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A bruise (also known as a contusion or ecchymosis) is caused by blunt impact in which the capillaries are damaged, allowing blood to seep into the surrounding tissue. Bruises are characterized by black, blue, purple, brown or yellow hematomas in the days following; a discoloration which does not blanch when pressed upon.

In spanking, bruises are typical marks caused by heavyweight implements such as paddles, (hair) brushes, straps, tawses or belts. They take many days or weeks to fade, during which time they will often change in color.

Ice bags applied as soon as possible can help reduce bruises. Some people recommend the use of witchhazel or arnica to treat bruises, to help them to heal more quickly.

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