DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black eye. Close-up of extensive bruising around the face and eye of an 86 year-old woman caused by a fall. The eye is surrounded by a thin layer of skin which emphasises bruising more that the skin covering other areas of the body. A black eye therefore seems darker than ordinary bruises. A direct blow to this region will rupture blood vessels below the surface of the skin, causing leakage of blood and the formation of a bruise. The bruise first appears black or blue and then fades to green and yellow as the red blood pigment haemoglobin breaks down. To reduce the pain and swelling of a bruise a cold compress or cloth is applied.
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