Can a bruise leave permanent discoloration? (photo)
1 year ago
I am currently POD 4 from thigh liposuction with significant bruising. I had an ACL reconstruction 15 years ago and now am remembering that my bruising lasted almost a year. My physician then said that the blood tattooed my skin and could be permanent. Is this really possible? I have tried to ask my plastic surgeon here in Korea, but am having trouble with the language barrier. Any suggestions for helping it heal faster? I am using topical and oral arnica.
Doctor Answers 2
Thank you for asking about your liposuction and the bruising.
- First, take no anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Bruising can cause permanent discoloration for two reasons -
- Either the iron in the blood stains the tissues
- Or the irritation from blood causes skin darkening (called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.)
- For now, leg elevation, gentle massage and warm soaks - if your surgeon approves - is all one can do.
- Arnica topically and by mouth is unlikely to help but probably harmless.
- Before having more surgery, a hematologist should evaluate you to be sure there is not a mild underlying bloot clotting disorder that needs treatment before future surgery.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS
Thank you for your question and photo. Bruising normally resolves over several weeks. A small percentage of patients may have delayed bruising. Hemosiderin is the breakdown product of blood, which causes a brown discoloration that can take 1-2 years to improve, but it may never completely dissipate. Best Wishes
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