Top Safety Tips For Using Heating Pads
Everyone needs a good heating pad that they can use when they are sore or hurting from an injury.
With that, there are tips for safety in using your heating pad.
These safety tips include not falling asleep while using the heating pad, making sure you use the heating for a limited amount of time at once, not overheating the heating pad, placing a towel or clothe between the heating pad and your skin, and not using any ointments on the area until after you are done using the heating pad.
Read on to find out more about why you should follow these safety tips.
Don't fall asleep while using the heating pad
First things first, make sure you are not falling asleep while you are using the heating pad.
There are a few reasons for this.
First, you should never have the heating pad on for long periods of time (we will cover this more in our next point) no matter how good it feels on the sore place of your body.
Next, having a heating pad on your body while you are asleep could make it uncomfortable for you.
For me, I get a bad ache in my back if I end up sleeping on a bed that is just a little bit uncomfortable.
Now imagine you put the heating pad in a place that put you in an uncomfortable position.
You might do this momentarily because it is the best position for the heating pad at the time.
But you fall asleep while the heating pad is there.
This could mean that you sleep in an uncomfortable position for a long period of time.
Then when you wake up, you could end up being even more sore than you were before.
Make sure you use the heating for a limited amount of time at once
Now, you should only put the heating pad on your body for a limited period of time.
This is for a few reasons.
First off, it is only recommended to have the heating pad on yourself for 20 to 30 minutes.
According to Cedars Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute:
"Though there are no specific rules about the length of time to use a heating pad, it should stay on for about 10-30 minutes to be effective. If on for too short a time, the muscle or joint may not have an opportunity to warm up and experience pain-relieving benefits. Yet, leaving a heating pad on for too long can result in injury from burns and can potentially create a scenario of extreme inflammation in the body as the dilated blood vessels bring pro-inflammatory cells to the area warmed."
Most of what I have read, don't leave the heating pad on for more than 30 minutes.
If you leave it on for longer, then you might end up getting a condition called "toasted skin syndrome".
According to Healthline.com:
"This happens after your skin is exposed to a heat source repeatedly over a long period of time, but the heat is not hot enough to actually burn your skin.
When your skin is exposed to low-grade heat — 109.4 to 116.6°F (43 to 47°C) — it can cause a red, circular area of discoloration to the area that is exposed.
The exact cause of the discoloration is not well-known, but it’s thought that the prolonged heat exposure causes changes to the elastic fibers that make up your skin, as well as changes to the microscopic blood vessels that live at the skin’s surface.
Scientists have compared these changes to those that occur when your skin is repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet rays, either from the sun or from indoor tanning booths."
So it is important to make sure you don't have the heating pad on the same spot for long periods of time.
If you did, then you would have to worry about taking care of the red spot on your skin.
This would include removing the heat source from your body.
Basically, don't put the heating pad on your body for some time.
Next, you might need to apply some topical medication.
To do this, visit your local doctor and they can recommend some topical medication to apply to your skin.
Don't overheat the heating pad
The heating pad should only be limited to a certain amount of heat.
When warming it up, you might be tempted to get it to a point way hotter than it really should be.
In some cases, that means you are warming the heating pad up for about 60 to 90 seconds.
For regular microwavable heating pads, this should be plenty of heat up time.
Anything more than that and you might end up ruining the fillers in your heating pad.
For example, rice, wheat, and corn will get ruined if you overheat it.
Most people recommend that if you need more heat in your heating pad, then only heat it up for 30 seconds at a time.
A lava sand heating pad is a little bit different, though.
With a lava sand heating pad, you can warm it up for 3 minutes in the microwave.
You can warm it up for more than that.
But you probably won't need to.
3 minutes is more than enough to keep the lava sand heating pad warm for 45 minutes to an hour.
And if you end up heating up the heating pad for more than 3 minutes, than you won't ruin the filler in the heating pad.
The lava sand in the heating pad won't get ruined because you've heated it up for too long.
Place a towel or cloth between the heating pad and your skin
You will want to make sure to protect your skin from the heat of the heating pad.
If you have the heat from the heating pad directly on your skin, you'll end up hurting your skin.
This could turn into your skin getting a rash, which you will have to treat with regular ointment or lotion.
So there are a few things you can do to avoid giving yourself a heat rash.
First, make sure to place a towel or some kind of cloth between your and the heating pad.
This towel or cloth will then absorb the direct heat from the heating pad.
This should save your skin from having to take on the heat.
Second, you could keep your clothes covering the area you are applying the direct heat.
This would do the same as the towel or the cloth.
Don't use any ointments on the area until after you are done using the heating pad
It is pretty common for people to use multiple treatments when they are having aches and pains.
For example, people will use Icy Hot, BenGay, or Deep Blue ointments and lotions in addition to the heating pad they are using.
This is an approach people use because they are trying as many options as they can to help in their recovery.
I personally like to use Deep Blue ointment with my knee injury.
After I get home from a long run, if my knee is hurting, I'll apply some Deep Blue and let it works its magic.
But, you shouldn't apply any lotions or ointments before or during the application of the heating pad.
First, these lotions are typically used to numb feelings in the area in which they are applied.
So if you apply these lotions and then apply the heating pad, you might not be able to feel when you've had the heating pad on for too long.
And this lead to other issues like those we have listed previously in this article.
Second, applying a heating pad to your skin will open up the skin pores in that area of the body.
If you applied lotion to the area before the heating pad, then with the open pores, those could absorb the lotion or cream into the body.
If you use a lotion like BenGay, this includes ingredients that could lead to an overdose if too much is soaked into the skin.
So it is better that you not apply any lotions or creams until after you have used the heating pad for the given 20 to 30 minutes.
There are a few things to remember when talking about safety tips in using your microwavable heating pad.
This includes making sure you don't have the heating pad on you for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
Otherwise, you could cause problems with your skin.
Also, don't fall asleep while using the heating pad.
Otherwise, you could end up in an uncomfortable position, with the heating pad being on longer than it should be.
Don't put lotion or ointment on the area before or during the time you are using the heating pad.
And place a cloth or towel between the heating pad and the area on your skin.
This will help you from doing any damage to your skin.
And lastly, don't overheat your heating pad or you could end up ruining your heating pad.
Following the instructions for your heating pad heating time.
If you do these things, your heating pad should last long and you shouldn't have to worry about replacing your heating pad on a regular basis.