By Yael Brender
For sporty girls, bruises confirm you’re into surfing, skateboarding, lifting weights, triathlon or rock climbing. For James Packer this week, a nasty back eye and possible other bruises are the result of a different type of sporting pursuit.
Given James is a fellow Bondi resident, here are our hot tips on ways to speed up the healing process, according to Dr Weil’s Condition Care Guide.
Ice will help constrict the injured blood vessels, preventing the bruise from getting larger and reducing swelling. Apply ice to the bruise for fifteen minutes out of every hour – an ice-pack will work best, or ice wrapped in a towel, but frozen peas or other frozen veggies wrapped in some kitchen paper will also do the trick. But don’t overchill the skin; it’s unlikely, but you can contract frostbite – and that would REALLY hamper board meetings.
After twenty-four hours, switch up the cold for heat. Applying warmth to the area will help circulate the blood that has built up under your skin, flushing it out and keeping it moving. A warm compress or a water bottle will work – apply for at least an hour.
If at all possible, prop up the bruised area – elevation will help the blood flow away from the bruised area. But ONLY prop up arms and legs. It doesn’t need to be elevated by much, just so it is above your heart. Attempting to prop up any part of your torso will probably result in more bruising! Then rest: call it a day, go to bed early or hang out on the couch.
Vitamin C and flavonoids will help your body regenerate collagen, which will fortify your blood vessels and help your bruise heal faster. Some good foods to eat are: citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, bell pepper, pineapple and prunes. Vitamin C also helps people who bruise easily, as it strengthens capillary walls so they’re less likely to leak blood, which is what causes bruising.
Flavonoids will help the Vitamin C work better in the body, and can be found in grape-seed extract – take about fifty milligrams daily until the bruise is healed.
Plant-based gels and lotions such as arnica and aloe vera will help dilate your blood vessels and make the bruise heal faster. Both gels can be bought over the counter at the chemist. Arnica comes from a plant in the daisy family and can be made into a bruise compress.
Kathi Keville, author of Herbs for Health and Healing says that you can make a bruise compress simply by adding one tablespoon of arnica to four drops of lavender oil and two tablespoons of cold water.
If all else fails, a little concealer can go a long way – even for boys, James. We recommend Estee Lauder’s Disappear Creme Concealer for $45. With vitamin E it heals and conceals, and is subtle enough or a man’s complexion.
By Yael Brender.
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