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Can You Get Skin Burn From Ice?

Whether or not to use ice on your skin for any reason may not seem like something to debate for too long. But know that there are some instances when using ice on your skin can be beneficial and other instances when it can be harmful. There are also preferred methods for using ice on your skin.


  • Some uses of ice are erroneous extrapolations. Just because it’s used for one ailment doesn’t mean it is intended for another injury. For instance, you can use ice for sprains and swelling, but icing a burn is not beneficial.


  • Don’t use ice for skin burns because this can cause frostbite or other tissue damage. Running cold water over the burn is better. You can do the same for sunburns.

Burning ice

  • If the surface of your skin gets too cold, it is prone to frostbite. Exposing your bare skin to ice can have the same result. This is especially true with dry ice, which can lower the temperature of your skin to the point of freezing in a matter of seconds.


  • Cooling inflamed joints or muscle sprains is good medical practice when swelling is involved. This is especially true for sports injuries. Be careful, however; ice applied directly to the skin is not recommended.

Alternative pain relief

  • Icing aches and pains provides relief because ice is a natural analgesic. Use ice or an ice pack with enough of a barrier between the ice and your skin so as not to cause a burn. For instance, wrap the ice in a towel, or apply ice over clothing.

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