First Aid for Icy Hot Burn

Immediate relief for Icy Hot burns or chemical burns from other Methyl Salicylate ointments such as Bengay, Bayer Muscle Joint Cream, ArthriCare Ultra Cream, and Tiger Balm:

To cool the burn, carefully wipe off excess cream with a kleenex, apply olive oil with a cotton ball, wipe off with another kleenex, and THEN wash off with water. This stops the burn within minutes. I am not a doctor, just a mom sharing the answer she got, because it really works. Let me know if it works for you too.

*IMPORTANT* IcyHot now makes a “no mess” roll on formula which leaves a film over the the active ingredients (I guess to keep it from getting on your clothes? ) If you’re burning with this formula or any other brand like it, you WILL need to wash off the film first with soap and water, and then use the olive oil trick to stop the burn. This seems to help though the rollon is harder to get off.

Edited to put relevant information at the top: seems this is a popular problem and this answer is too hard to find! Read on if you want the whole story (It’s a miracle :)).

When Icy Hot gets TOO hot! How to take the burn out of Icy Hot

My five year old woke up crying with leg aches tonight. So I did what I always do for legaches: applied icy hot. Only this time it seems his skin was a bit sensitive. And icyhot doesn’t wash off so easily with water.

So anyway, my poor little guy went from whimpering to shrieking in a matter of minutes. Everyone in the house was awake now and he was in alot of pain. We couldn’t rinse off what was rubbed in. So we prayed for relief and ideas to stop the burn, and then turned to the internet.

I phrased my google search many ways but only found horror stories of men who forgot to wash their hands or who learned the hard way not to … misuse… bengay. Not exactly the best reading material for a mom and her five year old (who incidentally suddenly seemed like TOO good a reader for his age – yikes!).

So I looked up the first active ingredient. Methyl Salicylate. I found medical writeups, but they were only about accidental ingestion. And for the layman like me, instructions to call poison control if it’s eaten.

I found no good advice for getting the stuff off though! An hour later, my kid had calmed down and fallen asleep. But I was wide awake and guessing with the frequency of his leg aches it won’t be the last time this sort of thing happened. So I decided to experiment with an idea that had popped into my head several times since praying: olive oil.

To test the theory, I rubbed a little icy hot in a few fairly sensitive places. First I tried my inner elbow, which turns out isn’t all that sensitive, but I figured it would compare to the backs-of-knees that were burning on my son.

Then, cautiously remembering not to ingest it but knowing I wasn’t about to put it on anything more sensitive, I rubbed a little on my lips. I must admit, I figured if I couldn’t get rid of the burn right away, at least I might get that Angelina Jolie pout for a moment. That didn’t work, by the way. Don’t try it… the main ingredient is poisonous if you get too much of it. And my lips burned like crazy.

But the olive oil did work. Moments after the burn kicked in, I applied the olive oil and rinsed it off, and nipped the problem in the bud. The burning stopped immediately. Even the smell disappeared. I hope if you found this article it works just as well for you.

WHAT TO DO: Remove any excess ointment with a kleenex. Do not rub it in. Douse a cotton ball in olive oil and use that to cleanse the affected area gently. Then wash it off with water. Pat the skin dry.

FOR FUTURE REFERENCE: I still plan on using icy hot; it’s a godsend on leg aches, and it even works wonders on my wrists if I abuse them with too many consecutive hours on design projects. But next time I’ll definitely do a patch test with a q-tip. If it doesn’t burn after 2 minutes, I’ll go ahead and rub it in.

NOTICE: I am not a doctor, just a desperate mom who prayed for an answer and got it. This worked for me. I can’t guarantee it will work for you and can’t be liable. If you do decide to try it, please drop me a note on the contact form letting me know whether it did the trick. Hoping this helps someone. And typing always makes me tired, so now I’m going back to bed. Or not so much; he’s awake again with more leg aches. If you have tips for that please let me know!

Previously titled ‘How to Take the Burn out of Icy Hot’ — Trying to get this up in search engines where people who need it can find it!

Posted in Idea Blog Tagged with: , , , ,
251 comments on “First Aid for Icy Hot Burn
  1. Sharon says:

    A life saver indeed. I am so thankful for this post and for all the comments. I’ve been suffering from some lower leg pain related to a new exercise class. I had tried using some original Aspercreme with some results. When I happened by a display at the pharmacy with Aspercreme MAX roll-on, it seemed like it could be even easier to apply. Indeed, it was very easy to roll-on a liberal amount of this product just before tucking into bed. Unfortunately, sleep ended up being hours away as I experienced excruciating pain (an incalculable burning sensation) within about 10 minutes of application. I writhed in agony in my bed attempting different breathing and medication exercises to no avail. Finally, I convinced myself that getting up out of bed could not be any more painful than my ongoing experience. I was SO grateful when my google search finally led me to a solution from this blog. (Like others have mentioned – nearly all other hits on my search term failed to lead to suggestions for handling severe reactions to the product.) I stood on towels in my kitchen and ended up using half a bottle of olive oil over 3 applications. I was able to calm the burning significantly and then get a few hours of sleep. The next morning the pain was very dull with no signs of pain within about 18 hours of the initial application. I would gladly share the olive oil remedy and the blog where I discovered this healing solution to anyone. And, I absolutely would discourage anyone from trying Aspercreme Max roll-on. You are a blessing! Thanks for going the extra mile by helping this post stay within top search hits.

    • Velda says:

      Ah I didn’t know Apsercreme had the same ingredients! It seems there are a lot of these “warming” solutions out there that can cause an awful burn. I’m glad you’re okay!

  2. Mary says:

    I just googled and finly found this! I put a muscle gel on my sons back and shoulders and immediately he had the worse burning! His back turned fire red! I panicked but this helped! I rinsed his back with soap and water and then dried then added the olive oil. It helped so much! His shoulders are still really red but seems to be getting better! I felt like the worst mom!! I will spot check first from now on!!

  3. Crackerjack says:

    Worked in three minutes thank you.

  4. Giulia says:

    Thank you so much! I was getting worried because mine kept spreading, I put the olive oil and it doesn’t burn anymore!!

  5. erin says:

    Thank you! Put it on my daughter and she was on fire. Horrible! Olive oil worked like a charm!!!

  6. Cathy says:

    Thank you. I put some aspercreme on my 12 year olds back and 20 min. Later he was in pain. I told him to hop in the shower (bad idea) then I tried Vaseline ( limited success) then isearched the net and found your technique. It worked immediately! Thank you for posting this.

  7. Andrea says:

    I’m 15 years old and my back was in pain so I put that role on stuff on my back and went to sleep about 1 hour later I woke up and my back was itchy and red! So I waded it off I even lay on the cold floor I grabbed a towel and ice trying to cool it down / get any of it off. But I can really reach to put the oil and it burns so bad! I’m hoping maybe the ice will help just as much cause I’m tired

    • Velda says:

      Hope you’re feeling better, since thus trick is less effective after several hours. Do you have someone who can help you?

  8. Mandy says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you! I was in so Mich pain and now it’s subsiding! So thankful for you and your post!

  9. Grateful Mom says:

    Thank you so very much!!!! My daughter just had the same burning reaction from generic icy hot roll-on applied to her legs! Her skin is not burning now but she has red patches on her knees and up & down her lower legs where it was applied! My husband & I have used these products for years & have never had a reaction such as this. I am SO grateful for finding this information and to YOU for making the effort to inform others!

  10. Susan Rhodes says:

    okay, so I reached for my deodorant, absentmindedly applying it, only to realize about 30 seconds later that it was Icy Hot. Oh no! I ran out to my deck (where there’s a shower), threw off my clothes, and rinsed it off. But it still burned so I got on the Internet and found your post. I liberally applied olive oil, sat for a couple of minutes, and rinsed it off. The burning isn’t 100% gone but it’s much better. (But I think I’d better move the “deodorant” so it doesn’t happen again!)

    • Velda says:

      Wow, OUCH! That icy hot roll-on type is much harder to get rid of. The best tips I’ve found so far: soap and water first to break the film, then the oil to clear out the heat.

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Just your atypical geeky single mormon mommy, blogging about faith, family, life, and love.

Velda - SingleMormonMommy

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