Paintball Bruises and Welts: Treatment & Recovery

With paintballs traveling at speeds upwards of 190 miles per hour, paintball players know that bruises and welts come with the game. While not all strikes end with a welt or bruise, if you get one, you won’t soon forget it, as they can often last several days, sometimes into weeks. Despite the risk of injury, that doesn’t stop many people from playing the game, as it is a great way to gather with friends and stay active.

If you have experienced a paintball bruise or a welt as a result of being struck by a paintball fired from a paintball gun, it is important to take care of it so you can have the quickest possible recovery. Taking care of your paintball bruise or welt will also help it to heal faster, so you’re able to get out and play again sooner.

Is it a Bruise or a Welt?

When it comes to treating your paintball injury, it is important to know whether you are treating a welt or a bruise. Welts are an area where the skin swells and raises where struck hard, often red in coloring. Bruises on the other hand are flat areas of pain and discoloration underneath the skin as a result of an impact. Welts typically heal much faster, but both can be very painful.

How to Treat a Paintball Bruise

Paintball Bruise

There are many different ways to treat a bruise, whether caused by a paintball or by some other blow to the skin. Luckily, you may already have the supplies necessary in your home to take the best care of your injury. If you don’t have them already, most remedies are easily available at a local drugstore or supermarket. Some people even swear by applying potato or banana peels to the injury to promote blood flow and healing.

If your injury seems particularly severe, is bleeding and won’t stop, or doesn’t seem to improve after a few days, you should probably visit a doctor to determine whether there isn’t any underlying condition or damage that prevents you from properly healing. If something doesn’t seem right, it’s better to visit a doctor and find out you have a minor injury, than not visit and wish you had.

Cold and Hot Compress to Reduce Swelling and Improve Blood Flow

For fresh injuries, typically within the first day of your bruise, start by applying a cold compress periodically throughout the day. Apply for ten minutes at a time, at least three times per day, at most once per hour. Wrap an ice pack in a towel so it doesn’t get too cold, and apply to the wound. This will help to prevent and relieve any swelling during that first day.

After the paintball bruise is past the window during which it would swell, usually 24-48 hours, it’s important to get blood flowing to the area again to promote healing. This is done simply by applying a warm compress, either by running hot water over a towel, or by using a heating pad. Apply at the same rate you did the cold compress, and you will give your bruise the best chance at healing quickly and healthily.

Epsom Salts to Soothe a Bruise

Epsom salts are a common addition to a hot bath that will help soothe any soreness and promote the healing of a paintball bruise. Especially after a rambunctious game of paintball, your body may be achy and sore. A relaxing soak in warm water and Epsom salts will help you to fell all around better. If you can, stay in the water at least thirty minutes to help promote your healing. Follow the directions on the bag or box of Epsom salts to determine how much to add to your bath.

Vitamin K Cream to Promote Healing

If you don’t already have Vitamin K Cream in your medicine cabinet, now is a good of time as any to have it on hand. Vitamin K Cream is available at drug stores, and it is an excellent remedy for clearing up a bruise, and many other common skin maladies. Because Vitamin K helps the body to break down the blood pooled in a bruise, it helps the paintball bruise to clear up faster than when it isn’t used. Since there are many different creams out there, it is important to talk to the pharmacist or follow the instructions that come with your lotion to make sure you use it most effectively.

Over the Counter Pain Relievers

If you already know what anti-inflammatory OTC pain relievers work for you, during the first day after receiving a paintball bruise, many people will take the recommended dose of a pain reliever or NSAID to help reduce the swelling and pain associated with a paintball bruise. It is important to know the severity of your injury before taking anything, and know how your body reacts to such pain relievers. Talk to a doctor to help determine which option is best for you.

How to Treat a Paintball Welt

Paintball Welt

Welts can be treated differently than bruises mainly because of the swelling associated with a welt. While eliminating a bruise comes down to promoting blood flow to the area for healing, a welt already has enough blood flow, which is why it is swelling. The name of the game when it comes to healing a welt is reducing the swelling. Though remedies may be different, many can be found in your home, just like with bruising.

Cold Compress to Reduce Swelling

If you have a welt, applying a cold compress periodically throughout the day will help to minimize it and reduce the swelling. Wrap an ice pack in a towel so it doesn’t get too cold, and apply to the wound. Apply for ten minutes at a time, at least three times per day, at most once per hour. This will help to prevent further swelling and reduce any existing swelling, allowing the injury to heal within a few days.

Elevate the Injury and Rest

Reduce swelling to an area of welts on the arms or legs by elevating them. The more blood flow to an area, the longer it will stay swollen. By staying off your feet and keeping areas that are swollen elevated, you’ll find that you have a quick and easy recovery.

Witch Hazel to Reduce Swelling

Witch Hazel is a natural remedy which many people use in a regular skin care routine. In the event of a welt, it helps with reducing swelling and pain. Apply the liquid with a cotton ball. This will also help to keep the area clean and free of dirt and bacteria.

How Long Does It Take Paintball Bruises and Welts to Heal?

Bruises usually last much longer than welts, but if you take care of it with any of the suggested methods you’ll find that it heals much faster than a bruise or welt that doesn’t receive care. Depending on the initial severity of a welt, it could last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Bruising on the other hand can last up to a few weeks, depending on the individual.

There are many factors that can affect the longevity and severity of a paintball bruise. Some people bruise easier than others, and how fast the paintball was travelling before impact can all influence how long a bruise lasts. The area of the body that receives the bruise can also affect how long it lasts, as certain areas typically heal faster. 

Preventing Paintball Bruises and Welts

Prevent Paintball Bruises & Welts

Chances are if you’re reading this, you already have one and want to know how to treat it. You know just how painful they can be, and are hoping to not experience one in the future. If you’re lucky enough to do your homework before playing paintball for the first time, knowing how to prevent a bruise can save you a lot of pain and black and blues.

Regardless of whether you think you’re going to be struck or no (you probably will), it’s important to go into the game with at least protective eyewear and a helmet. Being struck in the eye could lead to permanent damage or vision loss, and it simply isn’t worth it for a game of paintball. Protecting your head is just as important.

When it comes to attire, let your clothing take the brunt of the hit. Dress in layers, and avoid having any bare skin show. Long sleeves, sweatshirts and thick jackets or coveralls will help to keep severe bruises from forming on your skin. Wear a pair of heavy duty shoes that allow for comfort, manoeuvrability, and protection.

If possible, practice before you play or familiarize yourself with the terrain so you’ll know where you can hide to have the best chance of hitting someone else without being struck yourself. If you play well, and wear the proper gear, chances are you can leave a game without any major welts or bruises. Playing smart will not only help protect you from injury, but may also lead you to victory.

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