Blood or bleeding under the skin due to trauma of any kind; typically black and blue at first, with color changes as the bruise heals.


Ice for 20 minutes several times for a day or two. Rest and keep the bruised area above heart level. For swelling, wrap the area in an elastic bandage, but not too tight. A nonprescription pain reliver may help.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a healthcare professional at once for:

  • Severe pain.
  • A lump that forms over the bruise.

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a healthcare professional if the bruising is:

  • Still painful after three days.
  • Unexplained or unusual, such as from gums or nose.
  • Frequent, large, or painful.