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Doctor insights on: Cold Or Warm Compress For Swelling

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Dr. David Schleimer
1,498 Doctors shared insights

Swelling (Definition)

Swelling is the enlargement of organs, skin, or other body parts. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues. The extra fluid can lead to a rapid increase in weight over a short period of time (days to weeks). Swelling can occur all over the body (generalized) or only in one part ...Read more


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My wife has swelling around the right eyeball's tear duct. The swelling is inside the eyelid, closest to her nose. She has taken zyrtec, (cetirizine) naproxin and is applying a warm compress. Is it ok?

My wife has swelling around the right eyeball's tear duct. The swelling is inside the eyelid, closest to her nose. She has taken zyrtec, (cetirizine) naproxin and is applying a warm compress. Is it ok?

She: She most likely has a chalazion or better known as sty. Warm compresses for five minutes 4 times a day will help. If no spontaneous drainage and resolution, a trip to the ophthalmologist is indicated for additional of prescription antibiotic eye drops or surgical drainage. ...Read more

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My dentist told me to cold then warm compress but I did not do it, should I be worried?

My dentist told me to cold then warm compress but I did not do it, should I be worried?

No worries: The suggestion of hot and cold compresses is for your comfort. It helps with swelling and pain management. If you didn't need them you do not have to worry about not following instructions. ...Read more

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After a tooth extraction, should I be applying a cold or a warm compress to my face?

After a tooth extraction, should I be applying a cold or a warm compress to my face?

Ice packs: After your tooth extraction, you can apply ice packs to your face to reduce swelling and stop the bleeding for 24 hours. Cold for swelling, warm for pain after 24 hours." ...Read more

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A bruise on my shin for the lst 2 yrs has not went away (now brwn in clr). Now, 90% of my bruises won't go away. Cold & warm compress has been applied?

A bruise on my shin for the lst 2 yrs has not went away (now brwn in clr). Now, 90% of my bruises won't go away. Cold & warm compress has been applied?

What you are seeing-: -is rust. As hemoglobin breaks down there is residual iron. If the body does not clean the bruised area completely, the iron rusts. This is more likely to happen with a significant bruise and there is a collection of blood involved. Too late to treat now but the next time, use ice, compression, elevate & later heat to aid in absorption. The ice is 2 stop bleeding and swelling. Ice=immediately. ...Read more

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Can a cold cause blurry vision and kind burning eyes? Eye doctor says my eyes are healthy that I just have blepharitis wich I treat with warm compress

Can a cold cause blurry vision and kind burning eyes? Eye doctor says my eyes are healthy that I just have blepharitis wich I treat with warm compress

If viral cold, yes: Sometimes with the viral shedding in the tear film, there can be minor irritation or blurriness that goes away as soon as the cold does. If not, call your eye doctor so they can assess under a slit lamp examination. Meanwhile, if your eyes are feeling 'hot', cool compresses may be better than warm until the cold goes away. If eyes are feeling cool, or cold, the warm compresses would be comforting. ...Read more

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I have a chalazion that was growing bigger each day I treated it with warm compress and it somehow helped but know the chalazion feels squishy.

I have a chalazion that was growing bigger each day I treated it with warm compress and it somehow helped but know the chalazion feels squishy.

Continue treatment: Most who treat a chalazion with heat, do it too limited in time. You should use very warm, not hot, compress every 2-3 hours during the day (5 times per day at least) and this will usually end the condition. If persistent more than 5 days, see your ophthalmologist. ...Read more

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I have a blocked duck, how many times in a day that I make a warm compress?

3to 4 times: Warm washcloth compress three to four times a day. If redness, pain or discharge occur get it checked out. ...Read more

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How does a warm compress help skin spots?

How does a warm compress help skin spots?

What?: I have never heard of a warm compress helping skin spots. The warmth increases blood flow to the area. The area may look more red, but that doesn't last when the compress is removed. ...Read more

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Bump on temple, should I use a warm compress?

Bump on temple, should I use a warm compress?

Could: But response will depend on the etiology of the bump. If a cyst or lipoma it will not help. If a carbuncle it may help. ...Read more

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Is warm compress effective for acne pustule?

Is warm compress effective for acne pustule?

Yes: Depending on the size and whether it is ripe warm compresses can open up and allow the pimple to drain minimizing infection and squeezing and pain. ...Read more

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Hello docs. I was wondering can warm compress aleviate stomach pain?

Yes-it can help: First, please be sure you know what the cause of the discomfort is due to. As long as you have been told the diagnosis, a warm compressor heating pad is very helpful. ...Read more

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Is it better to use ice or warm compress for a tooth abcess?

Is it better to use ice or warm compress for a tooth abcess?

Abcess: Moist heat applied to the area of the swelling from an abscess will help to consolidate the infection. Just a 10 degre raise intemperature is needed.
Ice is recommended after an extraction to prevent imflammation and pain. ...Read more

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I have a boil and it is very painful. I tried a warm compress but it's nothelping. What else can I do?

I have a boil and it is very painful. I tried a warm compress but it's nothelping. What else can I do?

Urgent care clinic: Without knowing where the boil is, how large, how long, and so on, it's hard to give accurate suggestions. In my practice, for one of my patients with similar issues, I would recommend she call her family physician or internist immediately. If you don't have one, go to an urgent care center now.
Treating boils at home can cause serious complications. ...Read more

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Have small, purple bump next to clitoris. It hurts. What is it and how should I treat it? Warm compress?

Have small, purple bump next to clitoris. It hurts. What is it and how should I treat it? Warm compress?

Needs an exam: Lumps, bumps, blisters and other skin abnormalities on the genitals need to be evaluated. An examination will be needed to know the cause and treatment. Consider a virtual visit if you are comfortable. ...Read more

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I have had Chalazion Removal surgery 1 wk ago; however, there still is a small firm nodule palpable at the sight. Should I start warm compress now?

I have had Chalazion Removal surgery 1 wk ago; however, there still is a small firm nodule palpable at the sight. Should I start warm compress now?

Depends: If it is a very small 'nubin', ie a mm or so, it will probably slowly go away by itselt without further treatment. But if it's larger, especially 3-4 mm, it may need hot packs and possible drops especially if there is still inflammation. A re-op may be needed if it is getting larger and not going away. ...Read more

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Can too much of a warm compress or high temperature heat cause a cyst to become infected? I haven't had problems w/ my cyst until I applied heat to it

Can too much of a warm compress or high temperature heat cause a cyst to become infected? I haven't had problems w/ my cyst until I applied heat to it

Not usually: Applying a warm compress to a cyst won't make it become infected. If there was already an infection brewing, it could bring an abscess to a head sooner. It could also bring an inflamed or infected cyst to a head. ...Read more

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Will putting a warm compress on bruises to make them go away?

Will putting a warm compress on bruises to make them go away?

Ice is better: When you bruise yourself, thetissues swell, partially from bleeding (black and blue) and also from fluid leaking into the tissues. Ice cools the tissues and will decrease the swelling. Heat causes local, blood vessels to dilate and can lead to increased swelling, increasing healing time. ...Read more

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Have heard ice pack first and then warm compress after for tmj?

Have heard ice pack first and then warm compress after for tmj?

Moist Heat First: Use moist heat to relaxes tight muscles and joints, increase blood flow and relieve pain. Use Ice to decreases inflammation and reduce swelling. See Orofacial Pain specialist for assessment. ...Read more

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I have a small stye that has formed on my lower lid. Can I use tobradex (along with warm compress) to heal quicker?

I have a small stye that has formed on my lower lid. Can I use tobradex (along with warm compress) to heal quicker?

Not helpful: Very warm (not hot) compresses applied 5 times per day for 5 minutes each time is the best option. Tobradex cannot penetrate a stye as it is sealed off from the outside. ...Read more