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Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
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How long does it take for a hematoma to go down. Should it

Resolved Question:

How long does it take for a hematoma to go down.
Should it be treated with heat or ice?
It,s on the elbow
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question,


Could you please tell me when did the injury occur?




Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The injury occurred Sat. evening.

Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.


Since the injury occurred relatively recently, it is better to use ice. Ice makes blood vessels shrink and stops any additional bleeding under the skin.

After about 5 days, you can start using heat if the area of the hematoma becomes hard otherwise you really don't need to use anything after the 1st week following trauma. You can also take Advil or Aleve because these medications serve as anti-inflammatory and will help inflammation to come down quicker.


If the hematoma is small, it will take about 1 week to go away. If the hematoma is large it can take several weeks (4-6) to completely clear up. Hematoma will change in color from deep purple to pink-blue to green to yellow and then finally fade.


I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to follow-up with any other questions you might have.

If you are satisfied with the answer, please click 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work.


Best wishes and good luck,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The hematoma is about the size of a small egg
about 2 in. by 1 in. He hit his elbow ----there is no pain
Does that seem like a hematoma?

He doen't want to go to the doctor because it doesn't hurt.
It doesn't look good with the lump

Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 5 years ago.

I see.

Hematoma, by definition, is a collection of blood outside the blood vessel. Sometimes hematoma can be a simple bruise and sometimes it accumulates in a pocket.

So what I would recommend is to use ice for the few days and then start applying heat to try and dissolve the blood. It will take several weeks to dissolve.


Now, if this 'hematoma' is located right at the edge of the elbow, it could possibly be bursitis which is accumulation of fluid into a joint. This collection of fluid is soft and movable and it usually not painful.

What makes me think it can bursitis is the fact that it is not painful. Usually hematomas are somewhat painful or cause discomfort.


Of course, the only way to know is to see a doctor. Hematoma will resolve on its own within weeks (use ice for the next few days, then heat) but bursitis will not go away on its own and can actually get worse. Usually the fluid from bursitis will need to be drained out with a needle.


If the person refuses to see a doctor now, there is no urgency. He can try treating the area as if it was a hematoma but if the swelling doesn't improve or starts to get worse, he will need to see a doctor.


Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have other questions.

If I answered your questions, please click 'Accept'.



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