Applying a cold compress is a time-honored way to reduce inflammation and ease pain in countless situations, from bruises and migraines to bee stings and scorpion bites.
You will need
- A bowl
- Some ice-cold water
- A clean washcloth
- Some ice cubes (optional)
- An ice pack (optional)
- A towel (optional)
Step 1 Fill bowl Fill a bowl with ice-cold water.
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.
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.
Did You Know:
For acute injuries—that is, sudden trauma—ice helps constrict the blood vessels, decreasing swelling in the area.