Endometriosis UK

Ladies, I want to share this gift with you!

Now we all know nothing we can do can completely stop our pain but there are a few things that can help. I have been using castor oil packs for a few years now, my mum uses them for PCOS too, and they really help! I will link you all to a detailed page about it but basically you get a cloth and soak it in castor oil, place it on your abdomen, wrap your tummy in clingfilm (or just place some ontop of it) and place a hot water bottle on top and lay down with it on for 1 hour.

I find this really helps ease my pain, more then any meds can, it reduces swelling in my abdomen and relieves my pain often until the next day.

Here's the link:


Just a couple of tips, don't place it over your stomach or intestines as it can give you diarrhoea, place it lower down on your ovaries. Don't use it on your period as it can aggravate bleeding. And the tingling sensation you get when you use it is normal, it's the oil absorbing into your skin.

Have fun trying it out! :) Hope you're all doing well xxx

6 Replies

Just a word of warning about putting a hot water bottle on the skin with nothing but cling film between a very hot heat source and the skin..you can easily cook your capilliares in the skin and this can leed to them becoming so damaged they cause a mottled pattern on the skin (which can lead to skin cancer if the skin gets to the stage where it breaks open)

It is called Erythemia Ab Igne

A wonderfully obscure name for what is actually an increasingly common problem

Lots of useful info on the wikipedia page for this skin condition.


I had this on my legs when a teenager from living in a very cold house and sitting too close to the fire when I came in from school. It took YEARS to disappear. Not weeks or months but YEARS.

It is increasingly common with people resting lap tops on their thighs as the lap tops get quite hot when the thermal paste in them dries out after a few months of use.

Same applies to hotties and hot water bottles. you can still use them - but with hotties let them cool down before resting them on the skin - or wear layers of clothes and a blanket between the heat source and the skin.

With hot water bottles - the water is 99 degrees..that's higher than the temperature of your blood, so must be diluted with cold water - or left to rest for 15 minutes or more so some of the heat has cooled off, and again use hot water bottle covers AND wear layers of clothes or bedding or a towel between the heat source and the skin.

It is very easy to cook the capilliaries when you are using heat as pain relief each and every day. Lots of the ladies on this forum have been getting these mottled skin changes and not been aware of what they are or what they can lead to and we have discussed this a few times in the past.

So while the idea of castor oil packs sounds interesting it does come with risks if you apply a direct heat source.

I know how tempting it is to apply heat directly to the site of pain - as it is a very effective form of pain distraction - but do that with caution.


Oh my god thanks so much for this info impatient. I have a skin colour change thing around my sacroiliac joint. I thought I was left with bruising after have injections in that area each month but it makes more sense that it's from constant use of hot water bottles and a heat mat. I couldn't live without heat for my pain but should I be worried or mention to my doc??x


I always have a fluffy protector on my hotty, I'm a wuss and can't handle the heat lol. But thanks for the heads up (:


It's fine to carry on using a hotwater bottle or hottie provided you do not use them so hot - just keep the heat source wrapped up and you wrapped up too so there is some protection between the two. Even a folded fluffy bath towel would make a big difference as a barrier.

No you don't need to see your Doc unless the skin is already broken or cracked in which case yes you do - just the same as getting a suspect mole checked out if it has changed shape or broken open or got itchy.

Ab Igne can lead to skin cancers - but not always

and would need to be checked if it has changed beyond just the mottled effect under the skin.

You would also have to stop using heat therapy completely and would need some alternative pain relief from your GP if that did happen -

so just be mindful what you are doing to your precious skin when you do rely on hot water bottles and hotties a lot of the time - which many of us endo ladies do tend to do, given the persistance of our pains.

1 like

Just keep in mind that any source of heat encourages blood to rush to the area. This in turn causes additional swelling and discomfort. Swelling can increase up to 3 times the size by putting heat on it, in turn causing pain. Putting a cool compress onto the area will reduce swelling and numb the pain. I'm very wary of a lot of people on this site saying that heat is a help when this isn't always the case. My physio gave me this advice years ago and has helped me greatly. I know heat is a source of comfort, but it really doesn't help in the long run. Good luck everyone


I'd also add a word of caution about heat! When I was about 13/14 I had extreme period pains one day and applied a hot water bottle without a cover and ended up with nasty blisters on my back, which had to be treated by the Practice nurse. I've always been really careful ever since then - ouch!


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