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 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!

384 thoughts on “First Aid for Icy Hot Burn

  1. I put roll on icy hot on my back and on my forearms to relieve muscle tightness. About 20 minutes after I put icy hot on, my back was burning, itching, and breathing didn’t feel normal. I tried your trick, and my back is almost 100% relieved of the pain. As for my arms, it felt like I never had icy hot on. Thank you so much for this tip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the advice! This truly was a blessing to find. For a college student who uses Icy Hot all the time and has never had a bad reaction before now, this was truly the best advice I found.


  2. Thanks for the advice. I wish the other people who quote you would put the full process down instead of just saying to apply olive oil. It took far too long to find your blog but it was truly God sent.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, i dont know if you still need advice but for your own kid with leg aches, I’d suggest stretching a little in the morning and before bed. Or increasing his potassium intake. Potassium helps a lot with sore muscles. My legs were always sore after soccer and made it hard to sleep but then I started eating more potassium and I never have that problem! Hope this helps!


      2. Thanks for that! He’s in high school now … time flies! We figured out this problem only happens if his feet get cold. Same with me. So wearing socks and using a hot pack as needed has solved this for us.


  3. Thank you so much for this post! I put roll-on icy hot on my calves after a hard basketball workout and hours later my legs were uncontrollably hot and turning red. I tried to just put water or scrub the icy hot off but nothing worked. I saw this and tried the olive oil once then again then again. The olive oil didn’t work for me but I read the comments and tried aloe and I felt so much better within minutes! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I put the roll on Icy Hot on my husband’s entire lower back last night. Shortly after, it was flaming red and burning. He is not one to complain about pain so I knew it was pretty bad. I tried wiping it off with wet paper towels and told him showering would be better. In the meantime, this site was one of the first that came up when I googled. We tried the olive oil process and it worked for him! Thanks so much for sharing! I read other sites that said using too much Icy Hot or if it is expired may cause the terrible reaction. He has used it before with no issue. It expires in a few months but won’t be using it again after that experience. His back looks great this morning and has no reaction or pain!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My 13 year old son used aspercreme to relieve his aching legs after football practice. After about a few minutes his legs were burning really bad. I told him to wash it off with soap but hours later still no relief. He awakened me at 3 am still in pain. In desperation I googled and I found your story. I got some cotton balls and put olive oil on them and had him rub it over his burning legs. Almost instant relief. He went to bed and slept like a baby. Woke up with no burning and I have you to thank!


  6. I used a burn product I bought at Walmart in the first aid aisle called BurnJel
    Plus. I always use it on any household burn immediately and it instantly takes the pain away, so I thought I would take a chance on the Icy Hot burn. I lathered the jel on thickly and it immediately took the pain away. When the pain started to creep back after about 10 minutes, I lathered more on. So far after 20 minutes of the second application, the pain has not returned. Hoping I can sleep now!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you! I put icy hot on my husband and he also felt a horrible burn feeling. Without this information I dont know whar we would have done. It really works!


  8. Thank you so much for this!!! It was a huge hassle at 130am but that burn is no joke and now I’m sighing in relief for sure! Don’t know what I would have done without this! Thanks again!! Side note: definitely learned my lesson about the icy hot roller, yikes! 😦


  9. My son used the icy hot roller ball on his back after a football game. About 15 min after application his back was fire red. He took a shower to try and rinse it off, I knew it was bad when I heard him yelling in a panicked pain. I don’t know if it was a reaction but it was horrible, my son isn’t one to show pain or complain. I only had olive oil cooking spray so we sprayed that on his back and rubbed in . After about 10 minutes the pain was almost completely gone. Thank you so much for posting this page. Total life saver! We will never use Icy Hot again.


  10. My husband uses IcyHot all the time with no issues, and I tried it for the first time for neck pain. After about an hour, it started burning like crazy, and my husband thought I was crazy. I tried a shower, which didn’t help at all, and then found your blog, and tried the olive oil and it instantly feels better. Not 100%, but so much better. THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello you awesome human being! I had put the roll on icy hot on my elbow. 15 minutes in… it started burning beyond belief. Thinking it was normal I decided to go to bed. Just couldn’t believe how excruciating the burning became. Finally got up and washed it off. But no…the burning got worst. So I googled my discomfort and came across your forum. Omgoodnessss thank you for your experiment. I’m sorry your son went thru what he did…but let him know his mums is super awesome! And really helped, as I’ve read ,a lot of people. Especially myself. This tip really worked. And right away. Thank you kindly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My daughter put icy hot on a sore shoulder. She only waited about 30 minutes then got in the shower. She got out of the shower in excruciating pain with her upper arm and shoulder bright red. We tried a burn cream which didn’t work, then she tried to rinse with soap and water…still burned. Then we immediately found your article and she applied olive oil and the pain subsided very quickly. Then, she rinsed that off and although it was still red and hot to the touch, she felt much better. THANK YOU!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Putting Icy hot on a child, knowing full well what it does? Then using a half baked remedy to ease your mind about it? Zealots.


    1. Womp womp.

      First, as I stated, I had no idea it wasn’t for use on kids. My mom used it for my leg aches when I was little, and I had always used it for myself and my son, who gets “leg aches” too. I didn’t know there was a problem til I was reading the label looking for ideas on how to help relieve the burning.

      Second, it’s helping a lot of people who used icy hot on adult skin. Did you notice that?

      Third, did you ever stop to think about how odd it is that you’d barge in with judgey comments and call someone else a zealot? Honestly.

      BTW, I thought “leg aches” were perfectly normal. Turns out we all have a genetic issue that makes our blood veins cramp. It’s extremely painful when it happens, and icy hot helps a lot.


      1. Oh my goodness. You have helped so many people with your suggestion. Some people should just keep their opinions to themselves. My mom always said if you can’t say something nice about someone don’t say anything. His comment was unnecessary. You are right leg aches are a universal problem. I do have a product that works so well for muscle cramps, it’s called Plexus Ease Cream and will not burn.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Actually I was applied tiger bomb on my face to reduce Pimple’s to my uncle’s advice and then after my skin was burn and I am looking so ugly so please could you tell me to cure my face become normal


    1. I’d go talk to a dermatologist if you can. If you can’t, maybe leave your skin alone for a while (washing only with something super mild like Cetaphil) to see if it will heal itself.


  15. Omgosh literally just now my hand was burning after putting on some icy hot, and you saved me from crying! I had no ideal what I was going to do my hand was burning for over an hour, I saw this and tried is ASAP, and my hand was instantly relieved. THANK YOU


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