Hematoma • What to do if you have a bruise?

In most cases, a hematoma is harmless and will heal on its own. But a bruise can also be the result of a serious illness. What causes a bruise and how it is treated.

A hematoma occurs when a blood vessel is injured and blood leaks into the surrounding tissue. Other names are bruise or bruise. A hematoma is often caused by a blow or fall during sporting activities – many people also bump into an object in everyday life, which can lead to a bruise. If the bone is bruised, a bruise between the bone and the periosteum is possible.

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Causes of a hematoma

  • With increasing age the skin and the walls of blood vessels become thinner. As a result, the skin loses its protective function and blood vessels can tear more easily.

  • Through a Push A bruise forms quickly and can appear anywhere on the body. In everyday life, bruises on the arms and legs often occur after being hit against the edge of a table or a chair leg. It happens to many people in their everyday life without being aware of it.

  • Sports injuries: A bruise can also easily form during sporting activities. Be it a fall, a collision of athletes or a blow. A typical form is the so-called horse kiss, a muscle injury in the thigh as a result of a bruise. Then a bruise is often visible.

  • Also in the context of Accidents Those affected often suffer from bruises.

  • After a Operation there is often a bruise. Depending on the type and extent of the procedure, blood vessels can easily be injured, for example, so that a hematoma forms.

  • Blood thinning drugs can increase the risk of bruising because they prevent blood from clotting. Therefore, hematomas are common side effects of anticoagulants such as low-dose acetylsalicylic acid.

  • at Hemophilia A. (Hemophilia) the blood clotting is disturbed, which is why large-area hematomas quickly form in those affected, even with only slight bumps.

Subdural hematoma and epidural hematoma

The meninges surround the brain. If blood collects between layers of the meninges as a result of a severe head injury, a subdural hematoma can develop – in older people this happens even with minor falls or injuries. In an epidural hematoma, the bruise forms between the outer meninges and the skull bone. In most cases, both forms require surgical removal of the bruise (craniotomy), as the hematomas in the brain can quickly become life-threatening.

In an acute subdural hematoma, the expanding blood increases pressure in the brain. The result is often a disturbance of consciousness up to and including unconsciousness and a coma. A chronic subdural hematoma usually manifests itself in various symptoms as it develops over a long period of time. Those affected often suffer from headaches, tiredness or difficulty concentrating.

An epidural hematoma often shows up within a short period of time with increasing symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting, cramps, impaired consciousness and even coma.

When a hematoma forms in the uterus

The uterus is supplied with more blood during pregnancy, so bleeding can easily occur as the fertilized egg cell nests. If the blood pools in the tissues, a hematoma can develop. Usually, hematomas form in the uterus during early pregnancy and go away on their own over time. Depending on the location of the bruise, it can lead to complications up to and including a miscarriage in the worst case.

Hematoma under fingernail or toenail

A bruise can also form under the nails of the fingers and toes, medically called a subungual hematoma. Symptoms in addition to the visible dark red to black discoloration under the nail are pain that is often throbbing or pulsating. To take the pressure off and relieve the pain, the doctor can drill a small hole through the nail. It can happen that the nail comes off partially or completely with a hematoma – in this case sufferers should seek medical help.

When should you seek medical help with a hematoma?

To rule out a serious illness, sufferers should seek medical advice if bruises occur for no apparent reason or if they become more severe. This also applies if other symptoms such as fever, pain, swelling or warming are present in addition to the bruise. Bruises on the abdomen or chest should also be examined by a doctor, as internal bleeding may be present in these cases.

Even if there is a suspicion of a subdural or epidural hematoma or a hematoma in the uterus, those affected should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Anyone who has a bruise on their head after a fall and suffers from nausea and vomiting can have a concussion – especially if the fall itself is not remembered.

Treat hematoma yourself

Smaller bruises can usually be treated by yourself. First and foremost, the affected part of the body should be cooled. Because cooling relieves pain, has a decongestant effect, constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow and improves the mobility of the affected part of the body.

To prevent skin injuries caused by the cold, cool packs or ice packs should not be placed directly on the skin, but should be wrapped in a light cloth. There are also ointments with heparin to promote blood clotting.

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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.

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