How to Get Rid of Bruises with Toothpaste: A Simple Solution
Bruises form when blood vessels under the skin are damaged, allowing blood to leak into surrounding tissues. This results in black and blue marks that can take weeks to fade. Many home remedies claim to speed up bruise healing, including applying toothpaste. But is this really effective, or just a myth? Read on to learn how to get rid of bruises with toothpaste, the science behind it, and tips for fading bruises fast.
Toothpaste as a Bruise Remedy
Applying toothpaste to bruises is an often-repeated home cure. The theory is that toothpaste may help bruises by:
- Disinfecting – Toothpaste contains antimicrobial ingredients like menthol, eucalyptus oil, triclosan, and fluoride to kill bacteria. This may prevent infection in open wounds.
- Improving circulation – Menthol, camphor and other toothpaste ingredients give a cooling, tingling sensation by irritating skin and increasing blood flow. Boosted circulation could clear blood from a bruise faster.
- Reducing inflammation – Toothpaste may decrease swelling and inflammation around a bruise when applied topically. The menthol may have a mild anti-inflammatory effect.
- Drying out skin – Toothpaste pulls moisture from the skin, which may help shrink blood vessels and tighten tissues.
However, no major studies confirm toothpaste’s ability to fade bruises. Any benefits are theoretical and anecdotal. Proper wound care is still essential.
How to Get Rid of Bruises with Toothpaste: Does It Work? What Science Says
There is limited scientific evidence regarding toothpaste’s effects on bruises. But a few key factors indicate it likely provides minimal if any real bruise-fading benefits:
- Lack of quality research – No major clinical studies exist showing toothpaste accelerates bruise healing compared to no treatment. Claims are based on tradition and hearsay.
- Toothpaste ingredients have limited skin benefits – Ingredients like fluoride, baking soda, and peroxide have minimal documented effects when applied topically to wounds. Any antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties likely don’t permeate deep enough to impact bruises.
- Bruises heal from the inside out – Bruises fade as the body reabsorbs blood from the tissues. External applications don’t speed up this process.
- Applying toothpaste can further damage skin – Rubbing toothpaste on a bruise risks irritating the area and causing additional tissue trauma, potentially worsening the bruise.
So while toothpaste may provide some very minor or temporary effects, it should not replace proper bruise care and medical treatment if needed.
How to Properly Care for Bruises
To help bruises heal safely:
- Rest the injured area to prevent further damage.
- Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth to reduce swelling for 10-15 minutes a few times per day. Do not place ice directly on the skin.
- Elevate bruised limbs above the level of your heart to slow swelling.
- Use over-the-counter pain medication for comfort. Acetaminophen or NSAIDs help relieve pain and swelling.
- See a doctor if the bruise is severe, accompanies other symptoms like continued bleeding, or impacts function. X-rays may be needed to rule out fractures. Steroid shots can decrease swelling.
- Avoid using heat, massage, or vigorous tooth brushing on fresh bruises which can burst blood vessels.
- Keep the area clean to prevent infection. Use mild cleansers and cover with clean dressings.
- Once the bruise starts fading, apply moisturizers and creams containing vitamins C and E, green tea extract, and arnica to help absorption and lighten skin discoloration.
With rest and conservative care, most minor bruises resolve on their own within 2-4 weeks. When in doubt, consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
FAQs About How to Get Rid of Bruises with Toothpaste
Does toothpaste help bruises?
Answer: Applying toothpaste to bruises likely provides minimal if any real healing benefits. No major studies confirm toothpaste fades bruises. Proper wound care remains essential.
What kind of toothpaste is best for bruises?
Answer: No toothpaste has been clinically shown as effective for bruises. At most, a toothpaste with menthol may provide a temporary cooling sensation and circulation effects. But toothpaste cannot treat deep tissue bruising.
Can I put toothpaste on an open wound?
Answer: No, you should not place toothpaste into an open wound, as this can cause significant irritation and infection. Clean open cuts with gentle soap and water, apply antibiotic cream and cover with sterile dressings.
Is toothpaste toxic if swallowed?
Answer: Toothpaste contains ingredients like fluoride, detergents, and abrasives that can cause nausea, vomiting, and toxicity if ingested in large amounts. Keep toothpaste away from children and contact Poison Control if toothpaste is swallowed.
Can I make a toothpaste bruise cream?
Answer: No, combining toothpaste with other ingredients is not recommended, as this can alter any therapeutic effects and increase the risks of skin irritation. Stick to tried and true bruise creams containing arnica.
While applying toothpaste to bruises is a popular home remedy, it has not been clinically proven effective or safe for ‘how to get rid of bruises with toothpaste.’ At best, it may provide minor cooling and drying effects. Focus instead on conservative bruise care under a doctor’s guidance to speed healing without risks of further skin damage. Avoid using toothpaste on open wounds or ingesting it.