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What are the Signs of Inflammation?

Person holding inflamed hand

Inflammation in the Body

Inflammation is your body’s immune system response to irritants like viruses, bacteria, or injuries. Though part of a natural healing process, inflammation can cause pain, swelling, or redness. It can also have hidden signs, affecting body systems you cannot see. Inflammation can be short lived or chronic, and the signs vary by condition.

This article covers the five cardinal signs of inflammation in the body and how Doctor Hoy’s® natural topical analgesics like Arnica Boost Recovery Cream and Pain Relief Gel can help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of acute and chronic pain.

Man using topical cream for inflammation on knee

Acute Inflammation vs Chronic Inflammation

Acute inflammation is a normal, natural healing process and response to an injury or disease. If you’re sick with the common cold or have an open wound, your body triggers a response, producing white blood cells to fight infection and heal damaged tissue. Once healed, acute inflammation should go away but can take up to six weeks.

Chronic inflammation happens when your body’s immune system responds even when there is no threat. The cells attack healthy tissue, which is common in autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and neuropathy. Chronic inflammation can last for months or years. It can be linked to conditions like asthma, cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema.

The signs of acute inflammation are general and easy to manage. Signs of chronic inflammation, however, can be less obvious. Living with chronic pain makes even daily tasks challenging, but with Doctor Hoy’s natural topical analgesics you can reduce inflammation naturally and relieve discomfort from acute and chronic pain.

Man using topical cream for inflammation on hand

The 5 Signs of Inflammation

If you’ve ever noticed tenderness and redness around a cut, or trouble talking with a sore throat, you've experienced some common signs of acute inflammation. These symptoms vary depending on the inflamed body area. The five general signs of inflammation are:

1. Pain

White blood cells release inflammatory chemicals in your body which stimulate nerve endings, making the affected area more sensitive. This can be perceived as joint and muscle pain noticed upon touch. People with chronic inflammation also experience this but with higher levels of sensitivity.

2. Warmth

The same inflammatory chemicals increase blood flow to the injured or affected tissue, which can make your skin feel warm to the touch. When the inflammation is throughout your body, such as fighting off an infection or disease, you might experience this as a fever.

3. Redness

As blood supply increases at and around the affected area, your blood vessels widen which can make the area appear red in color.

4. Swelling

Also called edema, swelling happens as fluid leaks from blood vessels and other tissues nearby the affected area. It can put pressure on the skin, causing pain. Swelling can also happen without inflammation, such as with physical injuries, certain medications, and conditions.

5. Loss of Function

Inflamed joints can make moving difficult just like a sinus infection can temporarily cut off your sense of smell. Loss of function usually happens at the onset of injury or illness, and you recover normal function again within several days or once healed.

Illustration showing person’s arm five times with each of the 5 signs of inflammation

Dealing with symptoms can get overwhelming. For easy, fast, and lasting relief from pain, swelling, and stiffness, use Doctor Hoy’s roll-on pain relief gel. It’s simple to apply and has a soothing cool-to-warm sensation. Our Arnica Boost cream also helps promote faster healing plus noticeably reduced inflammation.

Other Signs of Inflammation

People with chronic conditions may show hidden signs of inflammation that are harder to notice. Healthcare providers typically diagnose patients with chronic conditions through various tests like imaging and blood analysis. Some of the less common signs of inflammation can include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • General feeling of sickness
  • Difficult getting enough sleep
  • Mood disorders like anxiety or depression
  • Stomach or digestive problems
  • Frequent infections
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Body wide pain

If you have ongoing pain, swelling, stiffness or other symptoms that cause discomfort and interfere with daily life, talk to your healthcare provider. They should be able to provide a diagnosis based on your symptoms or any required testing and prescribe treatment.

How to Treat Inflammation

Rest, icing, and normal wound care can relieve pain and swelling from acute inflammation. Other treatments for inflammation depend on the specific illness or injury and symptoms. A few common ways to treat inflammation include:

  • Supplements: Vitamins A, C, and D, zinc supplements, and some superfood spices can help reduce inflammation. Include these vitamins in your diet along with immunity boosting foods.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Stopping smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and obtaining a healthy weight can help prevent and treat inflammation. If you have chronic stress, consider better ways to manage your stress like meditation or yoga.
  • NSAIDs: Ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help with short term pain and inflammation. Though common, they can have adverse side effects when taken for too long and some people are unable to take them.
  • Steroids: Corticosteroids treat swelling and inflammation in the form of pills or injections. They are not ideal for long-term, continuous use as steroids can have serious side effects.
  • Topicals: Topical analgesics help manage acute and chronic inflammation without risking the negative effects of other treatments. Doctor Hoy’s Arnica Boost Recovery Cream is a topical cream for inflammation that uses natural ingredients like Arnica flower and aloe vera. It can be used repeatedly for relief from joint pain, sore muscles, nerve pain, and more. Our Natural Pain Relief Gel is also FDA approved to relieve symptoms of arthritis and joint pain.

Woman using topical pain relief gel for arthritis on hands

Using Doctor Hoy’s Topicals for Inflammation

Whether you need a topical gel for arthritis or a cream that soothes red, itchy skin, Doctor Hoy’s Pain Relief Gel and Arnica Boost Recovery Cream are natural treatments for inflammation. For safe, clean, and effective relief that’s fast and long-lasting, use Doctor Hoy’s and get back to living your life free from pain.


Cleveland Clinic. (2021, July 28). Inflammation: What Is It, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment. Cleveland Clinic.

Barhum, L. (2019, January 22). 5 Cardinal Signs of Inflammation. Verywell Health.

Felman, A. (2020, April 13). Inflammation: Causes, symptoms, and treatment. Medical News Today.

Elmer, J. (2018, December 19). Understanding Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, More. Healthline.

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