Bruises, also known as contusions or ecchymosis, are common conditions that occur when a part of the body, such as the knees, is damaged and capillaries, small blood vessels beneath the skin, rupture, spilling blood into surrounding tissues forming a characteristic, tender purple/red mark on the skin. Most bruises are minor injuries that will heal on their own in a week or two, however, some care and treatment can help your body heal bruises more efficiently. If a bruise swells, becomes very painful or prevents you from putting weight on your knee, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Things You'll Need

Elevate the area above the level of your heart as soon as you can after injuring it. This encourages blood to flow back away from the bruise, slowing the bleeding beneath the skin. Elevating the knees is easiest by reclining on a couch or the floor and placing a pillow under the knee.

Place an ice pack (or bag of frozen vegetables if you do not have an ice pack) wrapped in a towel on the knee as you recline. This help eases swelling in the area.

Apply arnica cream over the area of the bruise. Arnica has been used topically to help heal bruises and skin injuries for thousands of years. Apply a thin layer several times a day, or follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

Increase your intake of vitamin C by taking supplements or eating more fruits and vegetables rich in the water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin C helps with your body’s healing process.


  • If you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, take as directed on the bottle with plenty of water. This will help reduce the inflammation around the bruised knee and help it heal — as well as reduce pain associated with tenderness in the area.