Many of us get sore muscles and aches from time to time. Sometimes, the pain is too disturbing and unbearable. Getting the right medication can help to soothe the pain so that you can continue with your activities. In this article, we will see the comparison between two popular pain relief creams, Biofreeze vs Icy Hot. Which one is better?
Read on below to learn about:
– How Biofreeze and Icy Hot are similar
– The differences in how Biofreeze vs Icy Hot work
– Which pain relief cream that is more comfortable to use
– Which product that lasts longer and is more effective
– Which one that is generally more recommended for you
What They Have In Common
First of all, both Biofreeze and Icy Hot are suitable for treating localized muscle or joint pain. They are suitable for a wide range of pain, from mild to severe. As topical creams, both Biofreeze and Icy Hot can be applied directly onto the area that experiences the pain.
The next similarity of Biofreeze vs Icy Hot is menthol. Both creams use menthol as an active ingredient. In an optimal amount, menthol can penetrate through the skin into the muscle to provide instant yet temporary pain relief.
But, how is it possible for this ingredient to provide such pain relief? Menthol is effective for the purpose because it can alter the brain’s perception of pain. It does so by interacting with the nerve fibers under the skin, stimulating a cool sensation, so that the nerve system focuses on the cool sensation rather than the pain.
How They Work
Although both Biofreeze and Icy Hot use menthol, they still have several other ingredients. As the effect, these two creams actually work a little differently from each other.
Biofreeze is a topical analgesic that mainly relies on the cooling effect. It is like a cold therapy. Applying Biofreeze to your sore muscle is pretty much like applying some ice to the area. It is effective and efficient for minor muscle pain and joint pain. However, unlike applying ice, Biofreeze can be combined with other methods for pain relief, such as physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic therapy.
Due to the cooling effect, Biofreeze will narrow the blood vessels and reduce the blood flow in the affected area. This is useful for preventing or treating swelling. However, Biofreeze does not use methyl salicylate. So, it is safe and gentle on the skin. It is very unlikely to irritate the skin. It is also suitable for people with sensitive skin.
On the other hand, Icy Hot is a topical pain relief cream that creates a cooling sensation followed by a warming sensation. That is pretty much why the product is named “Icy Hot” – two words that seem to be contradictory to each other. This is possible because Icy Hot uses menthol and methyl salicylate.
Icy Hot will first create a cooling sensation when applied on the skin. It reduces the pain by blocking the pain signal that is sent from the nerves to the brain. Meanwhile, the methyl salicylate content will gradually create a warming sensation by increasing the blood flow in the affected area. This is not good if there is a risk of swelling, but this is good if you just want to relax your tired muscle.
Unfortunately, methyl salicylate is a potentially irritating ingredient. It may cause skin irritation if applied excessively. It is not suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Ease of Use
Biofreeze is only available in 4-oz tubes. Well, this is not a problem because the tube is small and easy to carry around. However, some people may prefer to use sprays, patches, sticks, or sleeves. With Biofreeze, you have to use both of your hands to apply the cream, and at least one of your hands will get in contact with the cream.
Nevertheless, Biofreeze is very convenient because it does not cause any strong scent. Many other pain relief creams and gels create strong scents when used, so the entire room will know if you are using something. Biofreeze doesn’t have a strong lingering scent, so people won’t be aware when you are using it.
The nice thing about Icy Hot is that it is available in many forms. It is available as cream, spray, stick, patch, and sleeve applications. So, you can easily choose a suitable form depending on your personal preference and the situation. Unfortunately, Icy Hot tends to create a noticeable scent when used. The scent isn’t bad, but it will let people know that you are having muscle or joint pain.
Duration and Effectiveness
Biofreeze vs Icy Hot may give different results, depending on the case. If you want to get pain relief and also to prevent swelling, Biofreeze will give better results. This is because of the cooling effect mentioned above.
Biofreeze is generally better than Icy Hot in terms of duration. Biofreeze seems to give pain relief a little faster. More importantly, it has a longer duration. It can keep you pain-free for a longer period of time before needing to be re-applied.
On the other hand, Icy Hot is better in relaxing the muscle. If you have some sore muscles after a long day at work, this is a great solution. However, Icy Hot tends to wear off quickly, so you may need to re-apply the cream more frequently to keep the pain away.
As usual, you have to read the ingredients and label of a product before you use it. Make sure that you are not allergic to any of the components. You should follow the product as instructed by the label or as instructed by your doctor.
If this is the first time you are using the pain relief cream, you should try to apply the product on a small skin area before applying to the whole affected area. This is to see how your body reacts to the medication, in case that you have an allergy that you are not aware about.
You should not use Biofreeze or Icy Hot within an hour before or after taking a shower or bath. You should not use these products on wounds or broken, damaged, or irritated skin. If your pain doesn’t improve within a week, or if you develop a fever or skin rashes, you must consult with your doctor.
Biofreeze vs Icy Hot
- Biofreeze Pain Reliever is the #1 clinically used and recommended topical analgesic of hands-on healthcare professionals and for best results use in combination with their care (find one in your area on the Biofreeze website)
- Chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, podiatrists and athletic trainers use Biofreeze to provide immediate relief from many common conditions such as arthritis and other causes of muscle and joint pain
- Biofreeze applies easily and penetrates quickly to relieve aches and pains related to sore muscles and joints, sprains, strains and bruises and can be applied to body parts such as the hand, wrist, elbow, foot, ankle, knee, hip, back, neck and shoulders
- This legendary pain relief formula is clinical research-proven, fast acting and long lasting, completely free of parabens and propylene glycol, made with USP grade ingredients, and available in both original green and dye-free versions
- The 4 Ounce Gel Tube is particularly well-suited for massage applications on larger muscle areas that benefit from the hands-on approach
- MAXIMUM STRENGTH LIDOCAINE CREAM: Pain relief for tough pain with Lidocaine, Icy Hot Lidocaine temporarily relieves & numbs minor pain. It's great for aching or sore backs, necks, shoulders, and joints. Lidocaine helps numb the area for maximum relief.
- TOPICAL PAIN RELIEF: Our creams & patches deliver icy coolness to dull the pain & relaxing heat to help relieve tense muscles. With Icy Hot, you'll get fast, long lasting relief that helps reduce pain from muscle aches, arthritis, joint pain, & cramps.
- ICY HOT PAIN RELIEF: Icy Hot carries a variety of pain relieving solutions, from creams, lotions, balms, and gels to sprays, patches, & SmartRelief TENS Therapy products. From back pain to knee injuries to arthritis, our products can help ease your pain.
- A WELL ROUNDED MEDICINE CABINET: When you or a family member is in pain, sick, hurt, or just generally feeling under the weather, you don’t want to run to the pharmacy. A well stocked home medicine cabinet helps ensure relief is at hand when you need it.
- COMPARE TO OTHER PAIN RELIEF: Compare to products from brands like UberNumb, Biofreeze, Numbify, Alocane, Lidocaine Plus, Neosporin, Penetrex, Ebanel, Ted's Pain Cream, Boiron, Sombra, Bengay, Corganics, Topircin, Penetrex, Barox, Tiger Balm & Fibro Cream.
Between these two products, Biofreeze is generally more recommended. It is more convenient to use, as it does not cause any strong lingering smell. It lasts longer, and it does a better job in pain relief and preventing swelling.