Ice is known as one of the best remedies for swelling and inflammation, and it can also stop bleeding. The cold temperature restricts the blood circulation, which numbs the pain. Additionally, it can also help you limit bruising. 

Ice is known as one of the best remedies for swelling and inflammation, and it can also stop bleeding. The cold temperature restricts the blood circulation, which numbs the pain. Additionally, it can also help you limit bruising.

You can also keep an instant cold pack in your car’s first-aid kits in case of any emergencies. These cold packs have chemicals that get active when you squeeze them.

You can also make your own cold compress at home with materials present in your home. They are known best for swelling and cooling a fever.

A cold compress protects the body tissue by slowing the metabolic rate. So, you can use it as a tool to cool an injured area and reduce the swelling around the injury. Cold compresses are also used to combat ocular allergies as they can reduce the swelling around the eyes and aid you in ocular itching.

You can use either a cloth dipped in cold water or a commercially available pouch made by freezing or chemical action. However, if you are using commercial ones, make sure you don’t treat ocular allergies because these cold packs are often too cold and should not typically be used for this purpose.

Let’s see how you can use a cold compress. 

Cold Compress for Eyes

If you have red eyes due to infection and trauma, you will be familiar with other issues like redness in the skin surrounding the eyes, stinging, and pain. Here, you can use a cold compress to treat the redness in your eyes effectively. 

The cold temperature of the compress will shrink the blood vessels in the skin around the eyes. If you have swelling in the eye area due to an infection, black eye or any other type of injury – a cold compress for the eyes can quickly reduce it as its temperature numbs pain and minimizes swelling. 

You can also use a cold compress to lessen the puffiness in the eyelids. However, consult your ophthalmologist as puffiness around the eye area can be a sign of an allergy. If you see puffiness around your eyes due to an allergy, you may need to take medication to alleviate symptoms.

It can also help you treat pink eyes, itchiness, and even burning eyes. However, keep in mind that cold compresses will, in some instances, only provide you with a temporary solution. If your eye problems persist, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Cold Compose for Headaches 

Headaches are one of the most common problems faced by most people. However, if you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, you know how throbbing the pain can be. OTC drugs can help, but it is frustrating to take pills every time your head hurts.

One way to deal with these problems is to use a cold compress for headaches. Applying a cold compress or ice pack is one of the best strategies to deal with the throbbing pain. The cold compress has a numbing effect, and that may dull the sensation of pain.

The science behind this pain relief is that the ice pack cools the blood flowing to the carotid artery in the neck. This helps with the inflammation in the brain and enables you to improve and alleviate the pain felt by migraines.

The best way to use a cold compress for headaches is to apply it for around 20 minutes at a time. Where you apply the ice pack will also make a huge difference, and it will decide how quickly you will get relief from the pain. The best place to apply a cold compress is in the form of a neck wrap. This can help you combat the pain and discomfort caused by migraines.


When you put a cold compress on, you will feel different feelings in this order:

  • cold
  • burning
  • aching
  • numbness

Remove the ice pack once the area is numb as keeping the cold compress for too long can damage your skin. If you feel too much burning, remove the ice instantly as some skin is more sensitive to cold.

Cold Compress for Fever

To treat a fever, you may not need an ice pack as you can use a cold, damp towel to wrap around your forehead to cool your fever.

You can make a cool compress by following these steps: 

  • Select a long towel that can cover your head 
  • Wet the towel with a cold water 
  • Squeeze out the excess water and make it damp, not dripping 
  • Leave it in a fridge until it is cold 
  • Now, wrap it around your head 
  • If you don’t like the feeling of the damp fabric, you can put the towel in a bag

Cold Compress for Toothache

If you have dental pain or suffer from swelling due to injury, then a cold compress for toothache is the best home remedy. If you want an emergency remedy for pain, then you can use a bag of frozen peas. Keep it outside of the cheek above the painful tooth for a couple of minutes. 

The cold temperature will constrict the blood vessels and slow the blood circulation to the affected area. This will help you numb the pain and reduce swelling and inflammation. You need to Keep it for at least 20 minutes to get better results. 

Cold compress for toothache can offer you temporary relief and help you get back to sleep. However, it will not address the main cause of your toothache. If you are suffering from a cavity or other dental problem, visit your dentist as soon as possible. 

Cold Compress for Injuries

Cryotherapy or cold compress for injuries is one of the best ways to deal with swelling and pain. The ice pack will reduce the blood flow to a particular area, and that will reduce the inflammation and swelling caused by the injury. It is best for a joint or tendon injury as it will numb the area by limiting the nerve activity and help you get rid of the pain temporarily.

Only use a cold compress for 20 minutes. The best way to use this home remedy is to alternate between 20 minutes and 20 minutes off. You can repeat this process for days if needed as there is no set amount of time you need to stop. However, consider visiting a doctor if you don’t see any improvements within 48 to 72 hours.

If you have suffered an acute injury, such as an ankle sprain or shin splints, then using an ice bag with cubed ice, an ice pack, or an ice massage can help you a lot. If you are using an ice pack that does not have actual ice cubes in it, then use a thin towel between the ice pack and the skin to prevent frostbite.

Once the skin is numb, remove the ice pack from the affected area as using ice longer than 20 minutes does not mean more relief. Make sure that skin returns entirely back to normal before applying it again.

How to Make a Cold Compress at Home?

You can make your own cold compress using: 

  • Ice or frozen vegetables
  • A washcloth 
  • water
  • plastic bag
  • Thin towel

Step 1

To make a homemade cold compress, you will need a plastic bag and some ice cubes. Fill the plastic bag with the ice cube and your at-home cold compress is ready! You can also use a bag of frozen food. However, make sure you use smaller vegetables so the bag can sit easily on your skin. 

If you are using a bag of frozen food, fill up the ice cube trays and slide them into the freezer. This way, you will have a backup when the frozen food thaws out.

If you don’t have ice, fret not! You can also make a cold compress using a towel: 

  • Use cold water and dampen a towel. 
  • Now, put it in a sealable plastic bag. 
  • Slide the bag into the freezer for around 20 minutes. 
  • This type of cold compress is much more comfortable for sensitive areas such as the eyes.

Step 2

You can also put a washcloth under cold water. Now, use this damp washcloth to wrap it around the plastic bag of ice you made in the first step. This will help you to avoid any frostbite. You can also dip the washcloth into an ice bath if it is suitable for your skin.

Step 3

Now, place the homemade compress on your skin for up to 20 minutes or so. 

Step 4

After you are done with the ice pack, dry the area with a towel. 

Final Words

Knowing when to use the cold compress can help you significantly increase the effectiveness of the treatment. So, if you are injured, use cold compress treatment within 48 to 72 hours for the best result. However, don’t forget to contact your doctor if you develop any bruising or skin changes throughout treatment.