Cupping Colors (Marks Chart) — (Health Coach’s Advice)

Cupping Colors and The Cupping Marks Meaning with A Chart from Health Coaches

I’m here to discuss the markings and bruise colors that result from cupping and what it signifies for your health and healing in my capacity as the main health and wellness expert at 

In order to remove toxins and stagnation from the body, suctioning cups are applied to certain body parts during cupping, a type of alternative therapy. The colors of your cupping reveal information about your health and the severity of any illnesses you may be carrying. You can get a general idea of what to anticipate during your cupping session by reading through this article.

Cupping Marks Meaning

The cupping marks left behind after a cupping therapy session are the round or oval discolorations that appear on the skin.

The way these marks develop varies depending on the skin type of the patient, the strength of the suction, and the length of the therapy. Typically, after treatment, cupping marks are painless and fade within a few days to a week.

Cupping markings resemble bruises in appearance but are neither painful or uncomfortable because they are not the result of skin trauma. Practitioners view cupping markings, which are common and a reaction to the cupping session, as a sign of a treatment’s effectiveness.


Cupping Marks Chart For Colors

The following are some typical interpretations of colors connected to cupping marks:

Light to Medium Pink Color

A common outcome of cupping marks lies within the range of pinkish colors which indicate a healthy body with little to no toxins depending on the severity of the pink color. In many cases, the color reaches its most vivid in four to five days and starts to fade out as the body flushes it away and heals the scars.

Dark Reddish to Pinkish Color

Darker red and pink hues signify a mild to moderate blood stagnation. The marks appear in one to two days and might last up to 10 to 12 days.

Dark Purple Color

The darkest shades of purple mean severe stagnation and develop more frequently among first-time users because the largest amounts of toxin build up are sucked from the body. After the session, the patient typically feels instant alleviation that might last up to two weeks.

Light Pink

A usual reaction to cupping therapy is a light pink discoloration, which indicates that the area’s blood circulation has improved.


A red discoloration is a sign of increased blood flow and may indicate the presence of heat or inflammation in the affected area.


A purple discoloration could be a sign of poor circulation or blood stagnation there.

Dark Red or Black

A dark crimson or black discoloration could be a sign of chronic illness or long-lasting blood stagnation.


Why Does Cupping Leave Marks?

The cupping markings are left on the skin by the suction caused by the cups during therapy.

The tissues beneath the skin are drawn up into the cup by a vacuum effect caused by the suction that is applied to the skin. The capillaries and microscopic blood vessels close to the skin’s surface burst and bleed blood as a result of this impact. The well-known circular or oval skin discolorations known as cupping marks are caused by blood that leaks from capillaries pooling in the surrounding tissues.

What Do Dark Purple Cupping Marks Mean?

Dark purple to blue or completely black cupping marks on a treated area are signs of stagnation. The body may not have completely cleared the stagnation from the treatment location because it may have been years since the injury or disease there.

Frequently, these stains disappear on their own. Keep in mind that not everyone gets these deep-red or deep-purple marks. However, those who do either have weak circulation in that location or are removing biological contaminants. Remember that a person is often healthy if their marks are fainter.

What we’ve mentioned are general indicators and each person will react slightly differently.


Bad Cupping Marks Colors

There are certain colors that emerge in a cupping session that you must watch out for because they indicate serious issues such as the following:

  • Dark red or black: These colors may indicate the presence of long-standing blood stagnation or a chronic health condition. If the marks are very dark and take longer than usual to fade, it may be worth discussing this with your healthcare professional.
  • Bright red: A bright red discoloration may indicate that there is heat or inflammation in the affected area. It is important to be cautious and monitor the area to ensure that the inflammation does not worsen.
  • White: A white discoloration may indicate that there is an energy blockage in the affected area. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it may be worth discussing this with your practitioner to determine if any additional treatments are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cupping bruise color meanings?

Here’s a quick summary of the meaning behind cupping bruise colors

  • Dark red or black: a chronic health condition
  • Bright red: heat or inflammation
  • White: energy blockage
  • Light to medium pink: generally indicates a healthy body
  • Dark reddish to pinkish color: mild or moderate blood stagnation
  • Dark purple color: severe stagnation

A more thorough after-care instruction will be given to you by your therapist after your cupping appointment. But here’s the general after treatment maintenance:

  • Drink plenty of water to flush your lymphatic system with fluids to eliminate toxins
  • Avoid showering immediately after cupping
  • Keep the treated areas covered and warm
  • Avoid alcohol for a few days

After your session, you can feel worn out or have flu-like symptoms the next day. The toxins that were produced during your cupping treatment are now being expelled by your body. Follow our aftercare instructions, relax, and get some rest.

What do the colors of cupping mean?

Besides what we’ve discussed here are things that might happen from a cupping therapy:

  • Water drops forming in the cup indicate cold or dampness
  • Blisters and bubbles developing after cupping means accumulated fluids in the tissues
  • Pale marks on the skin after cupping indicate deficiency, cold, or dampness
  • Spotting that is dark purple in shade means stagnation and cold
  • Light or bright red spotting cupping marks in a Qi and blood deficiency or yin deficiency
  • Small tiny dark spots scattered in the cupping marks indicate Qi and blood stagnation
  • Skin lines along the cupping marks or an itchy feeling after therapy mean wind or dampness

What does dark blood mean in cupping?

In a cupping therapy, stagnant blood or inadequate blood flow at the treatment location causes the black blood. The blood becomes less oxygenated, darkening the area. The presence of dark blood may also signal an ongoing blood stagnation or chronic medical conditions.

The cupping’s suction forces liquids onto the treated area. The capillaries or tiny blood vessels beneath the skin are expanded and split open by the suctioning action. Be aware that your body perceives the cupping region as an injury and increases blood flow to the area to speed up the healing process.

According to some practitioners, cupping purges impurities while clearing the pores.


How long do purple cupping marks last?

Typically, the purple cupping marks might remain visible for a few days to as long as two weeks. The intensity of the cupping treatment, the length of the cupping session, and the patient’s therapeutic response are some of the variables that can affect how long these purple marks last.

Purple marks initially have a dark purple or black appearance, but as they heal, they become lighter, turning a brownish or yellowish hue. To keep the afflicted region tidy and dry throughout this stage, refrain from rubbing or scratching the marks. An application of a gentle moisturizer or oil could alleviate any itching or discomfort.

Why do I have little black dots after cupping?

You might see tiny black or brown dots after cupping therapy. These dots, otherwise known as petechiae, are caused by the tearing of tiny blood vessels under the skin during the suction. Petechiae are an expected side effect of a cupping therapy especially with a strong suctioning force or a prolonged treatment.

Usually, these little black dots are not painful and will fade a few days to a week depending on the healing time of the individual. At this point, avoid touching or scratching the site of treatment to prevent infection.

Why do cupping marks turn yellow?

Yellowing cup markings on the skin are a sign of healing. The extra blood that was pulled to the skin’s surface during the cupping session is being reabsorbed by the body. The cupping marks’ color shifts from red to purple to black, with a final hint of yellowish or greenish color as the blood is broken down.

The body is mending and restoring the treatment site when cupping markings turn yellow, which is normal during the healing process. The yellowing phase might continue anywhere from a few days to a week, depending on the individual’s rate of healing.



Cupping is a form of alternative therapy with roots in Chinese Medicine that involves placing special cups on the skin to create suction. You’d encounter two common types in clinics, dry cupping and wet cupping, but the general process is the same for both. The suction created by the cups draws the skin and underlying tissues upward, which is believed to help improve blood flow, promote healing, and alleviate pain, chronic pain, or any type of tension in the muscles. However one of the side effects of cupping is unsightly bruising. Here are some of our tips for healing cupping bruises.

  • Apply a cold compress: Apply a cold compress to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time to help reduce inflammation and swelling. You can use a cold pack, a bag of ice, or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.
  • Avoid touching or scratching the bruises: Touching or scratching the bruises can cause further irritation and slow down the healing process. It is important to avoid touching or scratching the marks and to keep the affected area clean and dry.
  • Apply a warm compress: After the first 48 hours, you can switch to a warm compress to help improve blood flow and speed up the healing process. You can use a warm, damp towel or a heating pad set to a low or medium temperature.
  • Apply arnica cream or gel: Arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce swelling and bruising. Apply arnica cream or gel to the affected area a few times a day, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can help speed up the healing process. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats in your diet to provide your body with the necessary nutrients.

If you have any concerns or experience any unusual symptoms or side effects after cupping, it is important to seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional.


Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches