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 who prayed for help and is 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. (Update: that isn’t completely stopping the burn for some people, though most say it helped somewhat. Avoid the roll-on stuff!)
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.
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. There were no ideas on the label for what to do (only a warning I’d never noticed: not for kids under 12!) 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: 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. 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!