Knowing how to prevent and treat paintball bruises and welts is crucial. Paintball is a popular outdoor pastime among adults and kids.
It is a fun and physically engaging activity that involves strategy, tactics, and accuracy. Some folk play paintball professionally.
Though it is a fun activity, some people have concerns about safety and player wellness. Paintball hoppers shoot the spherical projectile at around 285 to 330 FPS. It is approximately 91 meters per second.
It is, therefore, understandable that some people might be weary of injuries resulting from being hit with paintballs.
Paintballs can indeed cause injuries, particularly to exposed skin. There are, however, many safety checks to ensure it doesn’t happen.
Treating Welts And Bruises
Welts and bruises are a direct consequence of being struck by a high-velocity projectile, especially when you have little to no protection.
They are the most common type of paintball injury, but they are easy to avoid, as we shall find out later in this piece.
Welts and bruises leave your skin looking unsightly, and even worse, they hurt. Luckily, they are superficial injuries that are easy to treat and heal quickly.
What happens when you inadvertently suffer welts and mild bruises? Here’s what you need to do:
Clean the welt or bruise
Before you administer treatment, ensure that the surface is clean. You can wash the bruise or welt over warm water with soap. Alternatively, you can use medical-grade disinfectant to rid the injured surface or bacteria.
You should check whether the paintball broke the skin’s surface. Use disinfectant rather than soap and water if the skin surface is broken. A dirty welt or bruise could cause infections.
Warm and cold compress
After cleaning the surface, apply a cold compress to the bruise or welt. The purpose of using a cold compress is to induce vasodilation.
The blood vessels constrict and retreat from the skin’s surface. It reduces inflammation and also numbs nerve endings.
A cold compress effectively minimizes swelling if done correctly. Let the surface breathe for 15 minutes and switch to a warm compress. Alternate the warm and cold compress; eventually, a bulk of the swelling should subside.
Apply Vitamin K Cream
Vitamin K cream is useful in dealing with dilated capillaries. Its chemical properties help restore your skin by removing redness and managing to swell. The cream helps regenerate your skin after bruising or welting.
You do not need a prescription to buy the cream. The cream soothes superficial irritation and should make your skin look fine. Vitamin K cream hydrates and moisturizes your skin.
Use Bath Salts
Bath salts can go a long way in alleviating swelling, particularly the type that results from welts. They are useful, especially when dealing with welts in hard-to-reach places like your back. These salts reduce surface pain.
You should soak your body in an Epsom salt bath before bed, as it will help you sleep better. They also present an affordable remedy for your welt pain.
Witch hazel is a natural alternative that is inexpensive and effective in treating welts. It treats inflammation and many other skin conditions.
The plant gets commonly used as a remedy for bruises, insect bites, minor burns, acne, and sensitive scalp. Witch hazel is affordable and isn’t known to have side effects.
Aloe Vera is used with other remedies like vitamin K cream to treat paintball welts and bruises effectively. It is natural and inexpensive.
The aloe jell also hydrates and rejuvenates your skin. Aloe vera alone might not treat the welts, but it works well with other treatments.
How Can You Avoid Suffering Welts And Bruises When Playing Paintball?
The best way to deal with welts and bruises is to prevent them. These skin injuries are irritating to deal with.
Luckily, there are many ways to prevent these injuries. You do not have to worry about getting hit if you do the following:
1. Wear padding underneath your clothes
Padding helps reduce the paintball’s impact on your skin. A paintball can shoot at over 300 FPS. It would typically cause welts on bare and unprotected skin.
A thick layer of padding offers sufficient impact protection and ensures that you are safe as you play. You can opt for padded clothes rather than actual padding underneath your clothes.
2. Dress in layers
Dressing in layers helps reduce the paintball’s impact on your skin. Layers absorb and distribute the paintball’s hit force laterally, and you don’t have to suffer a direct hit.
An added benefit of having layered clothes is that you can crawl around without scraping your skin on foliage or rocks. Dressing in layers is cheaper than buying padded clothes.
3. Use approved paintball markers.
You are less likely to suffer welts or bruises if you use approved paintball markers. It is because the markers have limited firing speeds. Avoid using modified paintball guns, as they could cause serious bodily harm.
Limiting the FPS also helps, especially when playing with children. The low FPS settings are ideal as the paint projectiles would have a limited hitting velocity. You could even disable some rapid-fire settings, especially when playing with beginners.
4. Avoid Close-Range Firing
Did you know that close-range shots are the leading cause of welts and bruises? As the spherical paint projectiles travel long distances, they lose their momentum and striking force.
Close-range shots carry a lot of momentum, and they could do serious damage to exposed skin. It would help if you were mindful not to shoot or get shot at close range.
You can lower the FPS on your paintball gun if you are going for a close shot or ask your opponent to surrender.
5. Use Soft Paintballs
Soft paintballs have a lower chance of inflicting welts or bruises than hard paintballs. The only disadvantage of using soft paintballs is that they break easily and are more likely to cause jams in your marker.
Because these paintballs break easily, they are less likely to remain rigid as they strike the target. It means they deform with less impact and don’t cause as much damage as hard paintballs.
6. Avoid using balls smaller than .50
Paintballs get measured in diameter. There are two main sizes, the .50 and the .64. The .64 is safer and less likely to cause bruising. Smaller paintballs do more harm because of their surface area-to-volume ratio.
A small spherical projectile exerts larger pressure on its target when compared to a larger projectile. The weight matters too.
Heavier projectiles are more likely to cause bruising and welts, especially at close distances. Do not use anything smaller than a size .50.
7. Disassemble the paintball gun when it is not in use
Many welts and bruises get caused by accidental discharges. You can avoid accidents by disassembling the gun and putting it in a carrying case.
Taking paintball guns apart is easy. You do not need tools to assemble or disassemble most markers.
Paintball Regulations That Prevent Welts And Bruising
Like any other sport, paintball has rules that protect players and prevent injuries. Injuries might still occur in rare cases, but not as often as you get them by ignoring the rules.
You can also check out these paintball tips to increase your safety chances. What rules should you follow for your safety’s sake?
Use paintball masks or helmets
Paintball masks and helmets protect your face from impact. These facial coverings prevent injuries. They also protect your nose and mouth from the non-toxic paintball splatter.
You are not allowed to enter the playing area without dressing appropriately. You also get disqualified from a session for taking off your helmet or paintball mask.
Use a pair of goggles
When playing paintball, eye protection is necessary. In tournament play, taking off your goggles automatically kicks you out of the game.
If certain chemicals are present in the paint, splatter in your eye from paint could temporarily impair your vision. The collision could hurt your eyes.
Respect the play area
You may not fire paintballs outside the specified play area. While testing a new paintball gun, you shouldn’t fire it outside a testing facility or current match because paintball guns are not toys.
The paintball fields ought to be in the open, far from people. Paint projectiles could cause property damage. Depending on your state, shooting paintball guns outside a designated play area is illegal.
According to the official paintball rules, it is illegal to engage in blind fire. Blind fire involves shooting from the cover without having a visual on the target. It can hit people who aren’t active participants in the game, causing mild bruising and welting.
You get ejected from the game if you violate the blind fire rule. Ensure you see your opponent before shooting.
Exiting the play area
Raise your arms and gun when exiting the paintball play area. It indicates that you are no longer an active participant in the game.
It would be best if you exited as soon as you get hit. You cannot remove any protective gear until you exit the play area. Other rules include not talking or giving away intel on other players’ positions.
Don’t Shoot Refs
Firing paintball guns at refs warrants immediate ejection from the play area. Refs typically don’t wear protective gear, and shooting them could cause bodily injuries. You shouldn’t argue or stay within the play area if you get hit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a bruise and a welt?
A welt is a circular inflammation resulting from a high-velocity paintball projectile hitting the skin’s surface.
The inflammation has a red and purple appearance in its early days but eventually subsides by itself or with active treatment.
A bruise results from bleeding due to damaged capillaries underneath the dermal layer of your skin. It has a purple or brown appearance. Untreated welts could turn into bruises.
What paintball settings can you use for kids to prevent bruises and welts?
If you want to protect your children, padding should work just fine. You can, however, adjust some settings to limit the power and impact of the shots.
You could disable the rapid-fire setting if it is on. Some programmable paintball guns allow you to limit the marker’s FPS. Lowering the FPS to 200 helps prevent welts and bruises.
What type of paintballs should I use to prevent welts and bruises?
When picking paintballs, there are three things you need to consider. They are paintball size, weight, and hardness.
The ideal paintball should be large, light, and soft. When buying paintballs, avoid anything less than a size .50. The ideal size is .64. Choose the lightest balls possible. Remember that soft paintballs are less likely to cause bruising.
What should I do if the swelling doesn’t subside?
Paintball welts and bruising normally subside in a week or less. If you use the common remedies and the pain persists, you should see a doctor.
Some remedies vary in their effectiveness. You could also be allergic to some treatments. If you notice the swelling getting worse, consult a medical professional.
Is the paint residue making the welts worse?
The residue does not make swelling worse. Paintballs are made from non-toxic substances that do not cause skin irritation.
You, therefore, shouldn’t worry about the impact these balls could have on your skin beyond some mild swelling.
How to stop welts from turning into bruises
You should treat welts as soon as they develop on your skin’s surface. Do not scratch your welts even if they get itchy.
Paintball bruises and welts are injuries you need to come to terms with before entering the battlefield. It is, therefore, important that players protect themselves and one another as they play.
Several safety standards and regulations assist players in keeping themselves out of harm’s way. Bruises and welts are the most common type of paintball-related injuries.
Always ensure that you have layered clothes. Wearing padding underneath your paintball outfit should prevent most welts and bruises.
Also, use well-regulated paintball guns, especially with children. You should avoid playing with people who break the rules, as you will likely get injuries. Always consider your safety.