Topical ice or cold pads are our preferred methods to relieve pain after surgery or after PRP or stem cell injections: but never directly on the skin.
As the accompanying picture shows, when ice is applied directly to the skin a burn can result. This patient injured her knee and applied ice directly to the skin. A mild burn resulted. She then bumped her knee resulting in a superficial skin breakdown. Her skin is healing well but we counsel our patients that ice should always be applied over a cloth.