When compared to other athletes, cyclists are fortunate as they get injured less frequently. According to a study of injuries, cycling was placed eighth with 3.5 injuries per 1,000 hours. Alpine skiing, on the other hand, has eight injuries per 1,000 hours.
Sure, most cyclists don’t have serious injuries, but they are not immune from bruises – what more when you’re cycling on SG roads. It sure can be quite the challenge with bike accidents happening way too often.
And if you’re a mountain biker, it’s highly likely you’ll be covered with some pretty colorful or should I say – purple bruises.
Don’t fret though. Bruises aren’t that serious in most cases. If they are changing color, it’s a good sign.
Here are some proven tricks that can heal your bruises in no time.
What causes bruises?
We all know about capillaries, right? Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that are responsible for transporting nutrients between blood and surrounding tissues. Bruises occur if there is any change to them.
According to Dr. Lynn Chiam – renowned Dermatologist at Children & Adults Skin Hair and Laser Clinic – bruising is the discolouration seen on the skin due to blood being trapped below the skin surface.
This is a result of trauma or injury causing the tiny blood vessels near the skin to burst, leaking blood into the surrounding tissues, causing tenderness and colour change. Some bruises occur with very little pain and people may not notice it.
As the bruise heals, your body absorbs the blood and the colour of the bruise changes. Intially, it begins with a bluish purple colour and changes to a yellowish/ brownish colour as it heals. It can take up to 2-3 weeks for a brusie to heal completely, says Dr. Lynn.
Some parts of our bodies—like the shins—don’t have much cushion. This makes them more susceptible to bruising. Then there is another culprit— vitamin deficiency.
According to New York City dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D, vitamin C, and vitamin K help to prevent bruises. People suffering from vitamin deficiency have a clotting abnormality, which makes them more vulnerable to bruising than others.
Why are some people prone to getting bruises?
According to Dr. Lynn, females, in general, are more prone to bruising than men. This may be related to differences in skin thickness and amount of collagen ( the supporting structure in the skin) between the man and women.
Age is another factor determining whether one gets bruising. The older the person, the more likely he is to develop bruising with minimal trauma.
Excessively sun-damaged skin (in those who spend a lot of time outdoors without sun protection) also tend to get bruising easily. This is likely due to the damage to the skin’s collagen and elastic fibers.
Individuals on certain medicines also tend to get easy bruising. They include anti-platelet drugs (such as aspirin) and anticoagulants (such as warfarin) may get a really big bruise from a relatively small trauma as they interfere with the body’s clotting process.
Oral or excessive use of cream steroids can also thin out the collagen in the skin.
How to heal your bruises faster
#1 Ice pack
Immediately after the injury, apply an ice pack to reduce the blood flow around the area. Cooling the blood vessels constrict the vessels and thus fewer blood leaks into the surrounding tissues.
You can use an ice pack on the areas for at least 10 minutes and wait for some time before reapplying the ice pack.
#2 Heating pack
After the bruise had already formed, you may apply heat to boost circulation and improve blood flow to clear away the trapped blood. You can use a heating pack or soak in a hot bath. this can help to relieve the ache and pains.
Elevate the bruised area. This helps to relieve the pain and drain fluid away from the affected areas. Elevating the area also helps to relieve pressure on it.
Arnica is a herb that can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. You can use arnica cream on the bruise on the bruise a few times a day.
We recommend you use the Dermend Moisturizing Bruise Formula Cream daily if you’re prone to bruising. This product contains arneca. You can also take arnica orally.
#5 Vitamin C and K
You may recall we said that people who have vitamin deficiency are more prone to bruising. So, if you increase your intake of vitamin C and K, either via your supplements or diet, you can prevent constant bruising.
In case, you get bruised; apply VI Derm Vitamin C Topical Serum or Reviva Labs Vitamin K on the affected area, so that you can heal your bruises faster even before they surface.
Also, eat plenty of pineapples. I may sound a little odd, but pineapples contain bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme which reduces swelling.
Dermatologist advice provided by Dr. Lynn Chiam, Children & Adults Skin Hair and Laser Clinic.