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!

443 thoughts on “First Aid for Icy Hot Burn

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  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.

      Like

    2. Yes thank you very much for writing this! You’re right about not being able to find and solution but then I saw this and was pleased. Finally someone with an answer!

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    3. So so glad I found this. Olive oil worked for me. And toned the burn down to a sootheing warmth. Thank God. I was staring to flip out. Redness reduced immediately too. Phew!!

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    4. 30 year old male here. Applied icy hot (the roll on kind) to my calves due to soreness from running. Over the last hour I experienced the worst physical pain I have ever felt when it comes to skin burns. Desperate, on the verge of going to the hospital, I searched the internet and found this post. I tried dabbing the area with olive oil, and it didn’t work. So I soaked both my calves in olive oil. The pain started to lesson. I let sit for 5 minutes, and then soaked again. The pain almost disappeared. I gently washed off with cold water (water MUST be cold) and the pain is now completely gone. Thank you thank you thank you for this post. USE OLIVE OIL

      Like

      1. This same exact thing happened to my and I was on hold with the company for over 20 min and called my advice nurse and was waiting and in tears! This totally worked! So glad you posted this!

        Liked by 1 person

    5. Original poster thank you Soo much I also used the roll on icy hot on my neck , top of back and shoulders. Within 15 minutes it was burning pretty bad but not enough for me to be that uncomfortable, about an hour in my skin started to feel like it was burning off I couldn’t move without excruciating pain. I hopped in the shower and tried using soap and water like they tell you I was using a a mesh shower sponge and it felt like my skin was peeling off. Out of desperation I googled it and this came up one of the first hits. I drenched my body in olive oil and instantly it felt much better and after about 10-15 minutes it finally went away. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  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!

        Like

      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.

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  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!

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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! 😦

    Like

  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.

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    1. I had the same reaction but a lil different the myscluein my leg was hurting bad so I used the roll on icy hot it was on fire immdetly I washed off still burnt worse not knowing what to do I layed ice bag on it Everytime took it off burn was back worse it didn’t stop for two days an it swelled an red irritated spot
      But I recently tested a spot with tiger balm on wrist same thing what the hell

      Like

  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.

    Like

    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.

      Like

      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

    Like

    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.

      Like

  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

    Like

  16. Unfortunately this did not work for me. I applied icyhot to both my wrists for the beginning stages of carpal tunnel syndrome. I work at a factory so it is very repetitive. I was fine until my skin hit the outside air and then it started burning , and this was a good 7hrs after the application. So as it was the roll on kind I washed it first then did the olive oil and washed it again. I ended up going to the hospital, (misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome), and then when I got home I tried oatmeal soaks, baking soda and milk pastes but as of right now it is still on fire, a whole 14hrs since the last application.

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  17. No, she was so convinced it was nerve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome she wouldn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t that. Then she turned around and accused me of trying to get pain meds from them…….seriously? I am not there for that I just want the burning to stop and when I asked to see the doctor, (she was a PA), she said he was busy and discharged me after I said I’d wait. As of right now I am back at work and they are still on fire. The only way I got any sleep last night was by wrapping ice packs around my wrists.

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      1. That’s what I think. I’ve never used the roll on before so maybe it’s that filmy stuff they put in it but you’d think it would have washed off sooner then that but maybe it soaked in too much

        Like

      2. Yeah a lot of folks here have had trouble getting the filmy stuff off. Once they do, if they aren’t too burned, this trick seems to work. No luck though if it’s too far gone. Maybe see a dermatologist if it’s still bugging you — good luck!

        Like

  18. Thank you so much “mom”! I used roll on Icey Hot on my neck, with in 10 minutes I felt like I was on fire. Washing it off with soap and water didn’t help, ice pack didn’t help, aloe Vera gel didn’t help BUT olive oil instantly stopped intense burning! Thanks!

    Like

  19. Thank you for this, I’ve been having back aches for a while now so I decided to try my dad’s roll on icy hot. I had my brother roll it all over my back and after about 45 minutes of laying in bed it felt like my back was on fire. To my surprise I went to the bathroom and looked at my back in the mirror and it was red and puffy everywhere. I then proceed to search, “icy hot red skin” and found my saving grace experience you had. The olive oil did just the trick after I showered with soap and water and washed it all off. Thank you so much!

    Like

  20. I put on arthritis pain relieving Icey hot type product. I went outside for about 10 mins , apparently the warm sun heating my back set off the beginning of what proved to be sweltering pain, my back looked as red as a boiled libster. I was about to go to the ER and thought to see if I could find online a home cure or way to neutralize the product. This post saved me! Almost instantly the burning subsided and I was able to refrain from spending the day at the ER.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. My wife put an icy-hot on my back last night. I was going to leave it on today since it still seemed to be working. After awhile the heat was getting intense. I just ignored it. then it became too much. We tried using moisturizing lotion and that seemed to make it worse. Then I took a shower. Worse. Then put Panama Jack Green Ice. It seems to have a deadener in it. Didn’t work. Finally I tried the olive oil. Immediately it started working. Now I can go on with my life. I wonder if milk would work. Milk works for chemical burns in the mouth, like from hot peppers. I’m just happy the Olive Oil worked.
    Thank you very much for posting your findings

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Can I use vegetable oil instead or canola oil? I hurt my knee earlier and put it hot on it, fell asleep and woke up to my knee on FIRE.. tried cold rag, worked until it got warm. I’m dying here😟😴

    Like

  23. Just used the roll Icy Hot and I was burning badly.to the point I almost went to ER. Tried a shower and aloe and still would t work. I just used olive oil and it works!!! They need to stop making this stuff.

    Like

  24. TJANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!! This absolutely just saved my life . My skin felt as if it was on fire , and I couldn’t get it to come off. After reading your post , I then washed and put olive oil then cleaned again. And just like that THE BURNING WAS GONE !!!!! Thank you so much.

    Like

  25. I put my back out today and just removed a pain patch containing menthol; I must have gotten some on my hands because later when I touched my face, my nose and lips began to burn terribly. I didn’t have olive oil, but decided I had nothing to lose by using canola because next step was going to have to be urgent care – it worked for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. i had a severe neck ache and put the roll on over my neck and shoulders and laid down……. about 10 minutes later i was in horrific pain ( felt like i had a fire on my neck ) i wasnt aware of the oil at the time so i fought this with soap and water for over a hour for little relief and now 3 days later the back of my neck and shoulders are peeling from the burn. i had huge blisters… wish i would have found you earlier , but i wont be using icy hot anymore!

    Like

  27. Life saver. I was so skeptical and the first time I quickly rubbed it on and then showered and it didn’t work. I tried it again and this time left it on for 5 minutes, rinsed off with mild soap and water on the shower again and viola! Immediately no pain or burning and no redness after 15 minutes! I can’t believe how well it worked. I tried everything before that! Thank you!

    Like

  28. I just had the burn from icy hot on my knees and was in excruciating pain sprayed some sun burn relief spray with aloe on it and the pain was gone almost immediately didn’t think about looking it up till after I could think straight . If the olive oil doesn’t work for you try the sun burn stuff

    Like

  29. Put the roll on icy hot on my shoulders and neck and quickly felt it burning my skin. It looked like I had a severe sunburn and I was concerned I’d end up with 2nd degree chemical burns. I rinsed it with soap and water but still felt a burning sensation, then I came across your post. The olive oil worked wonders, the burning immediately started to decrease and by the next morning my skin was completely back to normal. Thank you!!!!!!

    Like

  30. I had Aspercreme on my knee last night. I never really felt the heating effect. This morning I put on my knee brace and went about my day. After about 30 minutes my knee started to burn terribly. I took the brace off but got no relief. I started looking on internet for solution. Thank goodness I found this. Followed you directions and immediately got relief. Thank you!!

    Like

  31. I put the roll on icy hot on my arm about an hour ago. It started abnormally burning after a half hour . After washing it off I had no relief. Frantically searching online, I came across this. I can’t thank you enough. It stopped the burning within minutes. And my arm is finally becoming less red. Who knew!

    Like

  32. Thank you for your suggestion I had applied icy hot gel and after some time it started burning I applied what you suggested and it really worked thank you

    Like

  33. I have a muscle between my neck and my shoulder that’s been bothering me all day so I put on the roll on Icy Hot on it. And then it got really red and started burning more than it normally would. To the point where I really thought I had to go to the hospital. I really got worried so I started searching the internet and found your post about olive oil and I tried it and it was a lifesaver!

    Like

  34. I was experiencing some very bad neck and back pains all last week..my husband stopped at a drug store to get me some Icy Hot roll on. I noticed soon as I applied it to my neck tingling starts right away but I thought maybe that’s how it supposed to feel then the next couple days after that my skin starts to burn badly right after applying I quickly ran to the bathroom to wash it off . My neck continue to burn even after washing the Icy Hot off then I noticed a bad chemical burn around my neck and collar bone area. I been applying Shea butter for a week not to heal the burns I sure won’t be using Icy Hot again.

    Like

  35. I’m shocked at how much relief olive oil has given me. I used the icy hot roll on for the first time today after a bad fall while running. Then, several hours later after application in the middle of the night, my skin was on fire. I’m so so so happy that I found this article. Thank you for writing it. I almost felt like I should go to the hospital! I may have to apply more than once to feel total relief; but again, asontished it worked as well as it did! THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. My daughter was just in years from icy hot burning her skin and this info helped a lot.it has only been a couple minutes and she feels much better. Thank you so much for this helpful article!!

    Like

  37. My husband applied the roll-on icy hot on my 9 year old daughter who was complaining of sore knees before school today. When my husband got home from work, he put it on again because she was still sore. After a couple hours, she went to take a NICE hot shower, which was a mistake. After getting out of the shower, she tells me her legs are on FIRE. She was crying in pain and didn’t know what to do. Five minutes later it’s worse, she googles and can’t find much until your post came up. We tried your method on her, and in about five minutes after she had no more pain. I appreciate this so much. It helped my daughter what she described as feeling like a MILLIONS of fire ants on her knees to feeling relief. I hope this works for other people as well as It worked for my daughter. Thank you so much again for posting this. We greatly appreciate it!

    Like

  38. So this afternoon I applied the roll on icy hot to my knee and had forgotten all about it. I went to take a shower that evening and all of a sudden my knees were on fire. Turned bright red and were burning. I immediately looked up burning from icy hot and your article popped up. I tried it and it worked! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. TRUST ME THE BEST THING TO USE TO GET RID OF THE BURN IS ALEOVERA AND PUT A CHILL FAN TO IT IT STOPS THE PAIN FAST! I TRIED OLIVEOIL AND NOTING I TRIED EVERYTHING NOTHING WORKS BETTER THAN WHAT I NUST MENTIONED

    Like

  40. I will figure out a way to grow a uterus and swear to have your next child. You just saved me from some of the worst pain I have ever felt – I guess having your baby will top it but still. You are GODDESS!

    Like

  41. My legs have been BURNING for about 6 hours now after using IcyHot roll on! Wouldn’t let up at all, its 2am and I couldn’t sleep cuz the pain. I washed my legs with soap and water, but that only made them more sensitive. I noticed after I dried off that my legs were bright red where the burn was. Then I put Benadryl burn cream on one spot, did nothing. Then I tried triple antibiotic ointment, that didn’t help. Then I globbed on a ton of Vaseline, didn’t do anything. Still burning away. Then I found this blog! All I had was Avocado Oil, so I poured it on and INSTANTLY the buring went from an 8/10, to a 1/10!!!!!!! Ty!

    Like

  42. I tried the olive oil and got temporary relief – happy for the people who get immediate relief though! After that and out of desperation since it’s midnight, I called poison control! They told me to wash it off with soapy water (which I already did), then they said to try half water/ half vinegar (which I didn’t have), vegetable oil, and MAYO of all things! I had a noticeably decreased amount of redness after washing the mayo off. I hope this helps others who don’t get relief with the olive oil trick!

    Like

  43. Thank you so very much! You have saved me from going insane. I did as you said and “voila”!!!
    I won’t put icy hot on my shins ever again.

    Like

  44. Good advice never goes stale and I thank you so much for this post! I’ve been using a spray that is similar to Icy Hot and have felt the burn across my back especially when it’s exposed to cold air or sweat, but the past few days I’ve been feeling a constant burning pain in one small area on my lower back which I had my husband check out. Turns out I have a burn mark on my back that looks like the burn from a curling iron. I don’t have any cotton balls handy, so I dipped my finger into a bottle of olive oil and rubbed it gently across and within seconds the burning pain dissolved. It still hurts when I lay on it, but the burning pain is gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Thank you!! Helped me when my skin was on fire! For the leg aches, I assume you’ve tried magnesium and other useful supplements for the aches? Baths have always helped my leg aches quite a bit . Also stretching before bed and after I wake up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baths definitely do help. Our doctor told us he and I both have something like Raynaud’s and that the easier way to avoid the issue is by staying warm in the first place. But if we’re to the point of cramping and what not, a bath or a hot water bottle is the best bet.

      Like

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