A bruise (also known as a contusion) occurs when blood vessels are damaged or broken after an individual experiences an injury. The raised area of the contusion is the result of blood and fluid leaking from those injured blood vessels into the tissue.
Bruises are caused by minor accidents and pressure to an individual’s skin, such as falling, bumping into something or being hit or kicked. When a person is involved in a car crash or motorcycle accident, he or she will often receive bruises from hitting the dashboard or other stationary object.
The symptoms of a bruise are mostly mild, usually resulting in skin discoloration at the injured area, pain and swelling.
A bruise is considered a mild condition that usually needs little treatment in order to heal. Some individuals may apply ice to the affected area or elevate it to lessen the pain and/or reduce swelling. An individual can also take over-the-counter pain relieving medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and swelling.