A Hematoma is considered to be a very dangerous condition. This is defined as a collection of blood outside the blood vessels.
Usually, these are caused by an injury to the wall of a blood vessel. This prompts blood to seep out of the blood vessel and move into the surrounding tissues. A hematoma is initially in liquid form which spreads across the tissues.
Yet, later on, it may coagulate and solidify before the blood vessels reabsorb the blood. This is a common problem encountered by many people at some or the other time in their life.
This article deals with the causes, symptoms, and remedies to treat a hematoma. So, sit back and enjoy this intellectually sound ride.
Table of Contents
Causes Of Hematoma
When a person is suffering from a hematoma it is very important to decipher the cause of it. The various causes which have been identified by reputed doctors are mentioned below:
- Injury or trauma to the blood vessels. This may happen as a result of any type of damage to the blood vessels. It is eminent that the damage leads to breakage in the blood vessel wall. It is possible that even minimal damage can also lead to a hematoma. For example, a hematoma under a nail may occur from minor trauma to the nail like a light stroke against an object.
- Invasive surgeries may also damage the tissues in the body leading to a hematoma. These surgeries include medical or dental procedures like biopsies, incision, and drainage. It may further occur via injections of medications for insulin or blood thinners. This is because these procedures tend to damage the nearby tissues and blood vessels. This often leads to a hematoma.
- At times, a hematoma may even happen spontaneously without any particular cause.
- Blood thinner medications also lead to a hematoma. Medications such as warfarin, Plavix, aspirin or aspirin-containing products impair the clotting ability of the blood. Thus, they may lead to minor damages to the blood vessels leading to a hematoma at times. Other medications or supplements that increase the bleeding tendency of a person include:
a) Vitamin E
b) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs
c) Garlic supplements
d) Ginkgo biloba
- Patients with some medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing a hematoma. The medical conditions so referred to are mentioned below:
a) chronic liver disease
b) excessive alcohol use
c) bleeding disorders
d) blood cancer
e) low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).
- Orthopaedic injuries or broken bones may also cause hematomas. Bone marrow is the place where your body produces blood. A fracture or an injury to that area may also lead to a hematoma. Further, a pelvic bone fracture may lead to a significant amount of bleeding. This may lead to damage to the nearby arteries and veins causing hematoma.
- During menstruation, it is common that blood tends to accumulate inside the vagina. Thus, in spite of flowing in one go, it starts forming small blood clots. This leads to menstrual pain which is experienced by women.
- Pregnancy: Vaginal bleeding may also be a cause of hematoma. If you are passing out blood clots during pregnancy then you should get it checked. This is because it is not a very good sign for the fetus. This may be a sign of hematoma as well. However, during labor and after delivery of the baby it is quite common to see blood clots in the vagina.
What Are The Different Types Of Hematomas?
It is also an interesting fact to know that hematoma has various types and sub-types. You will get to know the various types by the following part of the article.
A. What Are Epidural And Subdural Hematomas?
1. Subdural Hematoma
This type of hematoma occurs due to a trauma or an injury to the veins in the brain. This leads to a slow leak of blood. The blood enters the subdural space below the dura. This space has much more room for blood to accumulate before the brain function starts to suffer. While aging, this subdural space becomes larger as they tend to lose some brain tissue.
Subdural hematoma may heal on its own and no severe symptoms may be visible. Yet, there may be times when a person is suffering from a chronic subdural hematoma. They are often visible via a computerized tomography (CT) scans.
Thus, it is eminent to understand that hematomas may even lead to brain swelling and thus, death.
2. Epidural Hematomas
They occur due to the trauma or injury caused to the temple of the head. Usually, it occurs where the middle meningeal artery is located. Here, the bleeding accumulates in the epidural location, outside the dura. The dura is the lining of the brain.
Thus, if there is a slight damage to the dura of the brain, even a small hematoma may cause a major brain injury.
B. What Are Intra-Cerebral And Scalp Hematomas?
1. Intra-Cerebral Hematomas
These hematomas usually occur within the brain tissue itself. By the very name of this type of hematoma it can be understood that it occurs due to some form of pressure on the brain. It may also be caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure, trauma, tumour, stroke or an aneurysm leak or rupture.
2. Scalp Hematomas
These usually occur outside the skull. They are easily identifiable as they can be felt as a bump on the head. This type of hematoma may be a bit less aggressive as the trauma is to the skin and muscle layers outside the skull.
Thus, the hematoma may not be able to press on the brain. Further, it should be assured that internal bleeding has not damaged the skull. This is because any damage to the skull may lead to severe problems.
C. What Are Ear And Nasal Hematomas?
1. Aural Hematomas
This occurs if trauma causes bleeding to the outside helix or cartilage of the ear. This is also called boxers, wrestlers, or cauliflower ear. Herein, blood gets trapped between the trim layer of skin and the cartilage itself. This type of hematoma may decrease the blood flow in the affected area. This causes the cartilage to shrivel and die. Thus, it leads to a bumpy, deformed outer ear.
2. Septal Hematomas
These are also called nasal hematomas. They occur with some or the other nasal trauma or a broken nose. If this hematoma is not recognized, the nasal cartilage can break down. It may even lead to perforation of the septum.
D. What Are Intramuscular And Subungual Hematomas?
1. Intramuscular Hematomas
This hematoma may be very painful. This is because it causes enormous pain and inflammation on the skin. If a lot of bleeding occurs, the pressure within the compartment of the muscles may increase so much that “compartment syndrome” can occur. Herein, the blood supply of the muscle is compromised. This is because the muscle and nerves can be permanently damaged. This syndrome is usually seen in the lower leg and forearm. This is a surgical emergency and you should immediately rush to the hospital. Doctors or healthcare professionals will be able to locate this problem if the pain is way out of proportion.
2. Subungual Hematomas
They result due to crush injuries to the fingers or toes. Herein, bleeding occurs under the nails of the fingers or toes. As it is trapped, pressure builds up beneath the nail which causes pain. The doctors usually use trephination (drilling a hole in the nail) technique to relieve the pressure on the nail. Over time, the nail repairs itself.
E. What Are Subcutaneous And Intra-Abdominal Hematomas?
1. Subcutaneous Hematomas
This is caused due to bruises and contusions on the skin. This occurs due to injuries to the superficial blood vessels under the skin. People consuming anticoagulant medication are generally more prone to this hematoma.
2. Intra-Abdominal Hematomas
It is caused due to a variety of injuries or trauma. Herein, the blood finds a way to get inside the abdomen. Once it does, it creates pressure in the abdomen leading to tightness of the chest.
Further, it leads to peritonitis (irritation of the lining of the abdomen). They may either occur on solid organs such as the liver, spleen or the kidney or may occur within the walls of the bowel.
Further, they may also form inside the lining of the abdomen or in the retroperitoneal space. This is called peritoneum.
Symptoms Of Hematoma
By going through the article you would be sure that hematoma is not a very good sign. Thus, it is eminent to know the symptoms of a hematoma so that you can immediately figure out what the next step should be.
Symptoms of a hematoma depend upon their location. Further, they are also affected by the size of hematoma and nearby organs affected. Yet, some of the common causes of hematoma are:
- warmth, and
Further, there are certain other symptoms which specific to the type of hematoma a person is suffering. They are listed down below:
1. Subdural Hematoma
b) neurologic problems (difficulty speaking, falling),
2. Epidural Hematoma
a) back pain,
c) loss of bowel or bladder control
3. Subungual Hematoma
a) nail pain,
b) nail weakness,
c) nail loss,
d) disfiguring nail
4. Splenic Hematoma
a) abdominal pain,
b) flank pain
5. Inter-Cranial Hematoma
a) a sudden and severe headache
b) a headache accompanied by neck stiffness
e) vomiting more than twice in 24 hours
How Is A Hematoma Diagnosed?
It is very important to find out that how a hematoma is diagnosed. This is because a hematoma should be recognized and resolved as soon as it is caught.
Usually, it is very easy to recognize a physical hematoma as it does display some sort of bluish bruises on the skin. Yet a doctor will diagnose it by the following methods:
- Hematomas of the skin or soft tissues like the muscle joints are usually diagnosed by a mere physical exam as they are visible to the naked eye.
- In general, there are no special blood tests which are used to check a hematoma. Yet, doctors may suggest tests including complete blood count (CBC), coagulation panel, chemistry panel, and liver tests to check a hematoma. This is important to access an underlying blood leak in the blood vessels.
- Doctors may scrutinize imaging modality for patients suffering from severe hematomas. Usually plain X-rays may be needed to find out whether there is a bone fracture or not. Yet, those patients with head injuries may even need CT scans or an MRI. Further, pregnant women may need an ultrasound to decipher the clots in the vagina.
What Are The Complications Of A Hematoma?
A hematoma is associated with a ton of complications. Some of the frequently seen and observed by professionals are mentioned herein:
1. Swelling and inflammation of the affected area
2. Irritation of the nearby organs, tissues, muscles.
3. Risks of infection to other organs or tissues
4. Hematoma is made up of old blood. There is no supply of new blood to the hematoma. This may lead to a risk of colonization of the hematoma with bacteria.
How Does A Hematoma Resolve?
Further, you should also know that every hematoma is not dangerous. This is because of the self-resolving capacity of the hematoma. Superficial hematomas of the skin, soft tissue, and muscle resolve over time. The initial firm texture of the blood clot tends to become spongier as the body starts to break down the blood clot.
Thus, in this manner, the fluid starts to drain away and the shape of the hematoma changes. Further, the color of the hematoma also changes from a purplish-blue bruise to yellow and brown. This happens because the blood chemicals are gradually metabolized. This helps the hematoma to resolve itself.
For example: when a forehead hematoma causes bruising beneath the eyes. This means that it is resolving itself.
Yet, serious types of hematomas like intra-cranial, epidural and subdural hematomas often require neurosurgical intervention. This is because the hematoma has to be stabilized immediately.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Hematoma
A hematoma can be treated by various and many home remedies. Some of the most important ones are mentioned below:
Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain. If you start consuming more of this enzyme your damaged blood vessels may improve.
a) Cut out a slice of pineapple and then apply it on your affected skin
b) Let the slice of pineapple to stay on for 3 – 5 minutes. Avoid placing the pineapple slice on for more than 5 minutes as it may burn your skin.
c) Alternatively, you may try consuming fresh pineapple juice as frequently as possible during the day.
d) You may also take extra doses of bromelain daily to help you treat the hematoma faster.
Onion may also be effective in treating a hematoma provided you do not have a cut. Onion has a substance called allicin. When you apply onion directly to the affected skin, this substance helps to increase the lymphatic flow. The flow pushes away the excess blood under your skin.
a) Peel and cut out onion slices, depending on the size of the hematoma.
b) Place these onion slices on the hematoma area and leave them on it for 12-15 minutes.
c) You may use these slices by soaking them in apple cider vinegar and then apply it on your affected area.
d) Repeat this exercise on a daily basis for good results.
Sugar can help you remove the hematoma. It helps to tighten your skin so that the hematoma does not spread all over. To treat it following directions should be undertaken.
a) Apply hot sugar syrup on the affected skin area and then tie up with a gauze.
b) In case you do not want to use the hot sugar syrup, you may use a sugar syrup paste. Apply this paste and then use an ice pack.
c) Let the sugar to air-dry and then remove it with lukewarm water.
Chocolate is considered the best option to help heal a hematoma. Warm chocolate pack method helps to compress your damaged blood vessels. This, in turn, helps to control the blood circulation in the affected area and reduces the bruises faster.
a) Melt a piece of chocolate and apply it to the affected area. Avoid rubbing too hot melted chocolate on the hematoma. It may burn the skin as well.
b) Cover it with gauze so that the chocolate does not run over your hematoma area.
5. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt water helps to reduce the appearance of hematoma. This salt is well-known for its ability to relax muscles, remove pain and swelling around the affected area.
a) Mix 2 cups of Epsom salt with a warm water bath.
b) Soak the affected area into this solution until the water cools down.
c) Finally, wash off the skin by using clean water.
It is advised that Epsom salt may cause a skin irritation to the skin. Thus, wash off your skin with water to ensure that magnesium crystals are removed from the skin.
6. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has some natural astringent properties. Due to the presence of these properties of witch hazel it helps to treat the hematoma on the skin. Additionally, it can be also good for fading discoloration of the skin.
a) Place a thin cosmetic pad in witch hazel.
b) Rub this to the affected area and then keep it there for few minutes. You may secure it with a bandage.
c) Repeat this twice a day until your hematoma is treated.
7. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is recommended to treat a hematoma. Lavender oil is packed with antiseptic and antibiotic substances. This makes the oil a good method to cure a hematoma. This is because it tends to boost up the healing process by reducing scars. It also helps in relieving swelling and pain naturally.
a) Pour cold water into a bowl and then add few drops of lavender oil to it.
b) Stir it well. After that, soak a clean cloth in this solution. Apply this cloth to the affected area and keep it for few minutes.
c) Repeat this at least twice a day for best results.
8. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric powder as it is contains antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to prevent infection of the hematoma. In addition to this, essential oils in turmeric powder also help to increase the blood flow. The only thing you need to do is mix a pinch of turmeric powder with a warm glass of milk. Drink this solution at least twice a day for best results.
9. Cabbage Leaves
Cabbage leaves are also an effective remedy for treating a hematoma. This is because cabbage leaves are full of vitamins and phytonutrients. They are a good source of anti-inflammatory properties. Also, cabbage leaves have vitamins C and K that are strong anti-bruising substances.
a) Remove the hard stems of some cabbage leaves.
b) Soak the cabbage leaves in hot water till they get softer.
c) Make a paste of the cabbage leaves and apply it on the affected area.
d) Keep it in place for about half an hour and repeat this process for about 3-4 times daily.
Toothpaste helps to reduce swelling and discoloration of the skin faster. Additionally, it also has the power to ease down the inflammation.
a) Mix toothpaste and mild lotion. Then apply this mixture to the affected area before going to bed.
b) Cover the affected area with the help of gauze to prevent it from staining your bedding.
c) Let it stay overnight.
d) Repeat this daily for 2- 3 nights to get best results.
11. Garlic & Rice Wine
You can treat a hematoma with a mixture of garlic and rice wine. This remedy has proven to be very beneficial if done in an efficient manner.
a) Soak some garlic pieces in rice wine overnight.
b) Keep a bottle of this mixture with you. Use this mixture whenever you feel a hematoma appearing.
c) Apply it and massage it on the skin.
d) Repeat this thrice daily for best results.
12. Aloe Vera And Parsley
Aloe Vera and parsley contain antibiotic properties that reduce inflammation on the skin. This mixture will help heal the hematoma while reducing the pain in that area.
a) Make a puree of Aloe Vera and parsley.
b) Use this mixture to apply on the affected skin at least 3 times a day.
13. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper has some very good healing qualities. That is why it is a very good remedy for a hematoma.
a) Mix the cayenne pepper with melted Vaseline with 1:5 ratio.
b) Allow this mixture to cool down and then apply it on the affected area.
c) Repeat this process daily for 3 weeks for best results.
Be careful while using cayenne pepper as it may cause some allergies at times.
They contain Vitamin C which helps to form a collagen and boosts the blood circulation in the affected areas. Additionally, you will not have any side effects while using these berries. Further, they also help in the rejuvenation of the capillary walls.
Just add more and more blueberries in your diet. It would be preferable if you have them in the morning along-side your breakfast.
This herb helps you reduce the pain and inflammation on the affected area due to its medicinal properties. Further, it also helps in proper and regulated blood circulation in the body.
a) Apply arnica gel on the hematoma skin a couple of times daily.
b) Alternatively, mix up some witch hazel bark, arnica tincture, and chamomile flowers together. Add some drops of lavender oil and few tablespoons water to this mixture. Dip a clean washcloth in this mixture and dab it on the affected skin area. Do this twice daily to get rid of the hematoma on your skin.
As bizarre as it sounds, it can also help you get rid of your hematoma. There are a lot of tiny pipes on the surface of the egg. So, just boil some eggs and then quickly roll it on your hematoma.
This will be able to create pressure to pull out the black blood outside due to the generated heat. Do this for few days and monitor your results. If it helps then continue doing it until the hematoma vanishes.
17. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is considered to be very effective in treating inflammation and swelling of the body part. Simply, dip a cotton ball in this vinegar and dab it softly on the affected area. You may repeat this 2-3 times a day for best results.
18. Bear Bile
It is often used to massage the hematoma as it helps in treatment of a bruise. Before applying it, dilute the bear bile with water as its basic features are too strong.
Further, if you apply it directly, it may cause too much irritation leading to open wounds.
There are certain vitamins which can also help you get rid of the hematoma due to their respective medicinal properties. The vitamins and their sources are mentioned herein:
a) Vitamin C
It helps in dissolving in bruising blood. Some sources are broccoli, papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, pineapple, and oranges.
b) Vitamin K
Deficiency of this vitamin can cause impaired blood clotting and hemorrhagic diseases. Some sources are green tea, leafy greens, broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower, wheat bran, fermented dairy and soy, and soybean oil.
c) Vitamin B12:
This vitamins deficiency can cause pernicious anemia, easy bruising, and poor blood clotting. Thus it is imperative to maintain adequate levels of this vitamin in the body. Some sources are shellfish, organ meats, poultry, dairy foods, eggs, cereals, and yeasts.
Zinc helps to develop healthy cells, prevent swelling and heals the wounds faster. It is recommended that you should have at least 50-100mg of zinc supplement per day.
As unique as it sounds coffee also helps a great deal in getting rid of a hematoma. Use a cotton ball to dab some black coffee on the hematoma. Wait for about 10minutes and then wash off quickly. Or, you may apply some coffee powder on the bruising skin and wait for an hour until you wash it away.
22. Coconut Oil
Try applying coconut oil on your hematoma daily. It is not guaranteed that your hematoma may go away after this, but it will surely provide you some amount of relief.
It can be used to massage the hematoma as it will help to relieve you of the pain and melt down the hematoma. However, try not to consume alcohol, as it may further aggravate the hematoma.
This provides our body with high nutritional value. Interestingly, they also have been used to treat hematomas. You can use shell powder twice a day. Add 1 tablespoon of the shell powder to a mug of warm water and then drink this mixture. Alternatively, you can also mix it with some white wine and drink it, for taste purposes.
Mustard can help dispel blood bruises. Thus, it is very helpful in treating bruises and hematoma skin areas. Just apply mustard on the affected skin and then wait for the results.
26. Crab Water
It is also a theory that some injuries and bruises can be reduced by drinking crab water daily. This home remedy has been used since eternity in the Eastern states of India.
27. Tangerine Ramie Leaves
To use them, start by washing 20g of tangerine ramie leaves and dry them out. Then, pour 400ml water into these leaves and let them boil until you get only 100ml of liquid. Drink this solution twice a day for 3-5 days. Or, you may also wash tangerine ramie leaves and churn them. Apply them on your hematoma and wait for about 3 hours.
To use this, wash 50-100g of shallot leaves, grind them and then mix them with 10g of red sugar. Apply it onto the hematoma, usually in the morning. Or, you may also wash 50g of shallot roots, churn them and fry with 100ml of alcohol. Then, apply this solution on the hematoma 3 times a day and each time after every half an hour.
29. Drink Plenty Of Water
You should try to keep yourself hydrated when suffering from a serious problem like a hematoma. The more water you drink, the more toxins can be flushed out of your system. It is advised to have at least 1.5 ml of water per day.
30. Use A Cold Compress
This method also helps to reduce the inflammation caused in the body due to the hematoma. Use an ice pack to apply it to the affected area and try leaving it there for about 15 minutes. This will help in reducing blood flow and thus decreasing swelling in the affected area. For best results, try to do this 1-2 times daily.
31. Use A Warm Compress
Warm compress can help in expanding the arteries and capillaries in the body. This would help in increased blood flow all through-out and thus will help in reducing the pain and swelling in the affected area. Yet, keep in mind that a warm compress should not be used for a hematoma when it is in its early stages. This is because it may result in vasodilatation that is very harmful for the skin.
32. Give A Massage
Within 24-48 hours of the development of the hematoma you may also give a massage to the affected area. This will help in increased blood circulation in that area pushing the black blood out of the system. Try using long strokes while massaging that area for best results.
This can also help you get rid of the hematoma quickly. Yet, it is not guaranteed as not many success stories have been told about the same.
How To Prevent A Hematoma?
It is quite obvious that prevention is better than cure. Yet, all types of hematomas may not be subject to prevention. But, still there are ways which can be undertaken by people to prevent the formation of a hematoma in the body.
Usually, hematomas are a result of falls or traumas. Thus, if you try to prevent the falls then you automatically reduce your vulnerability to a hematoma.
Also, patients taking blood thinners or medications should be monitored closely to prevent a hematoma. This can be done if their dosage is appropriately managed from time to time.
Children are also at risk to develop hematomas frequently. This is because; children are more prone to bumping their head in all places. This causes a small swelling in the area of the injury. Thus, child-proofing the home and furniture may help in reducing hematomas in children.
Hematomas caused by sport activities or heavy physical work can also be prevented. It can be prevented by reducing those activities or stopping them all together.
When To See The Doctor?
Most hematomas are usually caused due to minor injuries or traumas. The person is aware of these minor injuries. And if he feels any sort of discomfort, the person should immediately seek medical help.
Yet, some hematomas are more serious because of their location. Thus, medical care should be sought in the following situations:
- A person with a head injury accompanying either of the following:
d) slurred speech,
e) muscle weakness,
f) vision changes, or
g) difficulty in being aroused
- People taking blood thinners should regularly visit the doctor. They should also seek constant check-ups to decipher whether they have a hematoma or not.
- It is also wise for people prone to accidents or traumas to seek medical assistance constantly.
- Blood clots in the urine need rapid evaluation.
After going through the article you may have some queries. Some of the questions which are considered important for you to know are mentioned below. It is hoped that the following questions give you a clear picture of causes, symptoms and ways to get rid of a hematoma.
1. How Long Does It Take For A Hematoma To Reabsorb?
This question does not have a precise answer. Further, it also depends upon the person’s healing capacity. Usually, it takes about 5-6 days for the bruise to heal. Additionally, it takes 10-15 days for a minor hematoma to heal completely. Thus, major and severe hematomas may even take longer to heal.
2. When Does A Hematoma Need To Be Drained?
A hematoma has to be drained when the excess blood present in the affected area starts to create pressure on that organ or tissue.
Due to this pressure, extreme pain is caused to the person which may lead to severe bruises to the person. Only then to relive the person of the pressure and pain, the hematoma is drained. But, it is only done on certain accounts dependent on the doctor.
Thus, if you are suffering from a hematoma or a contusion, you should seek medical help. Further, if it is a minor hematoma then you can use the above-mentioned home remedies. They will help solve the problem as fast as possible.