Yellow, on days seven to 10, represents the bilirubin.Finally, the bruise usually appears brown until it goes away.When blood vessels are broken very close to the skin's surface, the colors will be more intense.Generally, women bruise more easily than men, according to Web MD.At that point, the area around the bruise may be swollen and tender.Because the age of bruises is so important in determination of child abuse, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service has published a guide to identifying the stage of a bruise's healing by color.Often when child abuse is going on, bruising is the first sign.If authorities can identify this possibility early, further abuse may be prevented.
This is especially true with bruises on the lower extremities.
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Emergency physicians and forensic examiners are often asked to date bruises/contusions. The appearance of a bruise depends on three factors: the skin must be stretched/compressed enough to tear blood vessels without losing surface integrity, sufficient pressure must be present for blood to escape from the vessels into the tissues, and the escaped blood must be near the skin surface to be seen.
If the skin is not broken, the blood has nowhere else to go.
During the healing process, which normally lasts from two to four weeks, bruises go through a sequence of color changes.