Bruises occur when blood vessels break, due to some kind of force, and leak blood into areas under the skin. The main symptoms of a bruise are pain, swelling, and skin discoloration. A bruise begins as a pinkish, red color that can be very tender to touch.
Review Date 5/14/2017
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.