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A contusion occurs when blood vessels are damaged or broken after an injury. The raised area of the contusion is the result of blood and fluid leaking from the injured blood vessels into the tissue. You usually see a discolored, purplish area that takes 2-3 weeks to go away.
The condition is a minor problem that usually needs little treatment. Consult with your doctor if the injury does not clear up within a few weeks or if it is severe.
Contusions are caused by minor accidents to your skin, such as falling, bumping into something, or being hit or kicked.
Almost everyone suffers contusions as a result of routine bumps. People who are at higher risk include:
- Children and teens
- People who play contact sports
- People with blood-clotting problems
- People taking blood-thinning medicine (such as coumadin, aspirin)
Symptoms of minor contusions usually include:
- Skin discoloration (usually blue and/or purple, fading to yellow)
The skin discoloration, pain, and swelling of a contusion are enough to diagnose the condition.