Many patients I see in my practice have concerns about bruising after surgery and injectable procedures. No one likes bruising, and in many cases bruises can be difficult to cover up. What’s happening when someone bruises? A bruise is simply a collection of blood that occurs when a blood vessel is sheared or broken. Some of us can be more prone to blood vessel damage than others, but
the good news is there are ways to help prevent the severity of bruising after surgery or other cosmetic procedures.

Preventing Bruising

One important piece to consider when looking to reduce bruising is diet. For example, green tea and red wine have a thinning affect to the blood making it easier for bruising to occur. Also, avoiding certain blood thinning supplements (fish oil, vitamin E) or medications (aspirins and other blood thinning prescription RX) are also important though be sure to consult your primary care physician when making any adjustments to medications.

Certain foods can also promote more viscous blood making it less likely for bruising to occur. This especially includes foods containing Vitamin K and Vitamin C such as cabbage, spinach, and kale.

Supplements:

There are a few supplements that I recommend to patients to take prior to their procedure if they are concerned about possible bruising. My favorite two are Arnica Montana and Bromelein. Arnica Montana has been studied for years and has shown to lessen the formation of bruises without any harmful effects. Arnica is thought to work by the use of the natural vasodilator Helenalin, which helps promote healing of the area in the region of the bruise. Bromelein is a compound derived from pineapples and can also help stimulate healing. Bromelain is thought to heal damaged tissues faster by clearing metabolic waste. Vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc and copper also help promote wound healing and tissue growth repair.

Treating a Bruising

A bruise can still occur despite best efforts to prevent them from forming. Here are some tips to help minimize bruising at the onset.

Immediately:
1. Apply pressure
2. Ice periodically
3. Utilize diet tips and supplements
4. Until a bruise has faded, it is ok to apply make up to appearance.