Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Bruises (contusions)

Bruises (contusions) occur when small blood vessels under the skin tear or rupture, most often from a twist, bump, or fall. Blood leaks into tissues under the skin and causes a black-and-blue color that often turns colors, including purplish black, reddish blue, or yellowish green, as the bruise heals.

Most bruises are not serious and will go away on their own within 2 to 4 weeks. Sometimes, gravity causes them to spread down the body. A leg bruise usually will take longer to heal than a bruise on the face or arms.

Severe bruising, swelling, and pain that begin within 30 minutes of an injury may mean a more serious injury, such as a severe sprain, dislocation, or fracture.

Sudden unexplained bruising or a sudden increase in the frequency of bruising may be a sign of an abnormal type of bruising that may be caused by medicine side effects, a bleeding or clotting disorder, or a medical condition.

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Travel Warnings and Tips for Pregnant Women

If you decide to vacation, visit old friends, or must travel for work, pregnancy shouldn’t stop you from flying or