Why are bruises always black and blue?

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All over your body, you have tiny blood vessels called capillaries. They get ruptured when you have a wound. This causes blood to seep into tissues, and red cells break. Hemoglobin, the substance that gives red cells its colour, turns blue when oxygen is removed. Tissues quickly use up the oxygen in hemoglobin, but hemoglobin does not get any resupply of oxygen as the blood vessels are broken. This is why a bruise gets a bluish colour. It looks even bluer if the overlying tissue is pink. In about 14 days the red-blood cells degenerate and are reabsorbed. Then the bruise disappears.


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