Sunday, February 20
Remove, Cover, and Deal with "bruises" (Part 1-Remove)
A friend of my recently went a bit cray-cray with her bf and later found herself with a couple scandalous looking hickeys. This is not a post to condone or judge this practice. Some enjoy the administering or the receiving and others do not. In my travels I have found both kinds of people and I do not feel the need to voice my particular opinion. I hope only to stay neutral.
But for those of you who wake up to find a inopportunely placed bruise on your neck or chest, I have a few tips that seem to work pretty well for getting rid of them quickly. (2-4 days)
1. Understand your hickey. A bruise is a place where blood vessels have been broken but the skin was not. When these break, red blood cells collect under the skin and that's what causes the discoloration we all know and love. The trick with bruises is to stop blood flow while the vessels are broken, then encouraging blood flow afterwards.
2. Apply ice within 15 minutes of receiving the bruising. Something cold will help prevent swelling, slow blood flow to the area, and reduce the final size the bruise will be. This is where the "put a cold spoon" on the area idea comes in. But if it's a few hours after the bruising, or perhaps the next morning, it won't do you any good to ice it, because what's done is done.
3. Increase blood flow. You need the body to carry away the blood from under the skin. So "increasing blood flow will allow more healing factors into the area and encourage drainage" (Wikipedia) To do this, there are many techniques, but the best I have found during my recent research involves a toothbrush and hot wash cloth.
Get your toothbrush (or a $1 one from the grocery store) wet and brush the damaged skin in small circular motions. It best to do it until it hurts a bit because that means lots of blood will flow to the area. If the bruise and surrounding area turn a bit redder then they were before, then you are doing it right. (But please do not scrub yourself raw, thats bad news bears)
The next step is to get a washcloth wet with hot water and lay it over the bruise. This also encourages blood flow. Do these steps as often as you feel and maybe experiment with what combination and frequency works best for your skin type. I would prescribe once when you get up, once mid-day, and once before bed. But from what I have seen, the more frequently brushed/heated the quicker they fade.
4. If it isn't gone within 2 weeks, you may want to go see a doctor, because a bruise lasting much longer then that may mean you are having complications in its healing.
What are your techniques for reducing bruising time? How scandalous do you think hickeys are? What would your mother say?