How can I make this bruise go away?
January 7, 2010 7:36 PM   Subscribe

How do I get rid of this seemingly-permanent bruise?

I'm female, late 20's, generally healthy. I've had this bruise on my chest since October, and it's not getting better.

I don't remember how I got the bruise, but it's not unheard of for me to, say, walk into door frames. Generally that's the kind of thing I'd remember though, and no dice here. I do remember looking in the mirror after a shower and going, "hm, that's a nice bruise," sometime in October.

The bruise is on my chest, sternum-level, and over to the right near my armpit. It's at just the right spot to be visible were I to wear a strapless dress. It is about dime-sized, brown in color, and fades at the edges. By that, I mean that it doesn't have defined edges. It's definitely... bruise-like. It does not hurt if I touch, poke, or massage it.

Google tells me that sometimes doctors advise massaging a bruise that won't go away, but I've been at that for a month and it's not gone away even a little bit.

I'd appreciate any MeFite insight you have to give. Thank you!
posted by juniperesque to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You sure it's a bruise? I had something similar on my belly and it turned out to be an allergic reaction to the button in my most-often-worn jeans. If it doesn't hurt, it seems unlikely it's a bruise. Any chance you might be allergic to a metal part of a bra, or sports clothing, or could your purse strap be rubbing you there, etc?

Anyway, you can try to fade it with skin lightening cream that contains hydroquinone, but I wouldn't use that stuff if there's any chance the spot is changing or precancerous (so you might wanna show it to a doc just in case before you go doing it with stuff like hydroquinone).
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:59 PM on January 7, 2010

See a doctor. I've had some lasting bruises (for example, the 2 month bruise from hell- which hurt horribly the entire time) but a "bruise" that doesn't hurt, has an unknown cause, and has been there for at least 3 months? Probably something to get checked out, just in case.
posted by kro at 8:03 PM on January 7, 2010

It would make sense to see a doctor. I've never heard of a real bruise lasting that long.
posted by y6t5r4e3w2q1 at 8:06 PM on January 7, 2010

I ran into the footboard on my bed and had the remnants of a serious bruise on my calf there for nearly a year. It's was very much like you describe - a brownish shadow and finally has gone away. I really had begun to think it would be permanent. I agree that it's worth pointing out to your doctor, but otherwise if you're like me, the answer is give it time.
posted by cecic at 8:34 PM on January 7, 2010

By the location, it might be a lightly-maintained bruise caused by the lumpy bit on your bra strap, or by the way you carry your bag (for example putting your thumb under the strap near the shoulder, or maybe the straps rub against your jacket, yadda yadda).
posted by Billegible at 9:21 PM on January 7, 2010

Do you take vitamins? I had a bruise that lasted at least three weeks and I read online that lingering bruises can be caused by either diabetes or by a vitamin deficiency. After I started taking multivitamins daily, the bruise cleared up right away.
posted by overglow at 9:26 PM on January 7, 2010

Please get this checked. That close to a breast you want to make sure it is just a bruise. Not meaning to scare you, and IANAD, but please go to the dr.
posted by tamitang at 9:44 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've had bruises last a very long time and look like you describe, but normally they do hurt if I push on them hard. I would get it checked out by a doctor. It could be a vitamin deficiency, as well. My mother gets long lasting bruises and they have begun to go away faster now that she's taking better care of herself and her nutrition to stave off full-blown diabetes. Anyway, I've had bruises last for months and months, and they do eventually go away. It's just that you say it doesn't hurt that makes me wonder if it might not be a bruise at all, and perhaps a birthmark you never noticed, or some sort of skin problem, perhaps an allergic reaction to a bra material?
posted by Mizu at 9:49 PM on January 7, 2010

IANAD but I am a klutz and well-versed in bruises. It could be not going away because it's on a bony area of your body. I had a bruise on my ankle bone that stayed for months (and also didn't hurt).
posted by sfkiddo at 10:05 PM on January 7, 2010

My wife has a permanent bruise. She was hit on the back of the shoulder by a shotput--yep, a shotput. Didn't break any bones, but a decade plus later there is a smallish dark splotch there.
posted by zardoz at 11:49 PM on January 7, 2010

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