How to Treat and Prevent Paintball Bruises and Welts

Paintball is a demanding sport. Players leap over or under barriers, dive into the ground, and collide against walls or objects. Even though the game is highly physically demanding, the majority of welts and bruises are from, you guessed it, paintballs.

While the physical shot may not be very painful or last long, its effects are always visible. It is not uncommon for players to remove their protective gear and find welts or bruises all over. The issue then becomes, can you avoid these, and if you can’t, how are these welts and bruises treated after they appear?

There are several methods to protect oneself from these marks. Following a few of our specific tips can reduce the frequency you get welts or bruises from playing the game.

Care for welts and bruises

Regardless of how good you think you are, you will get hit by paintballs throughout your time playing paintball. You can’t expect to roll through the field like John Wick, crushing everyone around you while avoiding all the paint streaking past you. No matter how well you play, you’ll be washing paint from your gear after a long day on the field and finding some bruises.

Knowing what to expect and how to manage these after-effects helps in your initial understanding and concerns when getting into the sport.

What are welts and bruises?

Before treating any of these marks left behind from your day out balling, you must first understand what they are. Each is distinct from the other, so the way they heal can vary.

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Video Courtesy of Verbhal Video


When really tiny blood vessels in the body’s soft tissues break, bruising occurs. Blood from these small, almost microscopic blood vessels causes this visible bruise. Depending on the intensity, bruises may be red, blue, purple, or black in hue. These colors are all normal from the blood collecting under the skin, so there is no need to get too worried.

Bruises often undergo numerous stages before completely healing. This includes the possibility bruising might protrude from the skin. Depending on its intensity and treatment, it may take several weeks for the bruise to disappear entirely.

Due to the lack of severity, most paintball-related bruises tend to heal quickly.


Welts are raised, ruddy pimples that form on the skin after a hard blow from something, which in this case, is from paintballs or hitting against objects on the field. In contrast to bruising, a welt is just the skin swelling in the affected region. Typically, these sorts of injuries heal within a few days. Nonetheless, they might cause intense irritation throughout the healing process.

How to treat them?

Because bruises and welts are different, their respective treatments are also distinct. Remember that the quicker you begin treating the marks left behind from your day on the field, the faster and more effectively the injury will recover.

What You’ll Require

You should have some essential materials to treat these minor injuries successfully. You are not in danger if you lack any or all of them, although the markings may take longer to fade and cause greater discomfort in the meantime.

Try to get the following if possible:

  • Alcohol wipes or rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton or gauze balls
  • Aspirin or Tylenol

Eliminating Wounds

Before treating any injuries, you will need to clean the affected area thoroughly.

Even bruises that do not break the skin should be cleansed. This is best accomplished using alcohol wipes or rubbing alcohol, which clean and disinfect the wound.

It would help if you prioritized removing any dirt or paint from the affected region.

Don’t worry about soaking the welt in alcohol since this may be somewhat painful and ineffective. Instead, I like using cotton balls if there is any debris since they are delicate and light enough not to cause more discomfort.

Any soft and absorbent material should work, though. For example, on the field, you see napkins or microfiber used to wipe wounds or dirt all the time.


Most bruises and marks don’t need bandages, but I suggest covering anything that breaches the skin’s surface if severe enough.

A surface-level injury typically poses little danger of infection, but if left untreated, clothes and other skin interactions might be irritating. Large adhesive bandages purchased from a shop cover wound well and are affordable to buy in large quantities and keep in your gear bag.

Most paintball welts need spot bandages, at least a few inches in diameter, for optimal covering.


“A little paint never killed anyone.”

It is true, but in all seriousness, paintballs can hurt pretty badly when struck in sensitive areas like the neck, hands, or groin! The worst wounds can last a searing ache for days after the damage even begins to heal.

You may use basic over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen to alleviate the discomfort. Motrin, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen should help the majority of the pain from any paintball welts or bruises with low doses. The packaging will always indicate the smallest quantity on the label.

These inexpensive pain drugs are more flexible and effective than ointments and lotions for different ailments in my experience.

How to prevent Paintball Bruises and Paintball Welts

Before we discuss how to get rid of paintball bruises and paintball welts produced by paintball contact, let’s check out first how we avoid them altogether.

Use heavy garments

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Most paintball jerseys are specifically designed to have extra protective padding around sensitive and vulnerable areas.

There are two primary causes of paintball-related bruises and paintball marks. The distance between where the opponent’s paintball leaves the gun and hits you is a major factor. The velocity is measured right when the ball leaves the barrel, so any bit of distance after than, the ball loses speed. 

So to break it down, the faster the ball, the harder the hit, and the bigger the mark. This is something you usually can’t control or even really care about while playing the game. What you can control, though, is the amount of skin showing while you play.

Exposed skin is more likely to bruise and welt after a paintball strike. The more protection you have in the way, the slower that impact when it reaches the skin. This is why we advise covering as much of your skin as possible. But there is a balance between wearing too much and not enough clothes.

The first thing to remember while selecting clothing is that the thicker the garment, the less the discomfort when hit. The majority of players do this by wearing layers or specially made jerseys and pants. 

Wearing layers permits the use of moisture-wicking material on the bottom layer to keep you cool and a thicker upper layer to lessen the impact of the shot.

While wearing thicker clothing does not substitute necessary safety equipment, it may reduce the likelihood of acquiring unpleasant bruises and welts. 

Paintball is most popular during the warmer months. This fact results in greater temperatures and an increased likelihood of being overheated. Consider this while selecting your paintball outfit. Though lighter clothes may keep you cooler, darker clothes will generally keep you more concealed.

Protective attire

In most paintball venues, players are required always wear protective equipment. Plenty of protective equipment is available, and if you are in the market for any gear, check through our reviews first and save yourself hours of googling.

The protective apparel in paintball aims to reduce the likelihood of being harmed. The areas of the body most often struck include the face, arms, and hands. These are the areas of the body where a blow causes the most significant pain and leaves the most bruises and welts.

If you cannot afford adequate protective gear for your entire body, you should at least invest in a helmet/mask certified to withstand a direct strike without breaking. If you have an old pair of jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, those work great too.

Additionally, a nice pair of gloves will always safeguard your hands, and picking up a great paintball gun will keep your enemy’s on their toes too. Man thing is to just have enough clothing to cover the remainder of your body.

How To Take Care of Bruises and Welts

By reading this guide, you will be up-to-date on the current therapies for bruises and welts. The sooner you recover from your injuries, the sooner you can get back out on the field. Keep in mind that I am not a physician, and any medical concerns should be directed to someone who is.

Epsom Salt Baths

Even when I don’t have welts or bruises, I use Epsom salts to calm my body at the end of the day. It has awesome effects on welts and works exceptionally quickly to reduce swelling. As a bonus, this also relieves sore muscles from a full day of running around playing.

Epsom salt is available nationwide in pharmacies and retailers and can be ordered easily online. The majority of the instructions are the same regardless of the brand. Just turn on the bathtub’s faucet and ensure the tub is filled with warm water.

Toss a bunch of salt, then go for it. Submerge your body in salt water for around thirty minutes. You will then feel terrific, and the discomfort from your bruise should have diminished somewhat.

I always feel like a new person after this.

Bruise Remedies

As previously said, you should treat paintball bruises as soon as they arise. Cold compresses are one of my favorite treatments since they are inexpensive and effective. Grab some ice and place it in a plastic bag. Obtain a towel and then wrap it around the ice bag. Try not to allow your skin to come in direct touch with the bag. The towel is always used as a barrier to prevent frostbite. 

I apply pressure for close to fifteen minutes and then wait one hour before repeating. Repeat this pattern many times, and the bruise will eventually disappear.

Vitamin K Cream

Vitamin K cream is well-known, and many paintball players use it to heal areas needing to heal quickly. You may purchase it without a prescription at any drugstore. Before using, read the directions carefully and see a physician to ensure you are not allergic.

Like a boxer who carries Tiger Balm in their bag, I have Vitamin K cream before I take the field. 

Warm Compresses

After a cold compress, it is beneficial to apply a warm compress. Wait at least 24 hours after the cold compress therapy before beginning. The first step is to get another towel and soak it in warm water.

Put it to your bruise the same you did the day before. If you want to make your life easier, use a heating pad. It requires less effort and feels much nicer on the skin. The heat improves circulation and for the bruise to heal. Following the same directions, apply it for 15 minutes and wait an hour before using it again.

How to Treat Bruises Without Medication

Some natural ways of treating bruises may seem hokey, yet they appear effective. One method is using potato or banana peels and massaging them on the skin. Apply them many times daily, and the pain and blood circulation should improve. In addition, keeping them cool is highly calming and helps you relax while coping with discomfort.

I don’t know about you guys, but you won’t catch me rubbing fruit or vegetables all over my body just to get rid of a bruise.

Witch Hazel Alternative

A plant called the Hamamelis Virginiana produces Witch Hazel from its leaves and bark. This plant is reported to aid in treating different welts and bruises. It enhances circulation and leaves the skin feeling much smoother.


Numerous illnesses and injuries are cured by rest and sleep. If you must work, take the day off and spend as much time as possible at home, off your feet. You can also use this time to think about how you got lit up by your opponents in the first place and how you will prevent future you from getting it again.

Avoid being struck

It may seem absurd, but the greatest approach to prevent unpleasant bruises and welts is to avoid being hit or having good protection. If you observe that a specific section of your body is suffering excessive damage, it may key you to examine your approach and shooting position. Often this alone has helped me find key mistakes in my positioning and techniques, helping me learn from them and repeat the mistakes less and less.


How long do paintball bruises last?

Typically, welts heal more quickly than bruises. In contrast to welts, which may recover in a number of days, bruises can take up to two weeks to cure entirely.

How to get rid of paintball bruises?

Using protective gear and following DIY remedies at home can help you get rid of paintball bruises and paintball welts quickly and effectively.

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Tyler Harmon at the NXL Sunshine State Open. Photo courtesy of Kurrite Photography

How to avoid paintball bruises?

Always use course barriers to your advantage. Even though being shot is a part of the game, try to manage where you are struck by limiting what part of your body is exposed to the adversary.


Paintball is one of the most thrilling shooting sports around. You mix a fun and safe shooting lifestyle with military-style warfare.

Being shot is an inevitable consequence of playing paintball. If you follow these procedures we have laid out, you will still get hit, but it will affect your game less.

Remember the proverb that it is better to give than to receive? The same holds true with paintball; it is always preferable to shoot someone rather than be shot. Everyone isn’t going to be that lucky, though. See what you can do to have more pleasure and excitement than pain and harm!

Until next time, keep shooting, and don’t forget to duck!