Swelling can arise anywhere such as hands, feet, face, eyes and even the abdomen. It is an indication of abnormal fluid accumulation in the body and is usually a secondary symptom associated with changes in menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or serious issues like trauma or injury. Here are some ways to make swelling go down fast.
1. Pack it in ice or wrap it in heat
A cold pack made by wrapping some ice cubes in cloth can keep the swelling down. You can also use frozen vegetable packets to press down on the swollen area. Apply the cool pack on the swelling on hands, eyes, face or legs to constrict blood vessels and decrease internal bleeding. You can use this method to get swelling down in feet, on face or hands in the first 48 hours after the injury/trauma. You can later apply a warm compress to the region.
2. Eat bromelain
Bromelain is a healing mineral found in pineapples but you can also use its supplements (available readily in health food stores or drug stores). These bring down swelling on the face and hands quickly. If possible, eat some pineapples as well. Bromelain supplements are available in different strengths but to bring down swelling fast, you need at least 1-2 grams with water before meals.
3. Use parsley
In order to reduce swelling due to injury, use “green ice” made using parsley. Parsley herb has healing properties and it is one of the best anti-inflammatory and anesthetic herbs that can cause blood vessels to constrict. To make green ice with parsley, toss a cup of chopped parsley in a blender along with 2 tbsp of distilled water. Pour the slurry in ice cube molds and freeze. Wrap the cubes in a thin cloth and apply it to the swelling. Hold it in place for at least 20 minutes.
4. Eat vitamin K rich foods
Vitamin K rich foods or vitamin K supplements can heal bruises and bring down swelling. It helps with blood clotting and prevents the bruising and swelling from spreading. 100 mg of vitamin K pill can help or you can eat alfalfa sprouts etc which are naturally rich in this vitamin. Pregnant women or people taking blood thinners must speak to their doctor before using vitamin K to reduce swelling.
5. Drink water first thing in the morning
Pregnant women or people who suffer from edema in the face and eyes due to fluid retention must drink warm water with some lemon juice/apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning. Regular intake of water early in the morning can make swelling go down on face naturally. This easy natural remedy also reduces menstrual irregularities in women which are often the cause of bloating.
6. Avoid excess salt intake
Eating too much salt or sodium rich foods, especially at dinner, can cause swelling in the face, under the eyes and even in legs. So avoid salty foods at dinner. Keep your intake of sodium minimum. This will naturally reduce swelling on face, in the knees, hands and feet.
7. Apply cayenne pepper
A spicy mixture of cayenne pepper with some petroleum jelly is an easy Chinese remedy to reduce swelling due to injury. Heat up the petroleum jelly, add the cayenne pepper and apply the warm mixture on the swollen, bruised area (make sure there is no open wound or cut). This helps flush out stagnant blood to reduce swelling quickly.
8. Use tea bags
To reduce swelling on the face, especially around the eyes, use tea bags. Brew the tea as usual and remove the tea bag. Place the bag in the freezer for a few minutes. Now apply the cool bag on the eye and press down gently. You can also brew tea and soak flannel cloth in it. Squeeze out the excess and press the cloth on the swollen hands/knees/legs/feet. The chemical epigallocatechin gallate acts as an anti-inflammatory while the caffeine performs a diuretic action to flush out the retained fluids.
9. Use Arnica
Botanical herbs like Arnica are the best medicines that reduce swelling naturally. These are readily available in the form of gels, pills, creams and oils. Massaging warm arnica oil on the knees can prevent and reduce knee edema and pain. You can also take arnica pills as per the dosage on the product label. Massaging a bit of Arnica gel can help lower swelling under eyes, on the face etc. Many surgeons also prescribe arnica pills or gels before and after surgery to reduce swelling in operated patients.
10. Keep the body part elevated
A simple golden rule to reduce swelling due to injury is to keep the part elevated. Place some pillows under the legs or feet especially at night. This simple trick will reduce the strain on the heart to circulate blood. It is recommended keeping the legs at the same level as the heart or even higher. A hospital bed or wheelchair can help one achieve this easily.
11. Take diuretics
If you are wondering what medicine reduces swelling, the answer lies in diuretics. However, they need a doctor’s prescription. They can prevent fluid retention in the legs in people having medical conditions that cause edema.
12. Keep moving
Movement will help prevent edema and can also reduce fluid retention in patients with ALS or other conditions that cause body parts to swell. Simple stretches or brisk walking can help reduce swelling in feet and/ or legs.
To make swelling go down fast, perform gentle massage on the area, as long as there is no pain. You can perform self massage or get professional massage therapist to help you. This encourages blood flow and prevents fluid retention.
14. Shed those extra pounds
Obesity often leads to edema in knees and legs by obstructing blood flow and increasing fluid retention. So ensure that you exercise regularly, eat right and maintain an ideal body mass index.
15. Take cold showers
Cold water showers help reduce swelling fast, whether it is on the hands, face or legs. Cool water can improve circulation and increase blood flow. You can also use alternate hot and cold showers.
16. Avoid certain foods and drinks
Alcohol, coffee, spicy foods and foods rich in sodium can enhance water retention. So avoid these foods and drinks, especially at dinnertime to prevent edema on the face.
A swelling on the face, around the eyes or hands and knees can take some time to go away-so be patient. Use the above easy ways to heal quickly and prevent the bruise from spreading.