Heat Pack Application
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.
Heat is used to increase blood flow to an injured area to promote healing after an injury or surgery. Heat also helps decrease pain. You can apply heat with an electric heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm compress. Heat should be put applied for about 20 to 30 minutes or as long and as often as directed. Always put a cloth between your skin and the heat pack to prevent burns. Check your skin for color changes or blisters about every 5 minutes. Remove the heat if you notice skin changes.
Electric heating pad:
Make sure the cord is not broken open in any areas before you plug it in. Once plugged in, set to the heat setting you were told to use. Cover the heating pad to protect your skin.
Hot water bottle:
Fill the hot water bottle about half full so it does not get too heavy. Remove air from the bottle by squeezing it until you see water at the opening. Cap the bottle and wrap a cloth around it before placing on your skin.
Fill a sink with hot water that is 131°F. Wet a towel in the water and squeeze out extra water. Place the towel inside a waterproof cover before placing on your skin.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You see blisters, whitening of your skin, or more swelling after you use heat.
- You have redness that does not improve after you use heat.
- You have questions about the use of heat packs.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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