- Step 1: Fill bowl Fill a bowl with ice-cold water.
- TIP: If ice cubes are available, add them to the bowl to make the water as cold as possible.
- Step 2: Dip washcloth & wring out Dip a folded washcloth into the bowl for about 10 seconds and then wring out the excess water.
- Step 3: Press to area Press the chilled washcloth to the inflamed area and keep it there until the compress loses its chill.
- TIP: An ice pack will stay colder longer than a washcloth, but wrap it in a clean cloth or towel first; it should never come in direct contact with the skin.
- Step 4: Refresh water supply Refresh your cold water supply if it loses its chill and continue dipping, wringing, and applying as needed.
- FACT: For acute injuries—that is, sudden trauma—ice helps constrict the blood vessels, decreasing swelling in the area.
You Will Need
- A bowl
- Some ice-cold water
- A clean washcloth
- Some ice cubes (optional)
- An ice pack (optional)
- A towel (optional)