A hematoma - also called a bruise or bruise - occurs when blood from injured vessels escapes into the body tissue. Hematomas can occur in various places: in the eye, in the knee, in the head and during pregnancy in the uterus. Bruising in the head can be extremely dangerous and must be surgically removed above a certain size. On the other hand, you can treat harmless hematomas well with an ice pack and an ointment with heparin.
Causes of hematomas
Hematomas are usually caused by external effects of violence, such as a fall, a shock or a blow. A bruise can occur, for example, during sports or due to an injury in everyday life. In addition, a hematoma can also be the result of a blood sample or an operation. Taking blood-thinning drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid may increase the risk of developing a hematoma.
Particularly susceptible to hematoma are persons suffering from hemophilia. With them, blood clotting can be disturbed. Even the smallest of triggers can lead to large-area hematomas. Even with increasing age, bruising occurs more frequently, as the vessel walls of the capillaries become thinner and thus the vessels can break more quickly. In addition, the older the skin becomes thinner and thus our vessels can protect against injury.
If you have bruises for which there is no obvious reason, you should see a doctor immediately to rule out a serious cause.
Typical symptoms of a bruise
Depending on the severity of the injury, hematomas can hurt and swell to varying degrees. Typical for hematomas, which are directly under the skin, is the dark red-blue hue, which they take after some time. How quickly the symptoms become noticeable always depends on the location and size of the injury.
If the hemorrhage is deep in the tissue, the external symptoms are usually weak. Swelling and discoloration of the skin are rare. If it comes to a discoloration, this usually forms after a few days. However, such a hematoma is still painful, because it compresses the surrounding tissue layers. The spread of the hematoma can cause dysfunction of muscles or joints.
Treat a hematoma
Have you bumped into the apartment or you fell during sports, you should cool the affected area as soon as possible. Not only does this alleviate the pain, it also causes less blood to enter the tissues as the blood vessels contract due to the cold. Thus it can be prevented that the bruise spreads too much. Also, store the affected area high, which also reduces blood flow into the injured tissue.
Later, you can rub the affected area with a heparin ointment. The active ingredient heparin promotes the dissolution of blood clots. Also, ointments with arnica are recommended because they have a soothing and decongestant effect. Depending on the severity of the injury, it usually takes one to three weeks for the bruise to heal completely.
Treat a hematoma with home remedies
Smaller bruising can also be treated well with home remedies:
- Take a warm bath and put three tablespoons of arnica essence in the bath water.
- Wrap the affected area with a cloth soaked in acetic alumina.
- Rub the bruise with rubbing alcohol.
- Put 250 grams of skimmed quark on a cloth and wrap it around the painful area.
- Boil one kilo of potatoes and then crush them into a porridge. Put the porridge on a sheet and put it on the bruise.
Hematoma - When to the doctor?
If the hematoma is very large or in the immediate vicinity of a joint, surgical removal or drainage may be necessary. Likewise, surgery is inevitable when a bruise exerts pressure on adjacent structures, as is the case with the so-called compartment syndrome. If such a hematoma is not treated, reduced blood flow may cause the tissue to die. If there is a suspicion that a hematoma has formed in the head, a doctor should always be consulted.
Very large hematomas and bruising that spread rapidly should always be examined by a doctor. For then it is possible that a larger blood vessel is damaged. If such an injury is not treated in time, the high blood loss can lead to life-threatening shock states. By an ultrasound examination or possibly by a computer tomography the physician can determine the position and the size of the hematoma well.
In addition, a doctor's visit is also advisable if a hematoma is associated with very severe or lasting pain. The doctor can then exclude further injuries such as a fracture or an infection. In order to rule out an injury to the bone, the doctor will usually perform an X-ray.