• Contusion



    A contusion occurs when blood vessels are damaged or broken after an injury. The raised area of the contusion is the result of blood and fluid leaking from the injured blood vessels into the tissue. You usually see a discolored, purplish area that takes 2-3 weeks to go away.
    The condition is a minor problem that usually needs little treatment. Consult with your doctor if the injury does not clear up within a few weeks or if it is severe.
    Contusion of Skin
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    Contusions are caused by minor accidents to your skin, such as falling, bumping into something, or being hit, or kicked.

    Risk Factors

    Almost everyone suffers contusions as a result of routine bumps. People who are at higher risk include:
    • Children and teens
    • People who play contact sports
    • People with blood-clotting problems
    • People taking blood-thinners, such as aspirin


    Contusions may cause:
    • Skin discoloration (usually blue and/or purple, fading to yellow)
    • Pain
    • Swelling


    The skin discoloration, pain, and swelling of a contusion are enough to diagnose the condition.


    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options to help lessen the swelling and pain include:
    • Applying ice or a cold pack to the injured area (do not place ice directly on your skin.)
    • Elevating the injured area above the level of your heart
    • Taking pain relievers if recommended by your doctor
    Additional treatment may be needed if:
    • Have a more serious injury (such as fracture)
    • Have broken the skin (may need a tetanus shot or antibiotics)


    Using proper safety equipment can help prevent contusions.


    American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov


    Canadian Health Network http://www.ccohs.ca

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca


    Bruises. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital web site. Available at: http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=bruises-90-P02795. Accessed July 23, 2012.

    Bruise control. University of Rochester, Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/Encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=ContentID=1384. Accessed July 23, 2012.

    Contusion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 27, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2012.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.