9. Clean Kitchen Sponge Compress
You can also make an ice pack at home with a clean sponge. Kitchen sponges are especially soft, squishy and flexible in nature, which makes them perfect for making a comfortable ice pack.
- Saturate a clean kitchen sponge with water.
- Put the sponge in a ziplock bag.
- Put the bag in the freezer for a couple of hours.
- Before use, set it on the counter for a few minutes to allow the sponge to return to its soft state.
- Cover it in a thin cloth and apply it on the affected area.
10. Rice Grains Cold Compress
Rice grains also work great to make a cold compress at home. Rice is great at retaining cold temperature.
- Put a cup of uncooked rice in a sealable plastic bag.
- Put the bag in the freezer overnight.
- When you need to use the cold compress, wrap it in a thin cloth and apply it accordingly.
Benefits of Using a Cold Compress
- Swelling: In the first 48 hours following an acute injury that causes swelling in the affected area, you must apply a cold compress to minimize that swelling.
- Muscle cramps: When suffering from muscle cramps, first use a hot compress. Then, use a cold compress on the sore muscles to get complete relief from the pain. It will also help the affected muscle to relax.
- Insect bites: When bitten or stung by an insect, apply a cold compress on the affected area to stop the itching and reduce swelling in the area.
- Pimples: As cold temperature helps contract the blood vessels underneath the skin, a cold compress is effective at minimizing a pimple’s appearance and redness.
- Fever: To reduce a high fever, put a moist, cool compress on the forehead as it helps bring down the temperature.
- Toothache: Pain in the jaw due to some kind of oral problem can be reduced with a cold compress, due to its numbing effect on the nerves.
- Rashes: Itching and burning sensations associated with skin rashes can be treated with a cold compress. Also, it will prevent the rash from developing into blisters.
- Eye strain: A cold pack is also effective in relieving mild eye strain. All you need to do is close your eyes and put a cold pack over them for a minute.
- Razor burns: You can use a cold pack to get instant relief from the burning sensation caused by razor burns. It helps reduce inflammation, redness and itching.
- Black eye: Whenever you have a black eye, immediately apply an ice pack to the affected area to help reduce the swelling and constrict the blood vessels to minimize the risk of internal bleeding.
- Never apply an ice pack directly on bare skin, as it can cause a cold burn and damage the skin.
- Avoid using a cold compress for more than 20 minutes at a time, as it can cause a cold burn or frostbite.
- Avoid using a cold compress for serious injuries.
- People suffering from diabetes or Raynaud’s syndrome should not use cold compresses.
- For long-term conditions like arthritis, chronic irritation and constant joint stiffness, a cold compress is not effective. It is best to use a hot compress.