Bumps, knocks and bruises are common injuries that everyone will experience from time to time.
Though they can sometimes be very painful, bumps, knocks and bruises are usually easy to treat.
These kinds of injuries commonly affect joints such as your elbow or knee, and bumps and knocks to these areas can result in swelling and bruising.
A bruise often appears after you have been knocked, bumped or pinched, for example when you have fallen over playing sport, or knocked your body against something.
A bruise is made when the tiny blood vessels under your skin are damaged. The blood comes out of the damaged vessels and sits in or under the skin, forming a purple or red mark.
Everyone bruises differently, for example children can be more likely to get bumps and bruises because they are often more physically active. Elderly people can have weaker blood vessels that mean they are more prone to damage and bruising.
Some people bruise very easily while others don’t.
Suspicion of deliberate harm
If someone you know has bumps or bruises and you are suspicious that these symptoms were caused deliberately (on purpose), and were not the result of an accident, you should seek help from a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Consider talking to your doctor, community nurse, emergency department or school nurse.
If you are unsure who to speak to, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to discuss your concerns with a registered nurse.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your bump, knock or bruise, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: August 2017