How to treat mat burn from wrestling? [Explained]

I remember my first mat burn. The first one and the last one. Somehow it didn’t happen to me anymore. Maybe because I made a mental habit of myself better to watch the movements of my limbs on the mats. But anyway, the question of how to treat mat burn from wrestling, BJJ, or any other sports activity stays for many people up-to-date constantly, as it is a “regular household sports injury”.

In my case, it happened on the foot. And it happened in my first year of jiu-jitsu as a BJJ white belt. About eight years have passed since then, but I still remember that situation and that burning sensation literally.

Fortunately, I haven’t had many problems with the mat burn healing.

But let’s dive into the mat burn question with details for those who are struggling with this nuisance now.

What does mat burn look like?

Mat burn is a common injury in wrestling and other grappling martial arts and should be taken seriously by athletes and coaches alike.

Mat burns are friction burns that appear as a red, raw, or pinkish abrasion on the skin caused by friction against the wrestling mat, and it can be quite painful and uncomfortable for the affected wrestler. Mat burns can result in bleeding and scabbing, especially if the injury is severe, and can lead to infections if not treated promptly.

mat burn bjj
Grappling and BJJ mat burn on knees, feet, and BJJ mat burn on toes; Google Image caption

Ultimately, as a wrestler, it’s important to take mat burn seriously and to take proactive steps to prevent and treat it when it does occur.

By prioritizing skin protection and hygiene, wrestlers can avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort, and focus more time on training.

Can mat burn get infected?

Mat burn can indeed become infected if not properly treated.

When the skin is scraped or abraded by the wrestling mat, it creates an opening for bacteria and other pathogens to enter the body, increasing the risk of infection.

If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, pain, tenderness, discharge, fever, or chills, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly. An infected mat burn can be very serious and may require prescription antibiotics or other medical treatment to prevent the infection from spreading or becoming more severe.

Remember, prevention is always better than treatment, so take proactive steps to avoid mat burn and protect your skin whenever possible.

Do mat burns go away?

Yes, mat burns can go away with proper care and healing time. While mat burns can be uncomfortable and unsightly, they typically heal on their own within a week or two with proper care.

As the mat burn heals, it may scab over and eventually fall off, revealing new, healthy skin underneath. It’s important not to pick at the scab or reopen the wound during this time, as this can delay the healing process and increase the risk of infection.

In some cases, mat burns may leave behind a scar or discoloration, especially if they are severe or in a highly visible area.

How long does mat burn BJJ take to heal?

How long does mat burn take to heal?
The healing time for mat burn can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but it typically takes about a week or two for the affected area to heal completely. During this time, it’s important to keep the wound clean and covered to prevent infection and promote healing.

In mild cases of mat burn, where the skin is only slightly scraped or abraded, healing may occur in just a few days with proper care.

For more severe mat burns that result in bleeding or scabbing, the healing process may take a bit longer. It’s important to avoid picking at scabs or reopening the wound during this time to prevent further damage to the skin and delay healing.

To speed up the healing process of mat burn, it’s important to practice good wound care. This includes cleaning the affected area with soap and water, applying an antibiotic ointment, and covering the wound with a sterile bandage.

If you notice any signs of infection during the healing process, such as redness, swelling, warmth, pain, tenderness, discharge, fever, or chills, seek medical attention promptly.

How to treat mat burn from wrestling, BJJ, etc.?

Mat burn treatment along with wrapping it in a proper way is one of the important parts of the mat burn healing process and also even more important – to protect the existing wounds.

Below you will find a list of care products that athletes from the jiu jitsu community share as their ways to treat mat burn from their own experience.

Liquid bandage for mat burn – the most used healing

Liquid bandage for mat burn
Liquid bandage for mat burn

Liquid bandage for mat burns is shared as the most effective and simple way to treat and protect against mat burns and other skin injuries. As a rule, its ingredient is benzethonium chloride which is widely used as a disinfectant.

A liquid bandage is a sort of adhesive that works like rubber cement on the skin. If needed, put multiple layers on, 2 or 3. If needed, tape it up after it dries. Use an athletic tape or there is a better option – the Leukotape sports tape.

Liquid bandage for mat burn in BJJ

How to treat mat burn BJJ

And some other recommended options to treat mat burns.

Natural remedies for healing mat burns from wrestling

The Aloe Vera plant is well-known for its healing properties.

For instance, it can help cure blisters. Just cut a piece of a leaf and rub it on the blister. It relieves the pain and the wounds heal more quickly.

How do you heal a mat burn fast?

First of all, it is important to understand, that how fast the mat burn heals depends on:

  • how severe the injury is;
  • the proper, timely, and regular treatment.

For faster mat burn healing keep in mind these obvious but practical hints:

  • Wear long-sleeve rashguards or compression shirts to cover or prevent elbow mat burns;
  • Put liquid bandage or hydrocortisone cream over mat burns and tape it before training sessions;
  • Change the tape and put the ointment regularly;
  • Use your weight effectively during the rolling to prevent mat burns: pay attention, maybe you are dragging your knees or feet on the mat a lot more than you should.

How do you wrap a mat burn in BJJ?

And now to the practical part of the matter. How do you tape a mat burn?

Wrapping a mat burn in BJJ and any other sports is an important step in protecting the injury and promoting healing.

To wrap a mat burn in BJJ, follow these steps:

Clean the affected area: Before wrapping the mat burn, it’s important to clean the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. This will help remove any dirt, sweat, or bacteria that could lead to infection.
Apply an antibiotic ointment: Depending on how severe the burn is, apply an antibiotic ointment to the mat burn. This will help prevent infection and promote healing.
Place a piece of athletic tape: Cut a piece of athletic tape that is long enough to cover the length of the mat burn. The tape should be wide enough to cover the entire width of the injury, plus a bit extra on each side.
Secure the tape in place: Once the tape is in place, use a second piece of athletic tape to secure the ends of the first piece in place. This will help prevent the tape from coming loose during training or competition.
Change the tape as needed: Depending on the severity of the mat burn, you may need to change the tape daily to ensure the injury stays clean and protected.
How do you wrap a mat burn in BJJ?

Remember to always prioritize good hygiene and wound care to avoid infection and ensure the best possible outcome for your injury.

pre wrap athletic tape for mat burns

Pre wrap athletic tape for mat burns on Amazon

Video: How do you wrap a mat burn in BJJ?

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