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Bumps and bruises

After someone has had an injury to the skin, they’ll often get a bump or a bruise. Bumps and bruises may not appear straight away but the skin can still be painful and often feel tender or swollen at first.

Bumps are swellings caused by fluid under the surface of the skin.

Bruises are bluish or purple-coloured patches that appear because tiny blood vessels beneath the skin burst and leak blood into the soft tissue. As they heal, bruises usually change to a yellowish green colour.

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What you need to do

If someone has a bump or bruise, hold something cold onto the skin straight after the injury to help it heal and reduce the pain. This could be a bag of peas or ice wrapped in a cloth, or a cold compress if you have one. Do not leave it on for more than ten minutes.

If the injury is painful then help them to lie down and raise the area above their heart, if possible, to help slow the flow of blood to the area and so reduce the swelling.

If a bump or bruise becomes very swollen or very painful, then you should tell them to see a healthcare professional for advice.

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