Quick healing injury/condition

For a story, I need a character to be seen to be in seriously bad physical shape after being kidnapped. And then seen, a couple of days later, looking perfectly fine.

Can anyone help me think of something that might allow for such a possibility?

My guess would be drugs or medication of some kind. But it would be advantageous to have this person looking seriously beaten and ragged, rather than just walking poorly. If you know what I mean.

What about the effects of electric shocks?


Superficial cuts to the scalp generally lead to profuse bleeding, even when they’re very minor. A cut, say, just above the hairline could have someone’s face covered in blood, but after cleaning up and stopping the bleeding, the person would be fine and the cut wouldn’t be visible. As for actually serious injuries, to my knowledge they’re all…well, serious, and require more than a day or two healing time.

I’ll assume you’re not heading into the supernatural or anything like that.

I remember my little niece getting a mosquito bite on her forehead and suffering an allergic reaction. Her forehead swelled to amazing proportions causing us to nickname her “Tweetybird” after the cartoon character. After being administered benedryl, the swelling rapidly receded. She was, however, left with 2 black eyes, I guess from the pressure of her ballooning forehead, but they also healed within a couple days.

So, you could have your character suffer an allergic reaction to something the kidnappers used to subdue him/her. The results of such reactions can be particularly grotesque, especially in the face.

Add the blood from a superficial head wound as suggested by Gorsnak, and a concussion so the character would be unsteady and unfocused, and there ya go!

Yeah - I like both of those solutions, thanks people!

I think I’ll have the kidnappers be odd people who hurt him and then try to make him better with some crazy experimental drug. It’s a classic tale…