A heating pad is a pad used for warming of parts of the body in order to manage pain. Localized application of heat causes the blood vessels in that area to dilate, enhancing perfusion to the targeted tissue. Types of heating pads include electrical, chemical and hot water bottles.
Specialized heating pads (mats) are also used in other settings. Heat mats in plant propagation stimulates seed germination and root development; they operate at cooler temperatures. Heat mats also are available in the pet trade, especially as warming spots for reptiles such as lizards and snakes.