What Is a Warm Compress?


A warm compress can be used to relieve many physical ailments, including stomach cramps or muscle pain. You can buy a warm compress, or heat pack, at a local pharmacy or home supply store, but you can also make your own out of simple household materials. When using a warm compress, do not make it too hot, as it can burn the skin or possibly worsen your symptoms.

Making a Compress

  • A warm compress can be made at home using a washcloth or clean dish towel. You can dip the towel in a warm pot of water and wring the excess water out, or you can dampen the dry towel and heat it in the microwave for about a minute. It's also possible to make a warm compress by sewing together two squares of fabric with rice inside to make an easy and reusable heat pack you can warm up in the microwave when you need it.

Benefits of Heat

  • A warm compress can be used to help heal many different physical ailments. With infections, the warmth can help bring blood and oxygen to the area, promoting faster healing. For muscle cramps or pain, a warm compress can reduce inflammation in the muscles and joints, while also alleviating stiffness. Moist heat can help muscles and connective tissue relax more effectively than dry heat, so it's best to have the compress slightly damp.


  • You can use a warm compress to help relieve pain associated with muscle cramps, menstrual cramps or intestinal bloating. Athletes, especially runners, can benefit from applying a warm compress to tight muscles. Some women may benefit from using a warm compress while giving birth, as it can relieve labor pains. Warm compresses can also be helpful for eye infections, such as a stye or chalazion. A warm compress may also help to heal skin infections such as cysts or acne pimples.

Other Considerations

  • While a cold compress is generally recommended for an immediate injury, such as an ankle sprain, a warm compress can be helpful in treating chronic problems such as neck or back pain. You can also add a few drops of soothing essential oils directly on the wet compress, like lavender or peppermint oil, to cool and relax the skin. Also, a warm compress should not be used as an alternative to medical care. If a physical problem persists for longer than two weeks, it's usually best see a doctor.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Swollen Eyes Treatment

    Several things can cause inflammation around the eyes, including a lack of sleep, or an infection like pink eye (which can be...

  • Differences Between Cold & Hot Compress

    Heat and cold therapy has been an effective tool for the management of pain and inflammation, and as means to aid in...

  • About Hot & Cold Compresses

    A hot or cold compress can help alleviate pain, but it is important to know which type of compress is best for...

  • Hot Compress Vs. Heating Pad

    Pain can be debilitating and the accompanying stiffness may make normal activities of daily life difficult. Discomfort is often relieved by local...

  • How to Cleanse a Sebaceous Cyst

    A sebaceous cyst occurs when sebum, a white, oily substance produced by your hair follicle glands, collects in a closed sac beneath...

  • How to Make a Hot Compress at Home

    Hot compresses prove helpful for people who have pain that is not accompanied by broken skin. People plagued with rheumatism, boils, sprains,...

  • What Can I Use for a Hot Compress?

    Many body aches, pains, and ailments can be dulled or diffused by a well-placed heat compress. While heating pads can be expensive,...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!