If there’s one thing that paintball players can agree on, it’s that welts are annoying and uncomfortable. Sometimes, they’re painful, and most of the time, they take too long to heal.
The best and most effective way to heal paintball welts faster is to use a cold and warm compress. It helps in minimizing the swelling and relieving the pain. You also need enough rest to let your body heal naturally, and maybe even apply some topical natural remedies to the affected area.
However, aside from knowing how you can heal paintball welts faster, there are also some things that you need to do to avoid getting it infected. In this article, we’ll cover all of them in great detail, plus some important reminders whenever you’re on the field.
Paintball Welts vs. Bruises
Before we start talking about how to heal paintball welts faster, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing. Many people often get confused between paintball welts and paintball bruises. Sure, you can get them from a blow to the skin while playing, but that’s where their similarities end.
It would be best to determine what you’re actually dealing with to figure out which treatment you should use and how you should handle it. Here are some significant differences between welts and bruises:
The appearance is the biggest difference between the two.
A bruise is a discoloration—usually purplish or brownish—that appears underneath the skin.
It’s flat and usually tender when you apply pressure on the affected area, but severe cases may be painful for the first few days. The discoloration is, almost always, associated with pain: it fades as the pain goes away.
On the other hand, welts may vary in size, but you can easily identify it when the affected area has a raised surface—some say it’s swollen skin.
In more severe cases, the pores will be more visible and look like the skin is polka-dotted. It’s reddish or purplish and is painful to touch. Similarly, the raised area also goes away together with the pain.
Paintball bruises last longer; sometimes, it would take a few weeks for the discoloration to disappear completely.
Welts heal faster, and some disappear in one day. However, a more severe welt may take a few days or even a week to disappear. For cases that take longer than a week, it’s advisable to see a doctor for proper treatment.
It may be surprising because many of the treatments you can use for bruises will also work for welts, but not all of them. Bruises are underneath and don’t tend to break the skin, so there’s no risk of infection. Welts are swollen, raised skin; sometimes, they break and could cause infection. That’s why you have to be more careful when treating paintball welts.
Bruises and welts disappear over time, and you don’t have to do as much to treat them. But bruises are less severe, and often, you can just wait until it disappears. Welts have a much higher risk of infection, so it’s advisable to treat them with care and avoid touching them often to avoid breaking the skin. Although uncommon, there are paintball welts that may require you to see a physician for proper treatment.
Now that we’re sure you’re dealing with paintball welts, let’s get to the treatments you can use. Remember, these methods will only speed up the healing process, and it may still take days before it heals. We’ll also share some less conventional methods that enthusiasts believe will help heal welts faster.
Cold and Warm Compress
Before we start with the treatment, let’s be clear that this is a two-part method; you have to use both cold and warm compress to get the best results. It’ll also take some time and effort on your part, but it’s one of the best ways to heal paintball welts faster. Still, even with proper application, it may take days for welts to disappear, depending on the severity.
Here are the steps that you can do to heal paintball welts faster:
- Apply a cold compress on the affected area. It’ll help constrict the blood vessels underneath your skin and minimize the appearance of welts. Remember, the sooner you apply a cold compress, the less severe it’ll be and the faster it heals.
- Wait for 15 minutes, then switch to warm compress. It’ll help ease the inflammation and soothe the pain. Again, the sooner you do this, the less painful it gets.
- Let the affected area rest for at least an hour, then repeat. It may take a few cycles, depending on you. But the more you do it, the less severe it gets and the faster it heals.
Remember, a cold and warm compress is more of a first-aid than a treatment for paintball welts. It will help you lessen its severity, and it’ll be more effective the sooner you do it.
Vitamin K Cream
Vitamin K cream or lotion is an effective way to help your skin heal faster. Whether you just got home from a game and haven’t noticed your skin swelling, or you can already see the affected areas swelling, it would be best to use it immediately. Vitamin K improves coagulation—blood clotting—and will reduce the bleeding underneath the skin.
The earlier you apply Vitamin K, the less severe paintball welts will get, and the faster they heal. However, always remember that despite Vitamin K’s effectiveness for paintball welts, the best it can do is to minimize swelling. It’s not a treatment that will immediately get rid of welts.
You can get Vitamin K cream from Amazon here.
You can use aloe vera on its own and apply it directly to the affected area to help lessen the pain. If you use it, welts will still be tender, but the pain is less, so you pay less attention to it and let your body heal faster. However, if you want better treatment, you can use it together with Vitamin K.
According to research published in 2011, applying Vitamin K and aloe vera regularly to a paintball welt may reduce swelling and inflammation. Continued use of this combination may be an effective way to heal welts faster. This method also lowers the risk of breaking the skin, which can cause infection.
Arnica is another herb that you can use to help you reduce swelling and inflammation. According to research published in 2010, it’s an effective way to reduce the appearance and lessen the pain caused by paintball welts. There are different ways to do this, but I found that the best and easiest way is by using arnica ointment applied to the affected area.
In most first-aid sections, just beside peroxide and alcohol, you’ll find a product with an interesting name—the witch hazel. There are various witch hazel species, but the one you usually find in first-aid sections is from Hamamelis virginiana.
The ointment form is an effective treatment to reduce swelling and will provide temporary pain relief. Aside from the immediate benefits, it also promotes the healing of the skin, effectively reducing the time it takes for welts to disappear.
Soreness is common after a paintball game, and one of the best ways to help you relieve soreness is Epsom salt. It’s what players use after every game to help them relax their muscles, and you can also use it to help ease your pain from paintball welts.
To do this, simply add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to your water and soak yourself in it for at least 20 minutes. It’ll not only help you ease your pain from welts but also give you a nice relaxing bath after a tiring paintball game. However, like all the methods in this list, Epsom salt baths won’t help you eliminate welts; these are only some tips you can do to heal it faster or relieve the pain.
Aside from the treatments I just shared, there are “off-the-books” remedies that players use to heal paintball welts faster. Although there are no scientific publications that support these claims, players still believe that they are effective. Just to be clear, these remedies may or may not work for you, but if you’re lucky enough, one of these could help you heal paintball welts faster:
- Rubbing banana peel gently
- Applying raw egg
- Applying potato skins
These remedies won’t hurt, but I wouldn’t recommend them unless you’ve tried the other treatments I shared, and none of them helped you heal welts faster. When trying these remedies, you need to remember that welts tend to break and may cause infection. So be careful when rubbing or applying these because it may worsen your injury.
Elevate the Affected Area
If possible, try to elevate the affected area higher than your heart. The more blood flows through these parts, the worse swelling and inflammation gets. Elevating the welted part of your body constricts blood flow, helping you minimize inflammation.
The easiest way to do this is to stack pillows on top of each other, then put your arm or leg on it. Not only will this help you reduce the swelling, but it’ll also help you relax your muscles for faster healing. Remember, healing welts will take time, but the more you minimize the swelling and inflammation, the faster it disappears.
Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest is, perhaps, the most effective way to heal paintball welts faster.
The more you move, the more blood flows through the affected area, and the worse it gets.
So, even if you try all the treatments we’ve shared but you’re not getting enough rest, it will still take longer for welts to heal.
Getting enough rest is so effective that sometimes, it’s more than enough to speed up the healing process. So sit back, relax, and start binge-watching your favorite show—it’s the perfect excuse for you to do nothing. Soon enough, you’ll notice that your welts are slowly retracting, and you can get back to playing on the field!
If you’re going to ask me which of these treatments work best, I’d say a combination of a cold and warm compress, elevating the affected area, and getting enough rest.
It allows your body to go through the natural healing process, and you only support it by constricting blood flow to heal faster. If you’ve noticed, none of these can immediately get rid of welts, and all of them still depend on your body. So, I always go for the natural way—it’s free, safe, and hassle-free.
More Tips on Treating Paintball Welts
Aside from the methods that you can use to treat welts, there are other important things that you need to know about it. Although it’s good if they heal faster, you also need to ensure that they won’t be infected or you’re getting the right medication. Here are 3 crucial things that you need to do, aside from treating welts to heal faster:
Wash the Affected Area
Bruises are discoloration underneath your skin and don’t tend to break, so there’s no risk of infection. But paintball welts are different, and you need to be a bit more careful when dealing with them. So, before you administer any of the treatments I’ve shared with you, wash the affected area with warm soapy water.
Doing this will help you remove debris, dirt, or anything that can cause skin infection. Dry the welt using a clean cloth and gentle taps—don’t wipe it off! The skin can break while you’re washing or drying it—that’s what we’re trying to avoid, so you have to be very careful.
Take OTC Pain Medications
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications are, perhaps, one of the first things you’ll think of, but don’t take it unless it’s really painful. Aside from the fact that these won’t help you heal faster, a cold and warm compress can also help you relieve the pain.
Sure, paintball welts can be very painful, and a compress may not be enough to relieve the pain. That’s the only time for you to use OTC pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Follow the directions on the packaging, and be sure to take OTC pain medications as needed.
See a Doctor
Paintball welts may take a few days to heal and usually won’t require you to seek medical attention. However, there are severe welts that may take longer to heal and may require proper medication. Here are the instances when you have to see a doctor:
- Welts that take more than a week to disappear
- Welts around sensitive areas of the face such as the nose or eyes
- Intolerable pain around the welt
- Extreme discoloration of the raised area
- A lump or mass is forming on the affected area
- Enlargement of pores on the affected area
- Abnormal bleeding you may experience after the game
All these, regardless of how subtle they may seem, requires medical attention. Remember, paintball welts heal naturally over time, but always keep an eye on these symptoms just to be sure.
How to Prevent Paintball Welts
Prevention is always better than cure, and even if you already know the things you can do to heal paintball welts faster, it doesn’t mean that you have to go out there thinking that it’s okay to get welts. Here are some of the things that you can do to prevent welts:
- Learn the game. Don’t get hit seems like a pretty simple rule, but you have to learn the game and be really good at it to avoid getting hit. Learning the game won’t take a day or two because you have to go through the tactics you need to know and master the use of your paintball gun.
- Wear the right clothes and gear. The only thing that’ll protect you from paintballs is your clothes and the protective gear you have. Without them, almost every bullet that hits you will be a direct blow on your skin. So be sure to invest in proper clothing and gear before you play with other players on the field.
- Wear padding on sensitive areas. Take note of where you usually get welts and always use padding on that area. Sometimes, proper clothing may not be enough. It’s a good practice to layer up when you hit the field and use padding for your body’s sensitive parts that are more susceptible to paintball welts.
Paintball welts; often annoying but sometimes too painful that you may need OTC pain medications. So it’s essential to minimize the swelling and inflammation to speed up the healing process. With all the treatments that I’ve shared with you, it’s more likely that you won’t have to deal with them for more than a couple of days.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can take on paintball hits whenever you like. There’s always the risk of infection, and it’s not cool to be treating welts after every game. So, for paintball welts, prevention is still better than cure.