Airsoft is a fun sport, but wounds such as bruises and welts are not because they do not only hurt but also affect your appearance. At the end of the day who wants to look like a mutated-mosquito victim or explain to the others why you intentionally play a sport that damages you to such an extent.
Hopefully, there are many ways to protect yourself, so you do not have to ever leave the field with more than a few occasional marks on the skin and none of the possible injuries is serious, so you should treat them all as minor injuries.
In this guide, I will share the best tips on how to heal those nasty bruises, welts, and nasty branch scratches so you do not have to endure the pain nor cover yourself in makeup for any longer than what is necessary.
In short, We can conclude that the healing and prevention process looks like the following:
To heal airsoft bruises, welts and scratches you will need to clean the wound with water, followed by an antibiotic ointment. Apply the cold compression to it, use healing herbal remedies such as perforate St John ‘s-wort or Witch-hazel, and optionally use pain relievers or bandage.
This will work for any airsoft injury including the branch and any other scratches, the point is to clean the wound to prevent the complications and then leave it to heal. You will need to let the body take its time, but you can hasten the whole repair process.
It is always suggested to prevent injuries by wearing protective gear and thick clothes in advance.
How to tell the difference between airsoft bruises and welts
Welts are the simplest and less painful wound that is characterized as a small raise on the skin in a circular shape.
Bruises are a wound characterized as damage to the capillary under the skin that forms the purplish mark.
Bruisers take longer to heal because if the blood has escaped the capillary under the skin, the body will take a longer time to repair the area.
This will often lead to a painful inflammation under the skin that lasts and is visible for up to a full week if the additional healing help is not given to the body. (Bruisers may take up to two weeks to fully disappear, but after the first week they will get reduced in pain and visibility for up to 80%).
Welts will be gone in a matter of days, but there is still a way to rapidly increase the healing processes and minimize the pain.
How to heal bruises, welts, and branch scratches
Some wounds can last longer than others, but in my opinion, it does not really matter whether you have a welt or a bruise, the only difference is that a welt will take shorter to heal than a bruise and perhaps hurt a bit less.
So, we can separate airsoft wounds and their treatment on bruises, welts, and branch scratches that behave similarly to bruises.
There are no other significant injuries that can happen in any airsoft game unless you do not wear the safety eye protection or perhaps twist an ankle.
You may find much good advice on the internet on how to heal wounds and I agree that many of them do work, however, I will speak from my personal experience and what always helps me recover the injuries and wounds as soon as possible.
Besides my personal positive experience, there are many scientific studies that also back up these solutions.
1. Clean the wound
This is the most important part of the whole process, so do not skip it!
The wound won’t always bleed, but it can happen from time to time when the velocity on an airsoft gun is too high and when shot at close distance.
A branch can often lead to bleeding as well, and in such cases, it is especially important to clean the wound properly.
So, In case that there is blood and punctured skin, you should immediately clean the wound with water and additionally apply the antibiotic ointment to it in order to prevent the growth of bacteria.
2. Cold compression
Whenever the inflammation takes part, a good ice pack comes in place.
The cold is almost a universal solution for many inflammatory issues in the body and it will speed up the recovery of any wound just as it will speed up the recovery of exhausted muscles.
You can use ice packs and place them on the injured spots, but if you have been rapidly shut all over the body and find it difficult to cover all spots, the solution is to make a cold bath and get straight in there.
I understand that not everyone is ready for such a step, but it is the option and I can talk from my personal experience that once I implemented the cold baths and showers into my life, not only that all injuries heal up way faster, but I also have tons of other mental and physical benefits.
It is a common practice among many sport athletes all over the world.
Perhaps this is a good time for you to discover more about all these amazing benefits of the cold.
3. Optional choices to fasten the healing process of bruises, scratches, and welts
Perforate St John’s-wort or Witch hazel
The herbs are often the answer we are looking for, but are unaware they exist.
There are many beneficial and regenerative herbs out there and perforate St John ‘s-wort is one of those that will speed up the recovery of bruises and welts almost instantly.
Simply apply it to the wound twice a day and you will see great recovery take place!
Perforate St John ‘s-wort is one of my favorite herbs for this purpose, but it does not mean that it is the only one, so if you are unavailable to supply yourself with some, you can look for some similar and also effective herbs such as Witch Hazel.
Epsom Salt Bath (Magnesium)
Soaking in the warm water bath is always an effective recovery method.
You can put in the bath some Epsom salt because magnesium is known for its recovery properties and a healthy body needs healthy levels of magnesium.
Epsom salt is a good product and will help you reduce the swelling, recover the exhaustion and increase the regeneration of the tissue.
Liquid and a classic bandage
If the wound bleeds and the skin is punctured you can apply the liquid bandage to it to fasten the healing process.
Liquid bandage is a great antiseptic treatment and a waterproof bandage for this kind of wound and it is not visible and annoying like classic bandages, so you can easily apply it to the wound and carry on with life.
If the wound does not bleed, nor the skin is broken, there is no need for a liquid bandage.
Classic bandages can also be applied to hasten the healing process, but this is only really suggestible if the wound is located somewhere on the visible skin or on the knuckles, fingers, or palm so that the wound does not affect your everyday functionality.
Bruises and welts do not hurt that much that it would require medication, at least in my opinion, but everyone’s pain tolerance is different.
In case that you really need relief from the pain, you can always use something like Ibuprofen or similar scientifically proven pain relievers that doctors prescribe.
However, this would be the last thing I would look for because taking pain relievers for just anything does not make much sense unless there is an urgency.
Just imagine what would happen to your body if you took pain relievers after every airsoft game.
Elevation of the injured limb
I have heard that some people suggest the elevation of the injured limb, but I have not found it particularly useful.
It could technically work because if you lift the limb over the heart level it will reduce the natural blood flow and thus may affect the swelling recovery.
However, in reality, it will be difficult to maintain the elevation with all regular human tasks we do in life, so I do not think that this method is necessary nor should you do every single thing to help a simple bruise or welt heal up at the cost of sacrificing the life quality.
How to prevent airsoft bruises, welts, and scratches in the future?
Prevention is always the smartest way to approach life, you do not have to deal with a problem if you do not allow the problem to occur in the very first place.
In airsoft, there is a lot of stories from people who might advocate additional safety gear and yet often there will be players who will show up in a t-shirt with basic safety glasses.
How well covered and protected you should be depends on you, so ask yourself how much of a pain tolerant person you are before you make decisions.
Some other factors may also be the MED (medium engagement distance) that is set up in your field’s policy and how respectful other players are.
The MED and honorable players will protect you better than the protective gear, but it completely depends on your airsoft field, community, friends, and other players who make take a role in the games you play.
If you want to play it safe and minimize the odds of receiving the injuries I will in short mention what gear you might put focus at.
If you are looking for a full and descriptive guide on what to wear to airsoft games you can check my complete guide on it.
I suggest it to every beginner who is learning about airsoft because it will prepare you for different game types and weather conditions.
The suggested protective gear
Eye protection is an obvious mandatory gear that you should always have on your eyes, but there is more to face protection than the eyes.
The area around the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, forehead, and other soft tissues is highly sensitive to receiving a BB and I bet that the most annoying place to receive a wound such as a bruise or a welt is the area on your face on the neck.
Such wounds are directly visible to everyone and you can hardly mask it.
In order to deal with this problem you have two options.
- Play with players who do not intentionally hit the head
- Wear a helmet, bandana, or a baseball hat, a mask, or big goggles accompanied by a lower mesh mask and a scarf around the neck.
The thicker you go, the less of a bruise you will receive.
Any tactical uniforms will do the job with additional layers beneath, just as a solid hoody will.
The only suggestion here is to wear double layers under the pants or get the thick pants, I find the area around hamstrings to hurt pretty much if the pants are not thick.
If you like the idea of tactical vests, chest rigs, chest carriers, and bags, they will additionally protect you, but bear in mind that you should not put too much protective gear on you that does not produce an obvious sound when hit because it may lead to new issues.
If you can not hear or feel the hit, you can not call it and some people may think that you cheat.
It is suggested not to play in short sleeve shirts or pants, but I find that good gloves may be more important.
If you want to minimize the pain then cover your arms and legs with the sleeves, but fingertips and the nails are a pretty sensitive area and you should think about covering them as a priority in any game with proper gloves.
Some people are more tolerant of the pain than others, but if you play airsoft in the cold environment, your fingers are chilled and you receive a BB straight in the body part with the most nerve endings, it won’t feel good.