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!

456 thoughts on “First Aid for Icy Hot Burn

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  1. 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.


  2. I have never had a reaction to icy hot before. Just tonight I had a really sore/tight calf muscle, so I stopped after work to grab some icy hot and never thought any different of it. I got a roll on one. HUGE MISTAKE! At first everything started fine then after a few hours the pain got so intense I couldn’t sleep. I had to use your trick a couple times to get the burning to calm down but it really does work!! Definitely use soap and water to get the roll on stuff off your skin first. Thank you so much for this trick though. It helped immensely


  3. I put icy hot on my ankles. After a little while my ankles started burning. I went and got in the tub and let my ankles spoke and wash my ankles. Soke in the tub for awhile and repeatedly wash my ankles. Got out of tub and laid down. Still burning and this is 3:30 am. Back to the tub to soke my ankles and washing my ankles. Got out and look on Google. Went and got the olive oil and put a little on still burning. A little while later poorer olive oil on my ankles. STILL BURNING!!!HELP…


  4. You are a genius! And my new favorite person in the world. Although it did not take all the pain away. It helped to take away a about 75% of the unbearable burning. I only wish I had found this sooner for my sister, we didn’t realize this is what was causing it for her ( she has very sensitive skin, she usually uses the cream but bought a roll on bottle to keep at work. She works around food and didn’t want to risk putting it on with her hands. She got horrible 2nd degree Brunson her back and shoulders. I fortunately had only used it once, so mine won’t take as long to heal. But thanks to you, I may actually be able to get some decent sleep tonight! You are a RockStar!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That roll-on stuff needs a warning label. I’ve never used it, but several commenters have and they too could not get total relief. Sorry y’all were stuck with some burning! But I’m glad you found this anyway.


  5. I had applied Icy Hot to my knee.. the burn was HOT but I blew it off as to say it’s penetrating it is going to work. Hours later my knee was still of fire and when I looked at it the skin looked like I was deformed. Looked like a burn.. read this blog and yup, chemical burn indeed. Washed it with cool water and soap and applied fresh aloe. Immediately took the burn away. As the aloe dries the burn came back, going to reapply. If it keeps up will try the olive oil. Wow..that hurt..


  6. Thank you very much!! I was ready to take my teenager to a quick care! After hurting his back at basketball practice we iced, heating pad, and then the roll on, immediate red, burn, and intense pain! He showered to wash it off and put aloe on, nothing helped! Found your post about olive oil and immediately helped the pain and red burn gone!! Thank you!!


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