Can Pregnant Women Use Icy Hot – Is It Safe?

If there are well-known muscle pain and relief topical applications, Icy Hot always ranks at the top. When you apply Icy Hot on the skin, it relieves pain from a specific part of your body. It mostly comes in a cream form and can be purchased from most local drug stores.

You can also find Icy Hot in the form of gel sprays, power gel, patches, sleeve, arthritis lotion, and balm. All of these have ingredients intended to provide temporary relief to your aching body part.

Icy Hot relieves pain caused by bruises, muscle strains, arthritis, backaches, and sprains. Sore and aching muscles are common things with pregnant women.

Therefore, it’s natural to see most people tempted to use icy hot while pregnant to relieve the pain. Can pregnant women use icy hot? This post will share some of the properties of icy hot and explain if it’s safe for pregnant women.

How Icy Hot performs

Icy Hot contains ingredients that cause a cooling sensation and it’s followed by a warming sensation. The sensation distracts you from feeling the pain by preventing pain signals from going to your brain.

The cooling sensation reduces the pain while the warm sensation relaxes the pain. It’s important to note that you can use all Icy Hot formulations externally only. There are multiple formulations of icy hot and each one of them has its way of applying it to the skin and part of the body where you are feeling pain.

Icy Hot ingredients

Methyl Salicylate

Methyl Salicylate, which is also known as wintergreen oil, is an organic ester found in icy hot. They derive it from various species of plants, but the majority of it comes from wintergreen plants.

Wintergreen oil is a counterirritant designed to provide you with a cold feeling and then a warm feeling to distract your brain from interpreting correctly the pain signals originating from painful muscles or sore joints.

Wintergreen oil is known for its colorless liquid and sweet odor is a salicylate. Salicylates are ingredients found in aspirin and you can use them topically to avoid negative side effects related to aspirin.

Therefore, it’s safe to apply methyl salicylate on your skin, but it should not be taken internally. Methyl salicylate is toxic and you should never exceed the dosage to avoid salicylate toxicity.


Menthol is an organic compound derived from mint oils or it can be produced synthetically. Menthol is usually found in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and mint candies. Menthol is derived from eucalyptus, peppermint, and various other sources of mint.

Menthol has soothing properties that work by stimulating the receptor potential channel melastatin 8. This receptor promotes the cooling sensation when you inhale, eat, or apply menthol to your skin. It’s also responsible for dulling the pain as it activates the k-opioid receptor.


Another ingredient is camphor that comes from the camphor trees, and it’s normally used as an oil to treat different flu and cough. You can apply camphor to your skin or inhale it to get a soothing effect on the painful body parts.

It’s a waxy element with a strong aromatic odor. Mothballs are made of camphor and are designed to prevent bugs from encroaching your closet and provides a nice smell to your wardrobe.

Is icy hot safe for pregnant women?

All formulations for icy hot are for external use only and there is no known major side effect if you use icy hot as prescribed. However, it’s important to consult your doctor before using it so that you can have an informed opinion. Some doctors advise using it on any part of your body except on your belly others don’t allow pregnant women to use icy hot at all.

Seeking medical attention is also essential if you are allergic to icy hot. You should never use it on broken or damaged skin and ensure that it stays clear from your eyes. Each product of icy hot has different ingredients, meaning while some have only menthol others have camphor only or they might have Methyl Salicylates.

Methyl Salicylate can cause an allergic reaction in some people who are allergic to aspirin. If you are allergic to salicylate compounds or have asthma, you must use icy hot with wintergreen carefully.

For pregnant or breastfeeding women, wintergreen is generally safe in quantities found in food. There is still no conclusive evidence to show if it’s safe in large amounts when taken topically or internally. It’s for this reason why you need to consult your doctor, or you can select a specific icy hot that doesn’t have wintergreen on the ingredients label.

ICY HOT Pain Relieving Cream

Icy Hot Pain Relieving Cream is great pain relief and has non-greasy formulation designed to work immediately on contact with your skin. It comes in a pack of two weighing 3 ounces. You can apply it to the area where you are feeling pain then massage in to allow absorption to take place. Repeat this procedure at least four times every day to have an effective outcome.

For all minor pains related to arthritis, simple backache, and muscle strains, Icy Hot Pain Relieving Cream is the best option for you. The cream has active ingredients of menthol and methyl salicylate. This product has a pleasant odor and is suitable for adults and kids aged over 12 years old.


  • Provides fast relief to all areas that you are feeling pain.
  • It comes in a roll-on formulation ensuring that you don’t spoil your hands.
  • It’s easy to use and you can apply it to specific areas without getting Icy Hot in your eyes.
  • It’s affordable and comes with two tubes.


  • Some people find the odor very strong for their liking.

Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Therapy

Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Therapy is a starter kit that is easy to wear and use. This is a wireless unit with 63 intensity levels and it has a reusable electrode pad for muscular and chronic pain relief. It’s portable and uses batteries so that you can easily carry it with you.

This Icy Hot pain relief is ideal for use at home, work, or when you are doing daily normal activities. It works by preventing and delaying pain signals at the nerves from being sent to the brain. The good news is that it doesn’t use wires and you don’t need to assemble it, making it pretty easy to use. You also don’t need a doctor to provide you with a prescription.

The electrical pulses are produced by a small device that uses batteries. This device ensures that it activates two small electrodes to generate electrical pulses going through your skin and block pain signals. The technology is the same as the one used in TENS therapy normally done in physical therapy institutions.

The only difference is that Hot Smart Relief has 63 intensity levels to enable you to raise or lower the level of intensity to match the desired amount of relief you want. The device is energy-saving because it automatically switches off every 30 minutes after each session.


  • It can be placed under your clothes, ensuring that you can wear it anyplace.
  • It’s effective in loosening up stiff muscles.
  • It has 63 intensity levels to help you customize the amount of relief.
  • It’s easy to use and doesn’t need a prescription.


  • The batteries don’t last long, therefore, be ready to replace them after a couple of sessions.

Vicks VapoRub Original Cough Suppressant

Vicks VapoRub Original Cough Suppressant is another popular pain relief product. It’s a topical analgesic ointment of 6 ounces and you can use it for relief from aches and cold symptoms. If you have a cough, use it on your throat and chest to temporarily relieve cough associated with the common cold. It’s also ideal for use when you have minor aches and pains on your muscles and joints.

It has medicated vapors that work quickly to remove the cough symptoms, and it also soothes and calms the aching body parts. It should be used by children aged between two years old and above and adults. For cough relief, Vicks VapoRub can be used up to three times a day by rubbing a thick layer on the throat and chest.

You can also apply it to the areas that you have aches and pains for not more than three to four times each day. This is an excellent alternative to oral decongestants for someone who suffers from hypertension or you suffer from diabetes and would like sugar-free cough suppressant.


  • It’s multipurpose as it can be used to relieve cough and various type of aches and pain.
  • The medicated vapors work quickly to overcome the cough symptoms.
  • It’s a great alternative to oral decongestants for people with hypertension.
  • It’s easy to use and has a nice odor.


  • It has a lavender smell but it’s not strong enough

J.R. Watkins Menthol Camphor Ointment

J. R. Watkins Menthol Camphor Ointment comes in a tin containing 4.12 ounces of the product. This is another favorite pain relief product that has cooling and soothing properties because it has menthol and camphor. Get rid of the congested feeling by using it as it relieves the congestion and prevents cough from developing.

You can use J.R. Watkins Menthol Camphor ointment if you have backache, strains, sprains, arthritis and rheumatic pain, bruises, and lumbago. Run it on the skin of the affected areas and massage it in to allow absorption to take place. Therefore, if you have a cold, rub it under your nose, on the throat, and your chest for effective results. This product is not tested on animals and is manufactured in the United States.


  • It’s effective in relieving cold symptoms.
  • It’s easy to use as you just have to rub it on affected areas.
  • It comes in a large tin to last you for a long time.
  • It’s perfect for kids and adults because it works well and has a nice scent


  • It has menthol smell that some people might not like.

Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels

Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels relieves pain and fever. It has acetaminophen designed to work fast for temporary relief to minor pains and aches, and it reduces the symptoms of fever. Each of the gelcaps has unique laser-drilled holes for easy release of the medicine. The product has 500 mg of acetaminophen to give you fast and effective pain relief.

You can use it to reduce fever and for treatment of minor aches and pains such as toothache, headache, cramps, backache, and all related pain as a result of the common cold. It’s suitable for adults and children aged 12 years old and above.

This oral pain reliever also treats minor aches caused by muscular aches, premenstrual and menstrual cramp pain. If you want fast relief, then take 2 gelcaps of it every 6 hours, but don’t exceed 6 gelcaps every 24 hours.


  • It’s a fast pain reliever and removes pain within 20 minutes after taking it.
  • It has laser-drilled holes to quickly release the medicine.
  • It works well on multiple aches and pains.
  • It’s suitable for both adults and children aged 12 years and above.


  • It’s not ideal for young children.

Final thoughts

Icy Hot has evolved over the years and all the formulations reviewed above are safe for use by adults and children. Some of these formulations are to be used externally while others internally. But for pregnant women, you need to seek medical advice before using these products.

Medical doctors have various opinions on the use of Icy Hot when you are pregnant. Some doctors feel it’s safe to use because it has a low level of risks and side effects. Be sure that you read the product description before purchasing them because they are made of different ingredients.

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