How do I Reduce Inflammation?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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Inflammation may occur on the skin or within the body, and is considered a natural response to many medical issues. Unfortunately, inflammation is often uncomfortable and does not typically look good, especially when it shows up in the face. The good news is that there are a few ways to reduce inflammation. There are various medications available for this task, from tablets to topical creams. It is also often possible to reduce inflammation by applying a cold compress to the affected area, as well as having a diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in preservatives.

One of the first methods that many people consider to reduce inflammation is the use of over-the-counter medication. For example, to get rid of inflammation on the skin, there is typically ointment or cream available at most stores that can soothe the area. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also soothe inflammation, especially when it is associated with conditions that topical creams cannot cure, such as arthritis. The most common NSAIDS include naproxen and ibuprofen, as many people keep these medications on-hand to treat common issues, such as headaches and cramping.


Another way to reduce inflammation is by applying cold compresses to the affected area, whether it is the skin, bone, or muscle that is inflamed. Those looking to fight inflammation can use a sealed bag of ice, a frozen bag of vegetables or meat, or an ice pack specifically sold for this use. It should typically be placed on the affected area for about ten minutes, about once every hour, as this should reduce inflammation without further harming it with extreme cold. If the cold is too difficult for the skin to stand after a few minutes, a towel should be wrapped around the compress. While cold compresses tend to relieve inflammation, many people alternate this treatment with heat to help increase circulation while also reducing pain.

A good diet can often keep inflammation at bay the majority of the time. For example, omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce painful inflammation within the body, while preservatives and fried foods often increase the chances of an uncomfortable inflammatory response. Therefore, those hoping to avoid inflammation should eat fish, olive oil, and nuts, while avoiding ingesting preservative-laden foods. They should also avoid items that have lots of omega-6 fatty acids since these often increase the body's inflammatory response. Additionally, getting enough water in the diet is also helpful in reducing inflammation since the body needs this nutrient to work efficiently.


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Post 3

Ice is excellent for swelling and inflammation. I developed bursitis last month and my knees were inflamed and sore. I kept an ice pack on them on and off for two days and the swelling disappeared.

Post 2

@burcidi-- There are a lot of foods, spices and herbs with anti-inflammatory effects that you can add to your diet. Turmeric, ginger, wild salmon and berries all have natural anti-inflammatory properties. I highly recommend consuming more of these. There are others but these are the ones that come to my mind right now.

There is also something called an anti-inflammatory diet. It aims to reduce inflammation causing foods and increase anti-inflammatory foods in the diet. I know that people who have chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis try to eat this way for natural relief.

If I'm not wrong, pain relieving topical, herbal creams with camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil and clove oil work against inflammation as well. If you are going to use an essential oil though, make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil before you apply it topically.

Post 1

Are there any natural anti-inflammatory treatments? Such as foods or herbal oils?

I had an ankle injury several years ago. My tendon was ripped and I had to have surgery and wear a cast for over a month.

Now, my ankle is fine sometimes and sometimes it is inflamed and very painful. I can't keep taking medications because I have a sensitive stomach and an ice pack seems to do little.

Are there any natural anti-inflammatory foods or ointments that I can eat/apply regularly to keep the inflammation down?

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