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.
Update Date 5/1/2011
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.