Swelling on the head due to an injury, often called a ‘goose egg’, is quite common, especially in children who tend to end up with a bump on their head as soon as you let them out of your sight!
To put it simply, a goose egg is swelling on the head owing to the collection of fluid from damaged blood vessels. The affected area can be tender to the touch. It is caused by a sudden injury and is accompanied by mild to moderate pain and bruising along with skin tissue discoloration.
As scary as it may seem, a goose egg is not something you need to fret about. The swelling generally goes away in a few days. However, if the injured person is experiencing drowsiness, nausea, sleepiness or other similar symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
- Home Treatment for Relief from Head Bumps
- Method 1: Ice
- Method 2: Warm Compress
- Method 3: Arnica Gel
- Method 4: Lavender Essential Oil
- Method 5: Witch Hazel
- Method 6: Onion Poultice
- Method 7: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Pain Medications: Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
- Method 8: Calendula Ointment or Salve
- Method 9: Turmeric
- Method 10: Castor Oil
- Tips to get relief from a head bump
Home Treatment for Relief from Head Bumps
Mild cases of a head injury can be treated with the help of several effective home remedies. Here are a few great remedies that’ll help you get rid of that goose egg in no time.
Method 1: Ice
A cold compress is one of the most tried-and-true methods for reducing swelling caused by an injury. The cold temperature promotes the tightening of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction). This, in turn, reduces the swelling by limiting the blood flow to the injured area.
The cellular activity is slowed down as the temperature penetrates the skin and the tissues below it. This leads to less production of cellular waste because there are less cell division and cell death. This also helps in controlling the swelling, as the natural anti-inflammatory response of the body begins to kick in.
Ice will help ease the pain, too.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply an ice pack on the affected area
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel to make an ice pack.
- Keep this ice pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take a 5-minute break before applying another ice pack.
Repeat as needed. You can also use a bag of frozen peas, frozen meat or a cold and damp towel as a cold compress.
Method 2: Warm Compress
While a cold compress is to be used immediately, you can apply a warm compress after the first 24 hours following the injury. This remedy helps increase blood circulation to the swollen area, thus speeding up the healing process. The warm temperature also opens the blood vessels and allows the oxygenated blood and nutrients to reach the damaged tissues.
Single-Step Treatment: Hold a warm compress on the affected area
- Prepare a salt bag poultice or any other type of warm compress.
- Apply it on the affected area for about 10 minutes.
Repeat this remedy a few times a day.
Method 3: Arnica Gel
The herb arnica has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. (1) It is a trusted homeopathic remedy for treating shock due to trauma. It promotes the reabsorption of cells and fluid causing inflammation and aids in reducing the swelling and pain after an injury. It works great for treating head injuries, including those that cause the formation of a goose egg. Arnica also works well for bruises, pain and other symptoms.
The earlier you use this remedy after the injury, the better.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply arnica gel on the swollen area
- Apply arnica gel on the affected area.
Repeat 2 or 3 times a day or as needed.
Method 4: Lavender Essential Oil
This easy-to-prepare essential oil remedy is quite popular for treating injuries.
The lavender essential oil has soothing properties that help heal the skin. It is also extensively used as a remedy for pain caused by tense and sore muscles, sprains, rheumatism, lower back pain, and other backaches. (2) A lavender oil massage also helps with joint pain.
Geranium oil is excellent for healthy skin, while frankincense oil has healing properties.
Things you’ll need:
- Extra-virgin coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
- Frankincense essential oil – 20 drops
- Lavender essential oil – 20 drops
- Geranium essential oil – 10 drops
Single-Step Treatment: Mix all the ingredients & apply the blend on the swollen area
- Mix 20 drops each of lavender and frankincense essential oils and 10 drops of geranium essential oil into 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Using your finger, apply the blend to the affected area.
You may increase or decrease the quantity of each essential oil according to your preference.
Method 5: Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a popular natural astringent and skin care remedy, as it contains calcium oxalate, safrole, carvacrol, gallotannins, and eugenol. It helps reduce acne, pimples, signs of aging and sun damage. It is also used in treating rashes, razor burns, bruises, eczema, psoriasis and more.
Things you’ll need:
- Witch hazel – 1 tablespoon
- Chamomile essential oil – 4 drops
- Lavender essential oil – 4 drops
Step 1. Mix the ingredients
- Put 1 tablespoon of witch hazel in a bowl.
- Add 4 drops each of lavender and chamomile essential oils to it.
- Mix the solution well.
Step 2. Apply the solution on the affected area
- Use a cotton ball to apply the solution on the affected area.
Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day until you see results.
Method 6: Onion Poultice
Onions can do much more than add flavor to your food! They are also used as a home remedy for healing swelling on the head caused by minor injuries. Onions are packed with bioflavonoid quercetin and sulfur compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects. An onion poultice is an easy-to-follow remedy for treating a goose egg.
Single-Step Treatment: Wrap chopped onion pieces in a cloth and apply on the injured area
- Make the onion poultice by wrapping chopped onion pieces in a cloth.
- Hold the poultice on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse off your skin with lukewarm water to get rid of the smell.
Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times a day.
Including raw onions in your diet will also aid in speeding up the healing process.
Method 7: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Pain Medications: Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
Over-the-counter medicines provide quick relief from pain. (3) Medicines like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are readily available and widely used for alleviating pain due to minor head injuries. It is best if you seek professional advice before taking any kind of medication.
Single-Step Treatment: Use OTC pain medication after consulting your doctor
- Over the counter pain medications are a workable solution for minor head injuries.
- If the injured person is experiencing a mild headache, over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help.
- Consult your doctor before taking any medicine.
Method 8: Calendula Ointment or Salve
The herbal plant calendula boasts anti-inflammatory properties and helps heal inflammation, cuts, wounds, bruises, sores muscle and sprains. (4) It also has antibacterial, antifungal and astringent properties. Calendula has a number of medicinal uses and is great for the skin.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply the ointment on the swollen area
- Apply calendula ointment or salve a few times a day for best results.
Continue using the remedy until the swelling goes away.
Method 9: Turmeric
Curcumin, an active compound present in turmeric, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is why turmeric is widely used as a home remedy for reducing pain and swelling after an injury. (5)
In addition to topically applying turmeric paste on the injured area, you can consume turmeric milk twice a day to ensure a quick recovery.
Things you’ll need:
- Turmeric powder – 2 tablespoons
- Extra-virgin coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Treatment: Mix both the ingredients and apply on the swollen area
- Add 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder to 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Mix them well to form a paste
- Apply the paste on the swollen area.
- Let it dry.
- Rinse it off with warm water or wipe your skin clean using a wet cloth.
Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day.
Turmeric tends to leave bright yellow stains on everything it comes in contact with. Be careful while handling it. Turmeric stains on the skin will go away in a few days.
Method 10: Castor Oil
Castor oil is also a popular ingredient in home remedies for treating swelling on the head due to an injury. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the pain and swelling.
This natural remedy also aids in strengthening the immune system, boosting blood circulation, getting rid of skin problems, treating constipation and more.
Things you’ll need:
- Castor oil
Single-Step Method: Mix both the ingredients and apply the blend on the swollen area
- Thoroughly mix equal amounts of castor oil and honey.
- Apply the solution on the injured area using a cotton ball.
- Leave it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
Repeat this process 2 or 3 times a day.
Tips to get relief from a head bump
- Head injuries are not to be taken lightly.
- Keep track of symptoms like drowsiness, nausea, and sleepiness. Contact your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms occur.
- Do not massage the swollen area on the forehead, as this will interfere with the healing process.
- Drinking lots of water will help reduce the swelling.
- When you have swelling due to an injury, limit your salt intake.
- Keep the injured area elevated to improve circulation and prevent further swelling. The head should be kept above the chest level.
- To support the healing process and reduce the risk of further injury, get proper rest for at least a day or two. Resting will help in repairing soft tissue damage.
- Pumpa KL. The effects of topical Arnica on performance, pain, and muscle damage after intense eccentric exercise. Taylor and Francis Online. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17461391.2013.829126. Published August 16, 2013.
- Gagnier JJ, Oltean H, Van MWT, Berman BM, Bombardier C, Robbins CB. Herbal Medicine for Low Back Pain: A Cochrane Review. Spine. https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00007632-201601150-00008. Published January 4, 2016.
- Derry S, Wiffen PJ, Moore RA, Bendtsen L. Ibuprofen for acute treatment of episodic tension-type headache in adults. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26230487. Published July 31, 2015.
- Jourabloo, Nasrabadi, Tahereh, Abyaneh E, Ebrahim, Neda. Comparing the effect of warm moist compress and Calendula ointment on the severity of phlebitis caused by 50% dextrose infusion: A clinical trial. Medical-Surgical Nursing Journal. http://ijmsn.ir/article-1-597-en.html. Published August 15, 2017.
- Danaher N. Advancing your practice: Reducing inflammation and pain with traditional herbal medicines. AJP: The Australian Journal of Pharmacy. https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=136628336271843;res=IELAPA. Published October 2017.