I Have A Corkie (Bruise)? What Should I Do About It?

1 April 2020

Almost everybody experiences corkies or bruises during his lifetime. Some people are more prone to develop corkies than others. In many cases you don’t have to worry about a corkie but it is important to know at which stage you should see a doctor.


What Are Corkies?

Corkies are also known as bruise or contusion. They are a type of a relatively minor bleeding (hematoma) of your tissues in which small blood vessels are damaged after a trauma. Bruises can occur at different layers of the body and include skin, deeper tissue, muscles and bones. Most bruises happen after a fall, hitting an object or getting a hit during sports. In many cases it takes a while till you notice a corkie and you will not immediately feel the symptoms right after an incident. Typical areas for corkies are at the front of the thigh, shin, at the frontal pelvic bone (hip pointer or iliac crest) and on your forearms.

How Do I Know I Have A Corkie/Bruise, And What Are The Symptoms?

A corkie presents with the following symptoms:

  • initially short severe pain during trauma (hit, fall as mentioned above)
  • later the pain reduces and becomes more of a local tenderness
  • swelling (not always)
  • bleeding (hematoma- dark blue colored spot on the skin)
  • pain during action /use

What Are The Contributing Factors?

The size and shape of a bruise is influenced by several factors such as age, condition- color and type of tissue. Furthermore the location, striking force of a hit or blood disorders (coagulation problems) have an impact on the size and shape of a corkie.

What Should I Do When I Have One?

The treatment of light corkies includes:

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to reduce pain and swelling
  • painkillers
  • soft stretching after a few days when the pain settled down
  • after the inflammatory phase (3-5days) heat to loosen up tight muscles

When Should I See A Doctor?

You should see a doctor if you have a moderate-severe corkie/bruising. This is indicated if:

  • you have severe pain and tenderness
  • you develop a massive swelling
  • movements of the affected area are very painful
  • you have a big corkie without any explanation/reason

Note: If you have unexplained bruises which occur very frequently over a long period of time it is advisable to see a doctor to rule out skin or blood disorders (platelet or coagulation disorder). Furthermore unexplained bruising may also be a warning sign of child abuse, internal bleeding or other serious health problems. The usage of several drugs (e.g. steroids, blood thinners) can cause easier bruising.

How Long Does It Take For The Corkie To Disappear?

Normally light bruises heal within 2-3 weeks. Depending on the severity and the individual healing process it can take longer. Deeper bruises take more time to heal.