Can I Use Icy Hot While Breastfeeding?
Icy Hot has been around for almost half a century and has kept its popularity and following. It is quick, easy, and effective to use and can be found at many different retailers. Whether dealing with muscle soreness, back tightness, or any other ailments, you may ask yourself can you use Icy Hot while breastfeeding. It is worth asking since it does contain chemical compounds that are applied directly to the skin. Below we will talk about what Icy Hot is, its benefits, and its potential safety while pregnant and breastfeeding.
What is Icy Hot?
Icy Hot is a topical pain reliever. It is available over-the-counter in as many as fourteen different products with eight unique formulations. Icy hot is popular because its cooling sensation dulls pain and then becomes warm to relax it away. Icy Hot has been around for quite a while. Rexall Drug first trademarked it in 1972. For almost 50 years, it has been the most popular pain-relieving topical on the market. Icy Hot can be found in drugstores, grocery markets, and many online retailers. Its ease of access is another reason it has dominated the pain relief sector.
What is Icy Hot Used For?
Icy hot is well-known among athletes, medical professionals, and regular home consumers. That is because it comes in so many easy-to-use formulas and works quickly and effectively. There are several ailments that Icy Hot is used for. These include but are not limited to:
- arthritis pain
- achy joints
- sore muscles
Whether sore from a workout or feeling a bit stiff in general, Icy Hot can be a safe, quick, and cost-effective way to experience relief from common ailments. It is also excellent for menstrual cramps as the products and patches can be placed where needed the most.
Icy Hot Benefits
According to Atlantic Brain & Spine, a neurological service that provides minimally invasive brain and spine surgery, although the chemical in Icy Hot cannot penetrate deep enough into your muscles to cause any substantial healing, the benefits of its use are that it can provide a temporary relief that is accomplished by stimulating the nerves near your skin and blocking pain signals.
How Long Does Icy Hot Take to Work?
The time it takes for Icy Hot to work depends on which of the products you are using. The gel and sprays usually begin to cool immediately on contact and then start to warm after a few minutes. The patches tend to take a slightly longer time for the full cooling and then heating action to reach their peak, but they also will stay warmer for a more extended period than the spray and gel as they are in constant contact with the skin via the attachment of the patch. The strength of the product you choose and its active ingredients have an effect as well. The products more alcohol and menthol-based will cool faster, while the lidocaine-based products take a bit longer to work, but the pain relief is usually more effective and longer-lasting.
Icy Hot Products
There are a variety of Icy Hot products in various forms and formulations. The below five are just a few of the most popular. A few of these may be good options for asking yourself can you use Icy Hot while breastfeeding.
Icy Hot Patch
A comfortable and fast-acting patch that relieves arthritis, backache, muscle strains and sprains, bruises, and cramps. It stays in place and now has more medicine than the original, working for more extended periods.
Icy Hot with Lidocaine Patch
A patch with the maximum strength of lidocaine that is available without a prescription. It is made of comfortable fabric and stays in place to deliver fast and targeted therapy. The patch can temporarily relieve minor pain located on the back, neck, legs, and arms.
Icy Hot Cream
A non-greasy cream that penetrates deep to quickly relieve muscle soreness, achiness, cramps, and other general sprain and strain discomfort. It starts to work as soon as it has been absorbed in the skin and gives lasting relief.
Icy Hot Spray
Pain relief at the push of a spray button, you can feel it working instantly by providing powerful pain relief for both muscles and joints. It has a quick-drying formula that does not stay wet for long or feel sticky. The spray can be used for arthritis, backache, muscle strains and sprains, bruises, and cramps.
Icy Hot Gel
An easy-to-use gel that dries fast and starts working instantly. The gel is easy to travel with and allows you to relieve minor pain for various ailments of the back, muscles, bruises, and cramps.
Icy Hot in Pregnancy – Is it Safe?
Unfortunately, there is not a black or white answer on the use of Icy Hot when pregnant. This is due to the limited studies available on the subject. It tends to be a case-by-case recommendation specific to a woman’s obstetrician or gynecologist’s recommendation. Some say it is acceptable to use if not on the belly. Others recommend it be avoided altogether.
It technically is not a restricted product during pregnancy, and Icy Hot labels only suggest contacting a health care professional before use. The confusion regarding its use and safety during pregnancy is that there is the possibility that its ingredients can be absorbed into the bloodstream and passed to the fetus.
The main concern is methyl salicylate. It is best to speak to your physician before use and if there is any concern, look for the formulations of Icy Hot that do not contain methyl salicylate. This compound causes the cooling sensation found in many of the products. It is also in wintergreen oil. Interestingly, wintergreen oil is considered safe for consumption in quantities that are typically found in foods, even when pregnant.
Can You Use Icy Hot While Breastfeeding?
In general, Icy Hot is considered safe to use topically while breastfeeding. It appears on safelists from many obstetricians and pediatricians, as they are asked this question quite often. The risk of absorption into the bloodstream or breast milk is very low and poses minimal risk. If you want to be extra cautious, speak to your physician to make sure they feel it is safe for your specific instance as they know your health and body best.
Icy Hot and Breastfeeding
The question can you use Icy Hot while breastfeeding does not have a definitive answer because of the lack of clinical studies done on the subject. Many medical websites and journals defer these decisions to that of the individual woman and her physician. Because it is technically unknown if the product passes into breast milk, they advise you to always consult your doctor before breastfeeding and using the product in question.
Icy Hot Side Effects
As with any medicated ointment, gel, or patch, following the manufacturer’s directions is crucial to make sure you do not experience any side effects from its use. While Icy Hot is considered a safe product to use, there are possible side effects that, according to WebMD, you should be mindful of. Common side effects can include:
- burning on the application site
More severe side effects can include blistering, swelling, and extreme redness at the application site, as well as increased or unusual pain, nausea or vomiting, and ringing in the ears. There are also infrequent side effects that would require immediate medical attention. These would include trouble breathing, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, and severe dizziness. If you question the likelihood that you may have or would develop an allergic reaction to the ingredients in Icy Hot, it is always best to speak to your doctor first.
Natural Pain-Relieving Products to Try Instead of Icy Hot While Breastfeeding
If looking to avoid using Icy Hot due to some of the chemicals, there are several effective natural pain-relieving creams available on the market today. Below are four of the most popular and powerful.
This natural but powerful pain reliever is full of herbs that include turmeric, willow bark, ginger, rosemary extract, holy basil, Boswellia extract, and alpha-lipoic acids. It was developed by Dr. Reza Ghorbani, the president and medical director for the Advanced Pain Medicine Institute in Washington, DC. Noxicare’s ingredients boast anti-inflammatory properties that help increase blood flow to the muscle nerves. A bonus is that Noxicare is odorless.
Arnica is a medicinal plant that has been used for a long time to treat wounds and bruises on the skin. It can also provide relief for aches and pains and is equivalent to many typical over-the-counter medications. Studies have found that arnica gel can work as well at relieving pain in osteoarthritis patients as ibuprofen.
This is a homeopathic cream that contains twelve natural, diluted active ingredients. They include arnica, chamomile, and echinacea. In combination, they work together to reduce back, joint, and muscle pain. It is even available in an FDA-approved pill form.
Badger Sore Muscle Rub
This organic rub contains extra-virgin olive oil, beeswax, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, lemongrass, and cayenne. The cayenne adds extra heat to help loosen the muscles. You do have to be sure to wash your hands after application, so there is no risk of getting pepper in your eyes if you touch them.
Hopefully, the above information helped you feel a bit more comfortable with the question of can you use Icy Hot while breastfeeding as well as when pregnant. As with anything that may concern you during pregnancy or breastfeeding, you can always reach out to your doctor if you have questions.