What to Do If You Have a Bruise: How to Care for a Bruise
If you’ve got yourself a big bruise, you can help the swelling go down by applying some ice to the affected area for about 15 minutes on and off during the initial days of the bruising. As much as possible, rest the area.
A bruise itself shouldn’t cause too much concern unless you also have accompanying worrying symptoms. This can include redness on or around the area, severe pain or swelling and if you can’t move the joint nearest to the bruise.
You should always keep an eye on a bruise you acquire without any knowledge of what happened. If you notice a significant bruise for no apparent reason, it is important to consult your rheumatologist or see a doctor as soon as you are able.
When Should I See My Doctor About My Bruises?
In and of itself, bruising is not necessarily dangerous – however, there are sometimes causes for concern. While it is normal for many people with RA to bruise more often than most if you find you are suddenly bruising excessively, or more than normal, you should contact your doctor or rheumatologist.
This could mean an adjustment in medication is in order and could signify that something more serious is wrong, such as another disorder or disease having developed.
Also, low platelets can cause internal bleeding, and more rarely, bleeding in the brain. Both of these issues are very serious and need to be addressed immediately.
If you have a bruise that doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks, even if it isn’t causing pain, it is worth it to go and get it checked out as this can be a sign of something more serious.
Monitor your symptoms and any that appear in conjunction with bruising. See a doctor if you notice:
- Your periods are heavier.
- You are bleeding from your mouth or gums often (particularly when brushing your teeth).
- Blood in your urine or stools (which should always be addressed, regardless of if it is in conjunction with bruising).
- You have frequent nosebleeds.
- You find that when you cut yourself, it does not seem to stop in a reasonable period of time relative to the cut.
Additionally, it should be noted if you develop a rash-like appearance on your body (it can occur anywhere, but more often appears on the legs). This is called petechiae and is associated with low platelet counts.
As usual with RA, if you notice anything concerning about your health, contact your doctor immediately.