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  IcyHot is a topical analgesic heat rub meant for relieving pains such as arthritis, backache, muscle strains, muscle sprains, bruises, and cramps. IcyHot is known for its dual action pain relief, claiming it is "Icy to dull the pain, and hot to relax it away".[1] It comes in cream, a balm, a Chill Stick, and a 8cm x 12 cm patches. Recently, IcyHot has come out with sleeves, knee braces, and foam pads. Although IcyHot does make its user feel heat and cold, IcyHot does not actually heat or chill the area to which it is applied. Instead, IcyHot stimulates nerve receptors, causing the user to first feel cool, and then feel heat. [2]



George Foster of the George Foster company in Illinois developed the formula for Icy Hot, and sold it until 1931. In 1931 Jim Gibson bought the George Foster Company and it's numerous products, and ran the company until about 1965. At that time an Indianapolis investor purchased the J.W. Gibson company and it's products. At that time the sales of Icy Hot were less than $5,000 annually. The J.W. Gibson company was then owned by Bryan Auer, and he began marketing the product by running small mail order ads in national and regional publications. The product grew and eventually was picked up by the first drug store chain, based in Indianapolis, called Haag's Drugs. From that, by 1972, the product saw wide spread national distribution. The product's sales grew to approx. $10 million dollars and then in the late 1970's was sold to G. D. Searle (maker of Metamucil) in Chicago. They later sold the product to Richardson Vicks the maker of Vick's vapo rub, and then they were acquired by Proctor and Gamble. Proctor and Gamble then disposed of the brand to Chattem Pharmaceutical and in the 1990's and Chattem has grown the brand to over $50 million and as of 2006 was the number one external analgesic in the United States.

Active Ingredients

The active ingredients vary by the version of the product.

  • The patches contain 5% menthol
  • The balm contains 7.6% menthol and 29% methyl salicylate.
  • The sleeves contain 16% menthol.
  • The Chill Stick contains 10% menthol and 30% methyl salicylate
  • The foam contains 5% menthol.

See also


  • The methyl salicylate that is the active analgesic ingredient of some varieties of IcyHot can be toxic if the cream is used in excess.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ “Sports cream caused teen's death”,, retrieved June 9, 2007
  • Icy Hot Ointment. South African Electronic Package Inserts. February 2006.
  • (Hernadez & Mayhall n.d.) Some Important Facts on Icy Hot. San Diego Miramar College. Retrieved August 31.
  • Icy Hot - Chempedia. Chempedia. November 2006.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "IcyHot". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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