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Health Tip

Home :: Face Contusion

Face Contusion

Bruising of skin and underlying tissues of the face caused by a direct blow. Contusions cause bleeding from ruptured small capillaries that allow blood to infiltrate muscles, tendons or other soft tissue. The face is particularly vulnerable to contusion because skin is so close to hard, underlying bone. (Note:Contusions and other injuries of the eyes, nose and ears require special considerations and care. They are addressed separately in this book.)

BODY PARTS INVOLVED

Face tissues, including blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves, covering to bone (periosteum) and connective tissue.

Causes

Direct blow to the skin, usually from a blunt object.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Local swelling at the contusion site. The swelling may be round or egg-shaped and superficial or deep.
  • Pain and tenderness over the injury.
  • Feeling of firmness when pressure is exerted on the injured area.
  • Discoloration under the skin, beginning with redness and progressing to the characteristic "black and blue" bruise.

Treatment

Follow your doctor's instructions. These instructions are supplemental.

  • Use an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day. Wrap ice chips or cubes in a plastic bag, and wrap the bag in a moist towel. Place it over the injured area for 20 minutes at a time.
  • After 72 hours, apply heat instead of ice if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads, or heat liniments and ointments.
  • Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling

Home Diet

During recovery, eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs. Your doctor may prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements to promote healing.

Prevention

Wear an appropriate face mask during competition or other athletic, activity if a face contusion is likely.

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