When engaging in BDSM Impact Play, it’s very likely that there will be injuries, at least temporarily. Caring for them should by part of your negotiated aftercare plan and you should always have your own well stocked first aid kit with you. Assessing injuries immediately after BDSM Impact Play and administering first aid if it’s wanted/needed for any pain, marks, lacerations, abrasions, welts and bruises is a priority.
Treating Common Injuries
Bruises and Welts
At some point in our lives, we have all experienced bruising of varying severities. Impact play can cause bruises as well as welts. Welts are raised marks that form on the skin immediately after being hit and are often red or pink, whereas bruises appear as a result of damaged capillaries under the skin and usually show up hours (or days) after the impact has occurred. Welts can be treated in almost the exact same manner as a bruise. Most bruises that we encounter in life need no treatment at all, however some of the bruises created by kinkier means may need tending to. Bruises are formed by some internal, surface-level bleeding; to slow this down use ice or cold water. Welts are no different, to reduce swelling as blood and other fluids rush to the area in order to protect and heal the new wound, we should use ice or cold water. Never apply ice directly to the skin; instead wrap a bag of ice or an ice pack with a cloth or tea towel.
For any wound that is bleeding, there are four principles to remember:
Look – check out the wound or ask someone else to do this if you are unable to.
Press – Apply direct pressure to the wound – your hand will do.
Lift – raise the wound above the heart – this will slow the blood flow.
Dress – Apply the dressings to the wound.
How much pressure and the type of dressing used are all things that will vary depending on the severity of the wound; a small cut doesn’t need two hands, a tourniquet, and an Israeli Bandage. Likewise, a small bandaid/plaster isn’t going to cut it in all scenarios. Carrying a couple of large crepe bandages and large absorbent dressings will do the job for most of the bigger issues that K/kinksters are likely to face, and a box of bandaids/plasters of varying sizes. If you don’t want an assorted box, opt for the larger size. Why larger sizes? You can always cut them to size, but trying to use multiple smaller bandaids is always a nightmare.
If blood seeps through the first dressing, apply a second directly on top of it. If it soaks through the second, start over (this is an indication that something is wrong with either the dressing application, or the pressure being administered) and get help.
Salves, creams, ointments etc. are largely unnecessary; simply clean the wound with clean water (or saline) and apply the relevant dressing. From there, try to keep the wound away from anything that could cause it to get infected such as dirty water, handling rusted metals, or playing in the dirt.
These are just mild burns (A.K.A friction burns) and should be treated in the same manner as any other burn; keep under cool and ideally running water for around 15-20 minutes. How cold? As cold as the injured person can handle, normally room temperature or slightly cooler is plenty. Current first aid practice in the UK and USA is to not apply creams, gels, or ointments to a more severe burn unless directed to by a medical professional. For an abrasion, you could apply an ointment, or aloe vera, since there is no broken skin, though it is not strictly necessary. You could apply aloe or another cooling lotion to mild abrasions, if you prefer, as part of your aftercare. If it needs covering, you can use either some loose gauze (if the skin is not broken), or a clear, sterile covering (if the skin is broken). This keeps the wound clean over the coming days. As with any bandaging, keep the area clean and dry, and change the dressings as needed.
With abrasions, use a little common sense before heading to the emergency room.
Taking care of your injuries in the following days
With any injury, it is important to continue to care for it during the next few days or even weeks. The body is a fantastic self-healer, but there are a few things we can do to help this process along; namely, keep any open wounds covered when there is a risk of contamination. If exposed to any contaminant (an obvious one being dirty dishwater etc.) make sure to rinse the wound afterwards. There are plenty of natural products out there that can help with the healing process such as aloe vera and honey, but if you’re unsure it is always best to consult a professional before applying anything to open wounds. With bruises, simply avoid bumping, prodding, or poking the affected area for a few days so as not to aggravate it. If the bruising is in an area such as the buttocks, perhaps avoiding hard furniture would be a good idea, unless of course the after effects are part of the Sadist’s fun.
Signs of infection are usually quite easy to spot. An infected wound can become slightly raised, have a red or purple area surrounding the site, be particularly sensitive to touch, and may or may not have a white/green centre. Some infections will disappear on their own if the area is kept clean, but it is certainly best to seek advice on the best course of action. In the UK at least, it is recommended to visit the pharmacist for this type of advice as prescription medicines are rarely needed for minor infections. If an infection site has red lines running away from it, following the direction of your veins and travelling towards your heart, you MUST seek advice from a doctor as soon as possible. This indicates blood poisoning and is life-threatening.
Before using any first aid items, or taking any medications, always read the instructions and information provided. Know how to use the items, know the dosages, and check for allergies.