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If you have had an injury or are experiencing chronic pain, you may wonder whether it is best to use heat or cold to find relief. In this article, we will review the circumstances and symptoms you should take note of when deciding whether hot therapy or cold therapy will be most helpful to you.
It is usually best to use cold therapy during the 24 hours immediately following an injury. It is important to understand that these are just general guidelines and that they will vary depending upon the type of injury you have experienced. Regardless of the recommendations, if either ice or heat does not feel good, don’t use it! Without adequate circulation and oxygenation, lactic acid builds up and becomes congested in the muscle. When you apply heat, it increases blood flow, relaxes the muscle and helps the lactic acid to move on its way.
Again, the reason for this is that heat promotes good blood flow and helps with the removal of toxins. Sometimes it’s a good idea to apply heat before you exercise to help prepare your muscles for your workout. To warm your entire system you might take a hot bath or shower or sit in the steam room or the sauna at your gym.
By controlling swelling and inflammation, cryotherapy can help relieve pain; however, it does not help to heal the injury.
If you have a chronic injury that also causes acute pain, you may find relief by alternating heat and cold therapy.
For best results, you should apply cold therapy as soon as possible after experiencing injury or after intensive exercise. Apply cryotherapy in sessions of 15 to 20 minutes in duration with a break of 5 to 10 minutes between.
Keep in mind that heat promotes circulation, so if you have just injured yourself and you apply heat more blood will rush to the area.


If you are experiencing muscle stiffness, spasms and tension, cold can worsen the situation. So in most cases, ice is for new injuries and heat is for relaxation and healing of chronic or recovering injuries.
Following that, you may wish to switch to heat entirely or alternate heat and ice in 15 minute increments. If you are experiencing chronic pain; if you want to warm up your muscles, or if your injury is more than 24 hours old, heat will provide soothing, healing and relief. If you are confused about hiding a cold sore effectively, there is no need to shut yourself away until it has gone! First of all, it is important to state that you must continue to treat the cold sore, just hiding it will not shorten the duration and it might get bigger. We are going to show you how to hide a cold sore with makeup, but the first tip is to ensure you apply any foundation or concealer using a disposable applicator and not the same sponge you use for the rest of your face. If all or part of the blister is on your lip, the best way to deal with it is to put a little of your chosen lip color on your hand.
Once you have removed as many of the crusty flakes as possible follow the steps on how to hide a cold sore outlined above, depending on whether the sore is on your skin or on your lip (or both).
So there you have it, whether your cold sore is at the blister or the crusty stage, you should be able to make it much less noticeable with just a few extra minutes spent on careful makeup application. If your pain is chronic, or if more than 24 hours has passed since your injury, heat therapy is recommended.
When your body has experienced an injury, the tissue will immediately respond with pain, inflammation, swelling and redness.
While heat therapy can help with healing in the long run, cryotherapy is best used to simply address the pain caused by an acute injury. As with heat, you should be certain not to allow ice to come in direct contact with your skin. Remember that if you are experiencing inflammation, such as from a recent injury, heat will make that inflammation worse.


Immediately following an injury, you will want to ice the area for 15 or 20 minutes at a time throughout the first 24 hours. You might already have a prescription treatment that you can use at the first sign or a favorite over the counter medication.
This might seem wasteful but it is definitely the only way to go – as cold sores are contagious and will spread if you are not meticulous about hygiene. Apply your foundation over the rest of your face in the normal way, avoiding the area with the blister. Apply loose powder to your face and, as with the foundation cream, make sure you keep it away from the site of the cold sore.
Once you are happy with that, use a cotton wool pad to lightly dust the affected area with powder. Use your normal lip color applicator to apply it onto the unaffected area of your lips and then use a Q-tip (cotton bud), to apply just to the cold sore itself. If there is any resistance when you apply the tweezers, stop or you will have a very sore lip!
This is especially true of systemic heat treatments such as sitting in the sauna or the steam room. Just keep in mind that if you have just experienced an injury, you should reach for an ice pack.
Either way, use this without fail and follow our tips for the best ways to conceal the sore whilst you have it. If you decide you need to apply more, use a clean cotton wool pad – don’t put that used pad back into your powder!



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