Question: How do you know how old a bruise is?

Within 1 or 2 days, the hemoglobin (an iron-containing substance that carries oxygen) in the blood changes and your bruise turns bluish-purple or even blackish. After 5 to 10 days, the bruise turns greenish or yellowish. Then, after 10 or 14 days, it turns yellowish-brown or light brown.

How can you tell how old bruises are?

Bruises tend to show multiple colors as they age. Red and purple tend to be fresh. They then progress to blue, then to brown, yellow, or green. Color may help determine “early” or “late” bruising, but more precise timing on color alone is simply not accurate.

Does pressing on a bruise make it worse?

Given that the area is in pain, you might want to massage it — resist the urge. Touching or massaging the bruise may actually resulting in more broken blood vessels and a worse-looking bruise.

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