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Paintball Bruises and Welts: How to Treat and How Long It Will Last

Among the undesirable things that come with the thrill of playing paintball are paintball bruises and welts. No matter how good you are, you will certainly get hit once or twice. That may be part of the fun, but when the dust settles and the adrenaline is gone, you will be left nursing several abrasions.

To effectively treat paintball bruises and welts, you must be able to identify and differentiate the two.

The Difference Between Paintball Bruises and Welts
paintball bruises and welts
What are Paintball Bruises?

paintball bruisesBruises are the red, purple, blue, or black painful patches on the skin that occur after being hit with paintball shots.

The discoloration of the skin is caused by the pooling of blood under the skin upon impact.

Depending on their severity and how well you treat them, bruises can take several days to heal.

What are Paintball Welts?

A welt is a red bump on the skin that appears after being hit by a paintball “bullet”.
The size of a welt depends on how close and fast the shot was.

They are usually painful to touch and heal faster than bruises – usually a day or two.

Treating Paintball Bruises and Welts

How to Treat Bruises

For quick recovery, you need to treat your paintball bruises as soon as possible. Here’s how you should go about it:

Clean and Disinfect the Bruised Area

As soon as you get home, wash the bruise with water to remove dirt and sweat, and then pat it dry with a clean towel. Rubbing on the wounded area will only make things worse.

Once it’s clean and dry, apply Neosporin or alcohol to kill any germs and bacteria around the injured part. However, if your bruise is so severe that it’s close to an open wound, don’t use alcohol. This may harm the tissue and delay healing.

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Cold Compress

Next, apply a cold compress to the bruise. This will not only constrict the blood vessels and stop the bleeding under the skin but will also numb the area and relieve the pain.

To cold compress, simply wrap some ice cubes in a washcloth and place it on the injured area for about 15 minutes and repeat the process after one hour. Avoid using ice cubes directly on the bruised skin, as this will do more harm than good.

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Warm Compress

After a day of cold compression, the bruise is now ready for a warm compress.

Dip a clean washcloth in warm water and apply it to the bruised area. Alternatively, you can also use a heating pad, but you will need a buffer (a clean towel or any other soft piece of cloth) between the pad and your skin.

A warm compress improves the circulation of blood in the injured area. However, do not to leave the warm piece of cloth or heating pad on your skin for longer than 15 minutes as this can kill the already damaged tissues.

Warm compress again after one hour.

Epsom Baths

Pour a cupful of Epsom salt into a warm bath and soak in this mixture for about half an hour. This will help relieve pain and soreness.

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Vitamin K Cream

Vitamin K helps your skin cells regenerate faster for a quick recovery. It also reduces the soreness and improves the appearance of the bruise. For best results, apply the cream as instructed by your physician.

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How to Treat Welts

paintball bruises

Cold Compress

To treat your welts, you should first cold compress them to relieve the pain.

Apply Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is an astringent compound produced from the barks and leaves of the Witch Hazel shrub. It is used as an ingredient for many skin care products.

It will help to reduce your welt’s swelling, soreness, and itchiness.

Baking Soda

Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate which acts as a cleaner or soother.

Just mix one teaspoon of baking soda with some water to make a thick paste and rub it on the welt. Let the paste dry completely and then wash it off with clean water.

Elevate the Injured limbs

If the welt is on your arm or leg, keep it raised. This will reduce the inflammation and blood flow to the injured area, and numb the pain.

Have Plenty of Rest

Your body recovers best when you’re off your feet. So, ensure you get adequate sleep and eat well to hasten the healing process.

Protect Yourself Before You Go Paintballing


The only way to prevent welts and bruises is to avoid getting hit, which is almost impossible if don’t wear the right protective clothing.

Some basic protective gear to wear include a protective face mask, headgear, padded safety clothing, knee pads, safety gloves, as well as long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Taking cover behind obstacles will also minimize the number of shots you will take.

All in all, have fun!

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