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  • Writer's pictureSGFIRSTAID

What are the types of bruises?


Ever stub your toe so hard that your toe went blue black? That is actually your blood leaking from the vessels under your skin. Your blood cells called platelets stop your bleeding, but it doesn’t stop the blood from changing your skin colour, or cause swelling, pain, and tenderness. 

Also, there are different types of bruises such as ecchymosis, hematoma, purpura, and petechiae. 


  • Usually bigger than 1cm, as big as an AAA battery.


  • Caused by a major fall or car accident. 

  • Usually painful and may make the skin over it feel raised, spongy, rubbery, and/or lumpy. 

  • Generally needs medical attention. 


  • Ranging from 4 millimetres to 10 millimetres, it may look reddish-purple on light skin tones and brownish-black on darker skin tones.


  • Looks like a rash with purple, red, or brown dots of blood.

  • Aren’t raised or bumpy, don't itch or hurt. 

But not to fret, most bruises don’t need treatment because they heal on their own within 2 weeks. Talk to your clinician if you have a bruise that lasts longer than 2 weeks. Meanwhile, you can ice your injury every once in a while for 24 hours. Make sure you don’t leave it on for more than 15 minutes per session. 

Remember, don’t apply ice directly to your skin, you wouldn’t want to suffer another injury - frostbite!

So, how do we know when our bruises healed? 

  • When you’ve just injured yourself, you will have a bump that looks red or purple. You may have swelling and your skin will likely be tender.

  • Within the next couple days, your bruise may look blue or black.

  • After 5-10 days, your bruise may turn green or yellow.

  • After 10-14 days, it may look light brown, and it will continue to get lighter and lighter until it completely fades away to your natural skin tone. 

You should seek medical attention when the pain and swelling don’t improve. 

In case you’re wondering if there’s any other way we can prepare ourselves for an emergency, consider enrolling in our Standard First Aid course, we will teach you more about how to provide emergency assistance.  

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