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I am often quite clumsy on my feet as a result of having mobility issues, including fatigue and reduced stamina which leaves me 'shuffling' my feet at times rather than walking properly. This often sees me having falls and stumbles and I will occasionally trip over my own feet which leads to me banging into things. Whilst this is a more minor nuisance when it occurs at home, and is something I have learned to cope with, it is a rather more serious issue when it happens when I am outside, particularly if I am alone or am having to cope with dangerous hazards such as busy traffic or stairs. Unfortunately, the issues I have with fatigue and weakness have led me to fall on many occasions, with a recent incident being particularly nasty and causing several rather horrid injuries, including a burst lip and a superficial head wound, among a whole variety of coloured bruises and painful grazes. After getting checked over from a family member who is a health professional, I was thankful to be told that I didn't need any hospital treatment, but was going to be very sore and probably quite stiff as my injuries healed.
As my relative cleaned my wounds, he gave me some sound advice relating to bathing the wounds at home. He also advised me to purchase a cream containing Arnica, as such products can often be beneficial in helping to treat bruised skin. My husband was duly sent out to the pharmacy the following day, armed with a small list of items to purchase to help my injuries heal. A cream containing Arnica was on this list of course, and the item that my husband purchased for me was a 50g tube of "Arnicare Arnica Cream." This review outlines my experiences of using the product.
My husband paid in the region of £7 for the 50g tube of cream, which he purchased from a local pharmacy. The product is readily available from most good chemists. You can also purchase the 50g tube online from www.amazon.co.uk, for around £5 plus postage costs, or from www.ebay.co.uk for £6.35 with free postage.
The tube is presented in a small oblong box made of thin cardboard that is coloured white and purple. The tube itself is a white colour and it has a circular lid made of white plastic on top. The tube's nozzle has a little layer of foil which acts as a hygienic seal. This can be pierced open by using the top of the white lid which has a little plastic point on its underside. I quite liked this design as some of my bruises were surrounding grazed skin, so I felt somewhat reassured that this cream was quite sterile and clean prior to use. There is a small leaflet enclosed in the box too, which gives sufficient advice and instructions, to enable consumers to make an informed choice about the product's suitability for them. I, myself, was rather cautious about the cream's suitability for my own needs as I am already on a variety of medications and suffer with several health conditions, so I did request that my husband speak to the pharmacist directly about the Arnicare Cream's suitability to my own needs prior to purchase, and so was relaxed about using the product after receiving the OK from them. The product does contain natural ingredients, and whilst this did offer me some reassurance as to its suitability, I personally just prefer to rule out any contra-indications when using a new product for the first time.
For those consumers who are unfamiliar with Arnica, this is a natural homeopathic remedy that is made from a plant called "Arnica Montana." The Arnicare Cream contains this active ingredient which is popular for use on sprains and bruises.
The cream itself is white in colour and has quite a thick texture, although I find it can be squeezed quite easily from the tube. It has a glossy sheen to it, and although quite generic in its appearance, there is a fairly noticeable aroma present even as the cream is dispensed from its tube, which I find to be quite unusual. To be fair, the cream's aroma is not particularly unpleasant or off-putting, nor do I find it to be completely 'chemical' like which would no doubt see me grumbling every time the cream was used. Instead, the cream smells faintly antiseptic, I think, with a slight 'herbal' sort of aroma lurking in the background. To be quite honest, where first aid products are concerned, my priority is whether they help to alleviate my symptoms or not, so even if the Arnicare Cream smelled truly awful, I'd probably still have been inclined to try it out and see if it gave my poor, tender skin some relief.
To use, we are instructed to "Apply gently to bruised areas" on the packaging, so this is what I did. I tended to try and bathe quite often in the days following my nasty fall, as I felt this was helping my aching, strained muscles, and it also felt as though my cuts and bruises were benefiting from the warm, cleansing water in the bathtub. So, I tended to have at least two baths per day during the first week after my fall, and I always applied the Arnicare Cream afterwards, following my routine of patting my (sore and tender) skin dry with a fluffy towel. I then applied the cream directly onto each of my bruises, making sure to cover all of the bruise with a thin layer of the cream. As I carried out this application routine so often, I was soon able to overcome the few little 'niggles' I initially had with the cream, but I will admit that the product did take a little getting used to at first.
To explain, the Arnicare Cream has a rather odd texture, and whilst this is not particularly noticeable at first, it soon becomes apparent as the cream is rubbed into the skin; the cream is surprisingly greasy, so there are issues with getting it to become fully absorbed. After continued rubbing, and 'manipulation' of the cream on the skin's surface, it does eventually seem to admit defeat and sink into the skin's layers completely, but not without a greasy protest that is evident by way of a rather unpleasant 'slicked' residue that lingers for ages afterwards. Not great, if your bruises are all over your body as mine were, and you long for your pyjamas after your bath time is over with. Clothing does tend to stick to the cream if it is worn too soon after application, and for me, the required "waiting time" was just too long in my vulnerable, aching state...... so I had to give in and put up with an uncomfortable 'clammy' feeling as the cream's residue was swamped by my clothing. Other users of the cream may be able to wait the drying/absorption process out, as it were, but for me this was just too long when I felt so sore.
On the plus side, I find that the Arnicare Cream feels very pleasant on the skin as it is applied; the sore, tender, bruised skin seems to feel soothed almost straight away, with the cream's thick, airy texture feeling quite 'cooling' on the sensitive areas of skin. Even so, I do have to confess that the application of the Arnicare Cream was not altogether a pleasant experience, but this was really down to my skin being so sore and tender, which resulted in me experiencing great discomfort and aching pains as the skin was touched, rather than this unpleasantness being caused by the product itself.
I did feel that this discomfort was worth putting up with as the beneficial effects of the cream let themselves be known; I found a significant improvement was evident, even after the cream had been used for only a day or two. Where the purplish skin had been so sore it had been extremely unpleasant to apply the cream in the first few uses, I found that this soon began to improve, and within a day or so, I was able to 'smear' the cream across the skin's surface much more easily, thanks to the pain here subsiding significantly. To be clear, I am not saying that the Arnicare Cream removed the pain altogether, but I felt that it helped to 'heal' the bruised skin so that it was less painful to touch; subsequently, the pain was reduced and of course the cream was therefore easier to apply and rub in. I was extremely pleased that this beneficial effect was noticeable, but I was ecstatic when I was able to notice a marked improvement within about 36 hours from my first application. That's pretty impressive, by any account.
Further benefits were witnessed too; whilst all of my bruises started out as being purple or (an admittedly, pretty) blackish-purple shade, I found that the Arnicare Cream seemed to help 'accelerate' the healing process as it were; the noticeable 'colour-changing' that a bruise will go through in its lifetime before it finally disappears was brought on much more quickly than if the cream had not been used. In actual fact, I found the cream was extremely helpful at assisting the bruised skin in becoming faded and then yellowed, before finally there was just a faint mark left on the skin. It's difficult to say whether this accelerated fading was a by-product of the cream's healing/soothing properties as detailed above, or whether the colour fading was actually one of the cream's intended purposes, but I found this aspect of the cream's healing effects to be one of its most noticeable, and certainly one aspect of the cream that I was most grateful for, particularly as I had some small areas of bruising on my face (eyes!) and neck.
Taking these results into account, it's probably not difficult to understand why I was happy to put up with the rather odd texture of the cream, and after a few days I found myself no longer grumbling about this at all - the benefits witnessed FAR outweighed the uncomfortable tackiness present on the skin after application, and after a couple of days I was more than happy to put up with this as the cream worked its magic.
A final point worth noting, I think, is that although the packaging warns not to apply the cream to broken skin, there were a few occasions where I did just this, albeit unintentionally. Some of my bruising was on my back so was difficult for me to see, and consequently difficult for me to apply the cream at these areas by myself when my husband was at work. Unable to see the painful bruises in a mirror, I had to apply the cream by touch only, with the bruised areas being found easily thanks to their painful surfaces. My husband was concerned as I had been applying the cream to these areas which were heavily bruised, but also had a grazed surface. Being unable to see the bruises here, I had actually forgotten they were grazed and had open cuts in places, but in my haste to help the areas heal, I had smeared the Arnicare Cream over the affected areas after bathing. I feel this is quite an important point to mention, as I was aware that the cream applied to these areas felt no different to that applied at areas that were only bruised and were without grazing to the skin. Thus, I was able to conclude that the cream was extremely gentle and kind to skin, with it causing no stinging to the skin, whether broken or not. I am not recommending that the manufacturer's advice be ignored (far from it!) but I do feel that this result is evidence of the product's natural, caring nature.
Taking everything into account, I do feel that the Arnicare Cream is an extremely worthwhile purchase, and whilst I still have a little of my original tube remaining, I have recently purchased a second tube, purely for the purpose of keeping it in my first aid kit to assist in the healing of any future bruises that I will undoubtedly inflict upon myself. The product comes with my full recommendation, of course, together with top marks in the Dooyoo product rating score.
I am clumsy, accident prone and have fragile, delicate skin which bruises really easily. So this tube of creamy deliverence is one of the mainstays of my medicine cabinet.
I discovered it after a particulaly spectacular twisting and rolling trip over the vacuum cleaner left me with a deep and painful bruise on my inner forearm just days before visiting my parents who would have freaked over it. So I went to Holland and Barrett and thought I'd try this cream, having heard good things about it from friends.
Because this is a herbal product, where the active ingredient - arnica montana tincture - it is a natural product and as such is available on the shelf at your local healthfood shop or online at Amazon. I paid £3.25 at Holland and Barrett for this original tube, but am now on a replacement ordered from Amazon at £3.42. It is a credit to the strength of the packaging that the tube survived a postman determined to shove the package through my letterbox no matter how much it didn't fit. The card packaging was torn, but I recycle that anyway and it is the tube of anti-bruising which is all that really matters and that was pristine as well as intact.
The tube contains a soothing, cooling, thick white cream whose pleasant smell may come from the arnica or the apricot kernal oil but either way, smells great. This is helpful as the instructions are to apply it gently but frequently. This is no hardship as the bruise comes up and out, improves, changes colour and fades away almost visibly between applications. I apply generously as well as frequently, which is no hardship at this price and given how quickly it does speed up the healing process.
I'm on a replacement tube as I left my last almost untouched one with my elderly dad who has the same bruise prone skin as me and who was left very bruised by a heart procedure. He is now another convert to this arnica cream as it worked its magic on his deep bruising as well as it does on me.
He and he both have sensitive skin and allergies and have no problem with those with this cream.
So if you or yours are bruised, you do not have to wait it out. This will speed the healing process.
Run. But don't trip.
Being a university cheerleader and training upwards of three times a week, bruises are something I have come to accept as an inevitable part of my university life. However, when I'm on a night out or in lectures they can be provoking to say the least! After having numerous comments about where my twenty million bruises on my arms came from, and even being given a leaflet about domestic abuse, I decided that I needed to do something about the appearance and frequency of these pesky little things.
My weapon of choice was Arnicare, a herbal remedy sold and distributed by Nelsons. It comes in many different forms, such as bath oil, soothing spray and pillules. There's even a special 'kids stick' which is suitable for youngsters over the age of 3 years and is handy to carry around with you. This review is about the cream, which you can get a £1 off voucher if you buy it from the Nelsons online shop making it £3.35 rather than the RRP of £4.35. Arnicare can be used for almost any bruise, though it must be noted that if you bruise frequently without explanation, get massive bruises or worry at all about your bruising, then you should go and see your GP. Arnicare does not replace proper bruise treatment, such as icing the injury, and should not be used on broken skin. It simply speeds up the healing process. It's a white cream that's virtually odourless, and should be applied with a small amount on the end of your finger rubbing it in until it's not visible any more. You really don't need a lot!
The next morning I trekked off to the health shop (small town Wales only has one and doesn't sell any medicine that isn't mainstream anywhere else) and asked if they had some Arnica, remembering from my horse riding days that it was good for reducing the size and colour of bruises and gently numbing the pain from them. They gave me some Arnicare which I took home and eagerly applied it to the hand sized bruise on my forearm which was really sore and raised. Whilst Arnica doesn't have an immediate effect, it does have a gradual one and by the end of the day it was less raised and seemed to have a more yellowy tinge. It wasn't as painful to the touch but still needed some treatment so I applied a little more before bed and once again when I woke up, it wasn't as painful and raised as before. It still took some time to go as bruises do, but it certainly sorted it out for the first few days where I can't normally even touch the skin near the bruise. This isn't a miracle cure but it does help. I did a comparison a few weeks ago with two bruises of near equal size and colour on either forearm; one got Arnicare'd and the other was just left to heal. The one that was left to heal took a good few days to fade completely compared to the Arnicare'd one! The cream tube is 30g but seems to last for ages, especially as you don't need a massive amount for each application.
This has very fast become a staple in my medicine cabinet and one that I wouldn't hesitate to buy again if I ran out of it here at uni. However, at home I don't really do any bruise causing injuries and so it's a little expensive to have *just in case*, so I may think twice about buying another tube if I keep this one until I graduate next summer. We'll see!
I have uses arnica for years, both orally and as a cream, and really do swear by it!
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that has been used medicinally for centuries, however there are no scientific studies that prove the medical effectiveness. The roots contain derivatives of thymol, which are used as fungicides and preservatives. Arnica is currently used in liniment and ointment preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises. It is available in this useful cream which is produced by a company called Nelsons, which is the one I use.
With arnica cream, I find the quicker I use it, the more effective it is. If you bruise yourself, do all the usual first-aid stuff, ice-pack, raise the area if possible, then apply the cream to the affected area and gently massage in. Reapply a few times a day and it really will sooth the bruise and in some cases reduces the amount of discolour to the skin. Not long ago my son really bashed his head on a low door and almost knocked himself out. As soon as I could, I applied arnica cream to the affected area and he had no bruise whatsoever, though he did suffer slight concussion. I swear the arnica prevented the bruise from coming out and he was fine again within 2 days.
Nelson's Arnica Cream is available from places like Boots and some supermarkets such as Tesco though you have to be over the age of 16 to buy it.
It is supplied in 30g tubes and the active substance in the cream is Arnica montana tincture 0.9% v/w.
The complete ingredient list is as follows:
Purified water, glyceryl monostearate & macrogol stearate, apricot kernel oil, theobroma oil, glycerol, polawax GP 200 (cetearyl alcohol, PEG-20 stearate), cetostearyl alcohol, cetyl palmitate, glyceryl monocaprylate, methyl parahydroxybenzoate, propyl parahydroxybenzoate.
As this is a medicine there are a few precautions that you should know about:
Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have an underlying medical condition, are taking any other medication or complementary therapy, or if symptoms persist.
Seek advice before using if you are breast feeding, pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or suffer from allergies.
Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
Only use externally.
I usually buy the cream from Tesco and they sell it for £3.50 per 30g tube.
I think arnica is a must for all first-aid boxes. Use it as soon as the injury occurs and it will reduce the bruising and pain quickly.
I swear by this stuff because it has always worked for me!
Being quite clumsy, falling over and generally injuring myself are things that seem to happen on a daily basis to me. I also seem to bruise like a peach which is why Anricare arnica cream by Nelsons seemed like a miracle idea to me.
I first heard of Arnicare when I was looking to see if there were any miracle creams that could magically heal my bruises and I heard that arnica is really effective on bruised skin. I thought I'd invest in some as I'd read that it's a natural remedy and had been used since the 16th century. I'd never known before this that there was any kind of remedy or treatment for bruises but I was intrigued to see whether the bruising would go down any quicker for having used it.
All of the Nelson's Arnicare range are sourced from the Arnica Montana alpine plant and I always do tend to opt for creams that are as natural as possible so as not to clog up my pores with a tonne of impurities. I know a bit about the Nelson's brand too so I felt safe buying in to it.
I bought a 30g tube of Arnicare from Boots for around £5.30. It comes in a small card box with purple at either side and a green leaf logo. Inside is a sturdy tube with a round lid. The cream at first is easy to get out of the tube. It is a white cream that's thick in consistency and it has a moderate, yeasty smell to it which I found quite unpleasant to start with but got used to it once I'd applied it.
I applied it to a bruise on my thigh, I used about a 10p coin sized amount, just because I didn't know how much to use but also because the bruise was quite large. This seemed like too much to use as it took its time to rub in. Once applied it seemed to dry quickly and I soon forgot I'd put it on anyway. I was excited to see if the bruise would have gone by the next day but it was still pretty much the same. I applied the same amount as the previous day and got on with my day.
I applied every day for a week and noticed that the bruise was going down, but slowly. I think I was after instant and alarming results but these I did not get. I even thought that the bruise would have gone down the same had I not even applied any Arnicare. This brought me to research how Arnicare cream actually works from the Nelson's website. Apparently Arnicare stimulates blood flow and helps aid the colour of the skin to return to normal and loosens stiffening and some pain attached to bruising. I'd not really suffered with the painful side of bruising, it was more that this particular bruise looked unsightly.
Overall I was not that happy with my experience with Arnicare, the bruise did not budge quickly and looked near enough the same despite having used this cream everyday for a week. This is not to say that Arnica is not good for bruises, perhaps its main intent is to relieve the pain associated with bruising which I was not experiencing anyway. Hopefully applying this cream allowed some stimulation of blood flow to the affected area helping it in some ways but I didn't revel in its effects completely, I was not completely satisfied.
Arnicare cream can be purchased from Boots and other chemists as well as online pharmacy sites and Amazon.