Hematomas are larger bleeds that often involve larger blood vessels. With a hematoma, the leaking blood will pool and clot, or form clumps of blood. This can cause a firm and tender mass.
Hematomas can develop deep within the body, like in a muscle or in or around an internal organ. They can also form beneath the skin, on the scalp, nose, ears, or under a nail.
When it is closer to the surface of the skin, the hematoma may appear as a painful red, black, or blue lump. As it breaks down, the skin will eventually change to a yellow or brown color.
Unlike bruises, hematomas can cause serious harm. If they get large enough, they may cause blood pressure to drop. They can even lead to shock, a life threatening condition that happens when organs in the body don’t get enough blood or oxygen . Very large hematomas can cause organs to shift and affect how they function.
The most dangerous and life-threatening hematomas are in the brain and skull. With these, the blood can become trapped within the skull and put pressure on the brain.
This can cause:
- Brain damage
- A coma, or a state of long term unconsciousness
- Paralysis, or weakness or total loss of movement in the muscles in part of your body
- Seizure, or a sudden burst of uncontrolled activity in the brain
Healing time ranges from weeks to months, depending on the size and location of the hematoma.Bruises
- Localized bleeding from smaller blood vessels under the skin
- Flat and tender to the touch
- Usually heals without medical attention within two weeks
- Generally has few complications
- Pooling of blood due to leakage from larger vessels
- Raised, firm, and painful
- May require medical care and take weeks or months to heal
- Some can cause serious and even life-threatening complications