements, will help prevent constant bruising, while topical application will help to heal a bruise faster. Try applying VI Derm Vitamin C Topical Serum ($80, vipeel.com) or Reviva Labs Vitamin K Cream ($19, gnc.com) to areas you often get them so that you can start treating them before they even appear.
RELATED: I Tried an IV Drip for Younger-Looking Skin—Here’s What Happened
Oddly enough, eating a lot of pineapple may also do some good, too. The fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps reduce swelling, says Nazarian.
Nazarian also recommends icing the bruise within 24 hours to reduce inflammation and possible pain, in addition to applying an elastic bandage. "Using a bandage can help slow the blood flow to better control the bleeding,” she says. “It can minimize the size of the bruise."
The Best Camouflage Options
While you’re waiting for that thing to completely fade, you can use cover-up to conceal bruises. "My go-to [brand] is Cover FX,” says Nazarian. “[Their products] tend to have more of an opaque covering with a lot of different skin tones and provide great coverage when basic makeup won’t cover it." Simply dab the product over the bruise, and blend with your fingertips.
RELATED: The Reason Why You Look So Tired—Even When You’re Not
And since bruising is less noticeable on darker skin tones, swap in a tinted body lotion for your daily moisturizer. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer ($6.79, jergens.com) and NKD SKN Gradual Glow Daily Tan Moisturizer ($15, ulta.com) provide all day hydration and safe color
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