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The life cycle of a bruise transforms the skin, demonstrating the body’s self-healing power. It's a technicolor display of biology.
The collision of solid mass with soft flesh begins a chain reaction, disrupting bloodflow and discoloring the skin long after the pain recedes. Color surfaces on the skin immediately after impact.
As blood oozes from the burst blood vessels into the tissues. oxygen-filled hemoglobin shimmers red through the skin.
Depleted oxygen in the red hemoglobin transforms into blue deoxyhemoglobin. It is still painful to the touch.
Enzymes, breaking down deoxygenated blood in the tissues, expand the bruise’s color palette with sulfhemoglobin and choleglobin. Meanwhile, the pain fades.
Light green biliverdin, a bile pigment, replaces the remaining hemoglobin. By now, the pain is gone.
After about three weeks, only yellow bilirubin is left behind. As the body perspires it away, the bruise finally disappears.
Mr. Handsome is ready for his next fight.