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Ben Gay, Icy Hot, Other Topical Pain Relievers Can Cause Burns

Filed September 17th, 2012 Cynthia Diaz-Shephard

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration are warning that the popular pain relievers Icy Hot and Bengay are associated with a rare risk of burns.

The creams, lotions, and patches have been linked to 43 cases of burns on the application site, according to an FDA safety announcement. The cases were identified in a search of the FDA’s adverse event reporting system and medical literature.

Most of the second- and third-degree burns occurred with the use of menthol-containing products as the single active ingredient in or having both menthol and methyl salicylate.
Capsaicin-containing products were only responsible for a small number of burns.

“When applied to the skin, the products produce a local sensation of warmth or coolness; they should not cause pain or skin damage,” the FDA said in the announcement.
The agency said that consumers who experience pain, swelling, or blistering of the skin should stop using the products immediately.

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