The best ice packs for scratches, bruises and swollen areas

Post In: Ice and Heat Ice Pack
The best ice packs for scratches, bruises and swollen areas

We live in a world where grit and toughness are revered. They say that scars make for great stories, and you should wear them with pride. Whilst we agree that scars tell great stories, not all of them should stay. 

At Magic Gel, we believe in making the world pain-free, bruise-free and scratch-free, one ice pack at a time. So, in this post, we’re going to talk about bruising, swelling and scratching – what causes them, and how do ice packs treat them? 


What causes skin scratches?

First, let’s differentiate a scratch from a cut. A cut is a line of damage that can go through the skin and into the muscle tissues below. A scratch, on the other hand, is just surface damage that does not penetrate lower tissues. 

There’s more than one way to acquire scratched skin. A scratch can be obtained through an encounter with an abrasive surface, such as scraping one’s knee on the carpet or on concrete.  Your beloved pet dog or cat’s claws can deliver scratches (lovingly) to your skin.. 

Scratches can also be symptoms of an underlying skin condition such as eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis. Accidental scratches normally go away in time, but the dermatological kind usually requires ointment prescribed by a doctor.

How do ice packs help with scratches?

Ice packs are considered an immediate relief for the itching caused by scratches. Cold compresses provide relief from itching and the inflammation that comes with it. This is because the cold temperature provides a numbing effect on the affected area and it also helps decrease swelling.

What kind of ice packs help with scratches

For elbows, knees and ankles

Joints are places that are commonly scratched and bumped. Fortunately, there are gel packs made specifically for joint areas. Look for one with straps so that they fit snug against the skin and allow you to stay mobile. 

Gel packs filled with glycerol will keep it from freezing into a solid block of ice. This means that the moment you take it out of the freezer, it’s already flexible and pliable, so the compress moulds perfectly around your joints. Glycerol is the thickest viscosity gel available on the market, which means you can leave the ice pack to chill overnight in the freezer, use it the following day without having to worry about it being completely frozen. 

For prickly heat or heat rashes

Most prickly heat or sunburn spots occur on the neck or upper back area. It’s these hard-to- reach areas that many use a poor substitute of a cold towel, which provides minimal relief for about one minute, instead of an ice pack. For the neck area, rectangular-shaped gel packs will help, especially ones that are big or long enough to drape across your neck and shoulders. Look for reusable ones that remain flexible when frozen. This means that no matter how long you freeze it, it will come out flexible and pliable to provide cool relief to your neck or upper back area. It also provides 25 minutes of ice therapy, which is the recommended time for any inflamed or itchy area.

For hands

Hand eczema and dermatitis are often triggered by stress, moisture, allergens in food, dust or weather. Hand eczema can have symptoms of red, itchy, scaly hands that are dry, painful and chapped.

For hand eczema and other types of hand allergies or itchiness, a glove-shaped gel pack that literally fits your hand like a glove is your best bet. Eczema sufferers experience the pain of constant itching and tingling, so it’s essential that these glove gel packs have enough room inside of them as to not rub or chafe the skin while still providing an anti-itch numbing sensation. 

This glove ice pack is filled with a thick, viscous gel so that it remains pliable no matter how long you keep it in the freezer. The glove ice pack’s flexibility allows it to contour perfectly around your hands and fingers. Each use provides around 20 minutes of cold therapy to your hands, and if you wish to have a cold session longer than that, there are inner ice packs included for optional use. 


A bruise is a common skin injury where blood from damaged blood cells deep beneath the skin collects near the surface of the skin, causing the blue and black discolouration that we all are familiar with. 

Bruising is quite common and happens to most of us. Accidental bumps, falls, sporting or training accidents can cause bruising in almost any parts of the body. 

A bruise normally starts off as a red spot immediately after impact, and turns black and blue over the next 48 hours. In the next 10 days it normally evolves to a greenish hue, until it becomes brown and fades away. Untreated, a bruise will normally last around two weeks. 

For this post, we will just talk about minor bruising. There are types of bruising that will require medical and professional attention such as hematoma, which is related to significant trauma. If bruises regularly appear on your skin and where you have not bumped or engaged in physical activity, it is also time to see a medical professional.

How do ice packs help with bruising?

Ice or cold temperature constricts broken blood vessels, so it is crucial to apply an ice pack immediately after obtaining a bruise. To reduce swelling and to speed up the healing process, applying ice to the affected area on and off for the next 24 to 48 hours is extremely important. Never apply heat to a bruise, as this will trigger more inflammation in the area. 

What kind of ice packs help with bruising?

For elbows, knees and ankles 

Our joints are one of the most commonly bumped areas so they are always susceptible to bruising when playing a sport or training. Multi-purpose gel packs used for sport injuries and pain relief are helpful as they are made to cover most joints like knees, ankles and elbows. 

In general, while they make for a good temporary quick pain relief, home-made ice packs are not a good remedy for joint bruising as they will not effectively cover the affected area.  

Bruised areas are sore and vulnerable to pain with the slightest touch, so it’s also important to take into consideration what material an ice pack sleeve will be made of. Good quality ones are normally made from 100 percent nylon with inner sides made from breathable material. 

Getting ones with adjustable straps will also provide a snug fit around your joints while keeping you hands free so you can still move about and do other chores as your bruise heals. 

For bruises in larger areas

Sometimes, bruising occurs in larger areas of your body like thighs, arms or even your back. The bruising could even be caused by post-surgery or an accident. 

There are especially-made extra large ice packs for this that will cover the entire back, hips, neck and spine. 

Studies and research show that a cold pack boosts healing and recovery times, so an extra large ice pack is marvellous for those recovering from surgery, have spinal or general back pain and discomfort. It also provides thorough cold relief for 28 minutes, and with the most viscous gel inside, it remains flexible when immediately taken from the freezer.


Swelling is the body’s reaction to injury, where there is an increased movement of fluid and white blood cells into the injured area. Sometimes, insect bites and illnesses result in internal swelling.

How do ice packs help with swelling?

Ice is a tried and tested solution for reducing pain and swelling. The application of frozen ice packs after an injury works in reducing swelling by restricting blood flow to the area and slowing down cellular metabolism.

The ice or cold pack should be applied for 10 to 20 minutes, three or more times a day for 48 to 72 hours, or until the swelling subsides.

What kind of ice packs help with swelling?

For joints

Swelling in joints such as ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders can be a sign of a chronic type of arthritis (in some cases, it can be ankylosing spondylitis). Other times, it can be caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joint called gout. For athletes or those who have engaged in physical activities for a long time, swelling in the joints can be arthritis caused by wear and tear, often known as osteoarthritis. 

For the above reasons, joints are areas that commonly experience swelling. For this kind of joint swelling, multi-purpose gel packs that can be perfectly moulded around joints are a good choice. Look for ones that have glycerol, the most viscous gel available on the market. This will allow the gel pack to be flexible so that they will contour around joints comfortably.

For facial swelling

Facial swelling can be caused by water retention, injuries or allergies, or it can also be a result of post-facial surgery or dental work. 

Especially for the first few days after surgery, your facial area can be covered in bruises and be swollen. This is a common post-surgery side effect  and doctors recommend cold therapy to help reduce inflammation and to speed up the healing process.

A facial gel mask will be the ideal post-facial or dental surgery companion. From rhinoplasty to wisdom teeth removal, doctors and surgeons recommend ice therapy and this kind of face gel mask is the ideal drug-free solution to reduce facial inflammation. Ensure that the gel mask is made with comfortable and gentle material so that it sits comfortably against your face.

Whether it’s a bruise, a scratch or a swollen area, there’s bound to be an ice pack that’s perfect for your needs. My name is Steve, I own and manage I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me for any questions you may have about our products.

Back to blog