Effect of ThermaCare HeatWraps and Icy Hot Cream/Patches on Skin and Quadriceps Muscle Temperature and Blood Flow
Written by Editor   
Saturday, April 16, 2016 01:00 PM
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of over-the-counter treatments—ThermaCare HeatWraps (chemical reaction to produce heat above the skin), Icy Hot Patch, and Icy Hot Cream (topically applied menthol)—on skin and deep tissue temperature. ThermaCare HeatWraps provided the greatest degree of tissue warming and increase in tissue blood flow.
On each of 3 days, a ThermaCare HeatWrap, Icy Hot Cream, or Icy Hot Patch was applied randomly over the quadriceps muscle in 15 healthy volunteers with normal body mass. Skin and muscle temperature and blood flow were measured by laser flowmetry every 15 minutes for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, mean temperature decreased by 2.1°C  in skin and 1.0°C in muscle with Icy Hot Cream. Icy Hot Patch decreased skin and muscle temperature by 1.7°C  and 1.3°C, respectively. In contrast, ThermaCare raised skin and muscle temperature by 7.8°C and 2.7°C, respectively; both were significantly warmer with ThermaCare vs either Icy Hot product. Icy Hot products produced a net decrease in skin blood flow. Muscle blood flow decreased with the Patch. After a period of fluctuations, Icy Hot Cream produced a net increase vs baseline of 7.0 flux. ThermaCare more than doubled blood flow in skin and muscle.

Source:  http://www.journalchiromed.com/article/S1556-3707(16)00003-1/abstract?rss=yes