Bruises and Hematomas

bruise graphicDefinition: Bruises are a discoloration and tenderness of the skin or mucous membranes due to the leakage of blood from an injured blood vessel into the tissues. Purpura refers to bruising as the result of a disease condition. A very small bruise is called a petechia. These often appear as many tiny red dots clustered together and could indicate a serious problem. (


Bruises change colors over time in a predictable pattern, so that it is possible to estimate when an injury occurred by the color of the bruise. At first, a bruise will be reddish, the color of the blood under the skin. After a few days, the red blood cells begin to break down, and the bruise will darken to a blue or purplish color. This color fades to green at about day six. Around the eighth or ninth day, the skin over the bruised area will have a brown/yellowish color, and it will gradually fade back to its normal appearance.

Bruises are actually made of little pools of blood, so the blood in one place may flow toward the ground, and the bruise may appear in another location. For instance, bruising in the back of the abdomen may eventually appear in the groin; bruising in the thigh or the knee will work its way down to the ankle.

Bruising is more common in women and older adults. For older adults this happens as the fat layer under the skin becomes less and the skin becomes thinner and not as pliable. Minor bruising is not a serious problem but if there is severe bruising after a blow or fall it may be an indication of a more serious problem that needs attention.

Suggested Oils to Use

Arnica, Cypress, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemongrass

Also consider: Fennel, Myrrh, Rosemary

If the bruise can be addressed immediately Cypress and Lavender constricts the blood vessels and calms the pain. Also the more quickly cold is placed on the area, the less bruising there will occur. Always protect the skin by not applying ice directly on the area and do not leave it on the area continuously. It is recommended that 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off is the most ice should be applied.

After the first 6-24 hours when swelling has stopped, constriction of blood vessels should be replaced with a method of increasing blood circulation to heal and reduce the bruise. Apply the Helichrysum, 1 – 3 drops, every few hours or for even better results use the blend below. Also switching between hot and cold compresses with the essential oils will help the process.

Suggested blend:

• 5 drops Helichrysum
• 4 drops Lavender
• 3 drops Cypress
• 1 drop Lemongrass
• 3 drops Geranium

Please dilute this blend of oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil!