Ice massage is used in cosmetology for better looks of skin and in therapy after injuries or pain relief.
Ice therapy that reduces the temperature of the injured tissues by 10 to 15 degrees for short, repeated periods of time also appear to have the best results.
Ice initially constricts local blood vessels and decreases tissue temperature. This constriction decreases blood flow and cell metabolism, which can limit hemorrhage and cell death in an acute traumatic injury. After approximately 20 minutes of ice, blood vessels in the injured area then dilate (open) slowly, increasing the tissue temperature, an effect which is termed "reactive vasodilation."