Unfortunately, there is no magical or surgical method which can make most bruises fade quickly. The blood pools which give bruises their unsightly appearance should eventually be absorbed back into the bloodstream and disappear. But there are some things you can do to help this process along, or to minimize the formation of large, dark bruises in the first place.
One way to help bruises fade is to stem the initial flow of blood quickly after a traumatic injury. Ice should be applied to a bruised area as soon as possible to reduce the number of small bleeders contributing to the injury. If possible, the injured area should be held above the level of the heart to encourage blood to flow away from the injury. The less blood that pools around a blunt force injury, the less chance a heavy bruise will form.
One thing many medical professionals would recommend to help bruises fade quickly is to avoid painkillers with blood-thinning ingredients. Many over-the-counter pain relievers contain ingredients that encourage blood flow and inhibit the formation of blood clots. This is not a good thing for people suffering from serious bruises. To help bruises fade quickly, limit the intake of pain medication to acetaminophen or prescription painkillers.
Some sources suggest using gentle massage on the affected area to help bruises fade. There is little risk of releasing a dangerous blood clot by massaging a bruise, since the blood is primarily pooled outside the circulatory system itself. This method might improve the appearance of bruises temporarily, but the actual healing time may not be affected. Cosmetic treatments such as using concealing make-up or wearing a long-sleeved shirt may also help minimize the appearance of bruises.
There are several homeopathic or organic methods that purportedly help bruises heal quickly. Some say that topical applications of witch hazel or glycerin will help bruises heal quickly. Rubbing a sliced onion or banana peel over the affected area is also suggested as a home remedy for bruises. Perhaps the most discussed homeopathic treatment is a poisonous plant called arnica (arnica montana), which is said to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent in general. A topical ointment containing arnica should be applied repeatedly to the affected area in order to help bruises heal quickly.
The use of arnica or other homeopathic treatments for bruising is not necessarily endorsed by the medical community, so those who are interested in trying it should do some research first. The standard medical advice to help bruises heal quickly is to ice down the injury quickly, keep it above the level of the heart, and avoid taking any blood-thinning medication until the bruise has dissipated.