Foot bruise

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A foot bruise occurs if blood seeps out of the blood vessels in the foot into the skin tissues, muscles or bones. The bruising can affect any part of the foot from the toenail to the rear part of the heel. It can appear as a small region in one foot or a wide area in both feet depending on the exact cause.

The foot is responsible for providing stability, movement and balance for the entire body. Since the feet are involved in movement, bearing weight of the body and at the extremes ends of the body, they are susceptible to contact injuries that lead to bruising.

What are the different types of foot bruise?


Foot bruise
The indications of a navicular stress fracture include weakly limited throbbing in the midfoot that worsens during exercise.

Contusions are the most common type of foot bruise due to trauma. The trauma can range from minimal impact such as from poorly fitting shoes or a moderate or serious blunt-force injury that impairs the blood vessels in the tissues, muscles or bones. The injury is often accompanied by swelling and pain due to the inflammatory response to the injury.


Hematoma is a type of foot bruise that involves significant bleeding that causes the blood to pool beneath the skin at the injury site. Hematomas can be triggered by the same forces the cause contusions, but generally trigger more pain, swelling and complications. In addition, it can also be caused by surgical procedures or spontaneous rupture of a blood vessel.


Purpura is brought about by spontaneous leakage of blood from the capillaries. It results to flat, red spots or patches on the skin and mucus membranes. If it results to small spots on the skin, it is called petechiae. A large area of purpura is called ecchymosis.

This type of bruising is not due to trauma but from various conditions such as the following:

  • Leukemia
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
  • Insect bites
  • Certain infectious diseases such as mononucleosis, meningitis and measles
  • Certain medications such as NSAIDs, aspirin, antihistamines, anticoagulants and antibiotics
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Vasculitis

It is vital to seek immediate medical care if the individual easily or frequently bruises on the feet or on any part on the body especially if linked with bleeding gums or nosebleed.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a foot bruise is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to care for foot injuries, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Victoria, Ottawa and Halifax.

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