What Is Icy Hot?
Icy hot is a kind of liniment or cream that relieves pain from a person’s part of the body, applied to the skin. Icy Hot usually comes in cream form and can often be bought from your local drugstore. It has a soothing effect on most minor pain, such as arthritis, bruises, muscle strains, sprains, and backaches. It may also work for women with menstrual cramps.
There are also many other forms of Icy Hot products, such as a gel spray, patches, power gel, arthritis lotion, sleeve, balm and even their mini-gadget called the “Smart Relief”, which can be attached to a person’s back, hip, shoulder or knees. All of them roughly contain the same kind of ingredients in terms of providing temporary relief to a person’s aching body part.
How Does Icy Hot Work
For Icy Hot to work properly, it has many active ingredients. Here are the most known active ingredients of the said product:
1. Menthol – this active ingredient is commonly found on most OTC or over-the-counter liniments out there. It can also be found on mint candies, mouthwashes, and toothpaste. Menthol is a soothing element that usually comes from peppermint, eucalyptus, and various mint sources. Its effect on pain is that it soothes the source of the pain and will give off a cooling sensation to temporarily relieve the said pain in the part of your body in question.
2. Methyl Salicylate – another cooling sensation ingredient, this one is a variant of salicylic acid, which is commonly found on cleansers that are used for a person’s face and skin. It is, therefore, very much safe to use in your skin as part of a topical liniment. In nature, methyl salicylate can be found on wintergreens and is known to have a sweet odor but colorless liquid. It has also been used in many cosmetic products to help prepare the skin or to warm it up, as well as on certain massage oils.
3. Camphor – this ingredient comes from the camphor tree and is also used as an essential oil to treat various sicknesses like flu and cough. Camphor can be inhaled or be applied to the skin and it gives off a soothing effect to aches and pains. Camphor has also been released in the market as mothballs to help keep away bugs in the closet and to keep your wardrobe smelling fresh. And since you wear those clothes, camphor is pretty much okay for your skin overall.
Icy Hot is simply applied to a person’s skin as per instructions on the manual. Of course, like all topical liniments, they should not be applied in sensitive areas like around your eyes, genitals, mouth, and nose. This is important for people who are wearing contact lenses as well.
Is it Safe to Use Icy Hot While Pregnant?
Unfortunately, Icy Hot is NOT recommended to be used by pregnant women, even up to your nursing or breastfeeding timeline. This is because the menthol ingredient used in Icy Hot may still penetrate your skin and be absorbed by your developing baby, which can have some manner of bad effects to them and might irritate them.
If you do accidentally use it before knowing that it’s not for pregnant women, you can just stop using it immediately and consult your ob-gyne to check your baby’s condition.
Safe Alternatives for Icy Hot to Treat a Backache
Pregnancy calls for a very strong back, and this is why many women become tempted to use Icy Hot when it is not really recommended for them. Therefore, here are a couple of alternative and natural ways to help alleviate the bad back while you’re carrying a baby in your womb:
1. Get help from a chiropractor. A chiropractor is a kind of specialist who helps pregnant women get into the right position to avoid having strained muscles and body parts – this includes your back Seeing a chiropractor regularly can help you pinpoint which parts of your body should be positioned properly to avoid getting a backache during pregnancy.
2. Essential oils and salves that are safe for pregnancy. A good example of an essential oil or salve ingredient that can be safe for pregnant women would be arnica and magnesium.
Other essential oils that are okay for pregnant moms include:
- Ylang ylang
- German chamomile
Meanwhile, there are essential oils that should be avoided altogether during pregnancy because of possible effects on your blood pressure, nervous system, kidneys and other complications during pregnancy or labor. Some essential oils that should not be used while pregnant include:
- Clary sage
- Juniper berry
3. Get some exercise. Pregnant women who are still on the move with light exercises that are suitable for pregnancy experience fewer backaches because they tone their muscles and bones to become stronger and thus staying fit even in the midst of a pregnancy. Even cleaning the house and doing household chores can count as exercise – so long as you are moving and getting a dose of physical work on a day-to-day basis without compromising your baby’s health.
4. Invest in a support belt. A support belt for pregnancy is a kind of supportive gear that you can buy from most baby stores so that your belly will not overweight your back. Pregnancy support belts will also keep you in a good posture so that you will not hurt your back or any other part of your body when sitting or standing up straight.
5. Get some rest. You don’t need to be as active as you were before since you are carrying a baby in your womb. Sometimes, the best option is to take a rest to avoid backaches. In fact, that is the reason why celebrities and workers can file a pregnancy leave.
Icy Hot may sound tempting as a great backache saver, but we repeat: it is NOT recommended for pregnant women! How about you? How did you handle your backache during pregnancy?