Physical Aftercare; a Quick Guide to BDSM-Related Bruise Treatment and Prevention.

In the past, we’ve written articles about aftercare and the mental elements involved in recovering from a BDSM session. But what of the physical side of things? The chances are that if you habitually engage in percussion play, as I’m more than certain a good few of you do, that you’ve ended up with bruising to the tissue. No matter how safely you play, and whether your play involves flagellation by means of whips, canes, floggers, or even lengths of 2×4, bruising is simply an inevitable side-effect of the lifestyle.

So, what exactly is bruising and why does it happen?

We all know that a bruise is essentially just an area of discoloured skin that results from some form of impact. But, there’s a broad variety of bruise – each of which needs to be dealt with differently. Getting more in depth; bruising happens when the lining of the small blood vessels become compromised, which allows blood cells to rush in behind the skin and into the surrounding tissues. These bruises can range in size and severity, with some people being decidedly more prone to them than others. Mine are quite severe, for example, and generally are quite large, swollen, and painful. They start out as small red marks on my skin, and then over the course of a few days, if left untreated, they become these huge purple monstrosities.

How can I reduce the severity of the after-effects?

First up, there are pretty straight-forward ways to minimise the swelling and the associated discomforts involved with it. Cold compresses. Athletes use them, and let’s face it, sadomasochism can be considered a fairly athletic endeavour in itself – not one we’re likely to see as part of the Olympics any time soon, but still. If you can spare the time, try to have a cold compress applied to the affected spots for as much of the first 12 hours of recovery as you can. This won’t stop the bruise developing, but it definitely takes the pain level down dramatically.

Arnica. Arnica is the nectar of the gods when it comes to recovery!

Sometimes homeopathic remedies work! And in the BDSM scene, the usage of it is prevalent – so it must be doing something, right? I find that arnica tablets are pretty effective, but when taken in conjunction with applying a tincture of arnica to the affected area – the difference is dramatic. This goes double for those who bruise easily! Arnica tablets come in a wide variety of doses, right up to 200x. I’d start lower than that if you haven’t used it before, then consider upping the intake if you’re not pleased with the results. Every body responds differently to it, but it works rapidly and has no notable side-effects. Just don’t apply it to an open wound – it’s only for bruising! In rare cases, arnica may cause you to develop a rash. Naturally, don’t continue using it if you’re one of these unlucky few.

Other readily available remedies:

Magnesium, in edible form, is great for muscle pain and is again common in the athletic world -which I’m sure is no coincidence! A secondary form of magnesium is also great for loosening out the muscles and reducing pain levels – the Epsom salts bath. Not only is it quite nice to have an excuse to lay back and do nothing in a bath for a while, but it’s also great aftercare. In terms of damage prevention, vitamin C is credited with building a resistance to bruising. I’ve only just started taking supplements and so I can’t speak from personal experience on this one, but apparently, it’s meant to strengthen the walls of the capillaries – the very thing that causes the bruise to develop in the first place.

I’d like to round this aftercare piece off by stating that I’m clearly not a doctor. My only intention was to relay some of the things that have worked for me in the past, and though I’ve been at this for a while, there will still be gaps in my knowledge base. I’m always curious to know more, so if any of you have any additions to this list that I may have overlooked, I’d be delighted to hear them! Hit me up in the comments below if you do!

Written exclusively for Female Fetish Federation

2 responses to “Physical Aftercare; a Quick Guide to BDSM-Related Bruise Treatment and Prevention.”

  1. Ok, this is going to sound pretty weird and I swear I’m not trolling here but toothpaste works great on bruised skin. Just rub some on before you go to bed and the next day it’s alot better.

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