Most surgeries or invasive procedures will lead to some amount of bruising as part of the post-operative healing process. Bruises are the result of small blood vessels (capillaries) being broken or damaged in reaction to a trauma impact, injury, or invasive surgery. Major surgeries, such as plastic surgery or orthopedic surgery, and smaller procedures such as facial injections or fillers, are all associated with mild to severe bruising. Bruising is uncomfortable and usually affects a person’s social, personal, and work life to some degree. While bruising is generally unavoidable, there are steps you can take to reduce bruising and speed up your recovery time so that you can get back to your normal daily routine.
Factors that contribute to bruising
Some people bruise more easily than others. If you seem to bruise all the time without knowing where the bruise came from, you may be someone who bruises easily. Here are some factors that make bruising more likely:
Age—as we get older, the fatty layers (subcutaneous fat) underneath our skin becomes thinner. This means we have less protection from trauma and the blood vessels can be damaged more easily.
Medications—some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications can make you more prone to bruising. Some of these OTC medications include aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood thinners. Prescription medications such as some antibiotics and steroids can also make you more susceptible to bruising.
Genetics—unfortunately, some people are more predisposed to bruising if they have a family history of being easily bruised. Furthermore, women tend to bruise more easily than men because their skin usually contains less collagen, making the blood vessels under the skin less secure.
How to reduce bruising
Ice therapy—applying ice and some pressure to your skin immediately after a surgery or injury is a tried and true method for reducing bruising and swelling. The cold from the ice restricts the blood vessels in the area and reduces the amount of blood the swells to the surface of the skin. It’s usually not best to apply an ice pack directly to the skin because this can cause ice burn. Instead, wrap the ice pack in a cloth or towel and apply it to the affected area for about 10 minutes at a time.
Elevation—it is usually a good idea to elevate the injured area above the heart. This can be done by lying on the floor and placing your legs on a couch or other piece of furniture. If you are lying in bed, you can place a pillow to prop up your legs while you sleep. The elevation helps your body drain blood and other fluids away from the bruised area. You may also notice that pain and other pressure may subside as well.
Compression—compression involves wrapping the bruised area in a gauze or elastic bandage. The light pressure and squeezing restricts the blood vessels from leaking, thereby reducing the appearance of bruises. Compression garments and compression foam are often used after post-liposuction and other surgical procedures to promote uniform healing and reduce bruising.
Heat—in addition to ice, you can also use heat as a way to ease swelling and bruising after an injury or surgery. The heat will increase blood flow rather than restrict it. This helps reduce bruising because sometimes blood gets trapped after a bruise has already formed. Heat is also helps to loosen tense muscles and decrease pain. You can use a heating pad or soak in a hot bath to achieve these healing effects.Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com