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Studies show alcohol can act as a blood-thinner and decrease vitamin C levels, essential to helping the skin and blood vessels withstand impact.

Alcohol consumption and platelet activation and aggregation among women and men: the Framingham Offspring Study. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, 2005, Nov.;29(10):0145-6008.

If the bruise happened within the last 24 hours, you still have a shot at containing it: Kasteler advises putting ice on it to slow down the blood flow.

Then follow standard protocol and elevate the affected area.

When the swelling decreases, apply a warm compress to speed up the healing.

There's only been one study on it, but Kasteler says hydrogen peroxide showed promise for bleaching the iron in red blood cells, lightening the appearance of bruises.

To make an ice pack, place ice cubes or a packet of frozen vegetables in a plastic bag and wrap them in a towel. Do not put the ice pack straight on to your skin as this will be too cold and could hurt.

Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may help relieve the pain associated with bruising.

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In fact, skin is so fragile that even slight bumps cause blood vessels to leak, and the red blood cells don’t have much stopping them from spreading. Blood-thinning drugs, including aspirin, some dietary supplements (fish oil and ginkgo), or a lack of vitamins B12, C, K, and folic acid could also turn someone into a real bruiser.

Bruises are bluish or purple-coloured patches that appear on the skin when tiny blood vessels called capillaries break or burst underneath.

The blood from the capillaries leaks into the soft tissue under your skin, causing the discolouration.

Almost nothing topical can reach your blood vessels, and even if it could, it’s not going to help carry away the blood any faster—the supposed logic behind folk remedies like vinegar, parsley, and banana peels (our favorite).

Your best bet is to ice it early and let your immune system take it from there.

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