What the color of your bruise is trying to tell you

A bruise typically appears hours after you injure the tissues just below the skin’s surface, whether it’s from hitting your knee on the coffee table or falling down the stairs. Any kind of injury can cause the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) to rupture, which allows blood to seep into the surrounding tissues. And voilà, a bruise appears on your skin! Use the handy guide below to help you decode your bruise color.

Most bruises take up to two weeks to heal, but some may last longer than others based on the severity of the injury. If you get injured, Dr. Khorasani suggests applying firm pressure and ice to the injured area to seal the blood vessels shut and reduce inflammation. For frequent bruising or bruises that don’t heal, it’s best to consult with your doctor to ensure that your bruise isn’t a sign of something more serious. But also make sure you read up on the real reason you bruise so easily.