By Health writer
msnbc.com
updated 2/11/2008 6:00:00 PM ET 2008-02-11T23:00:00

More than 200 people have reported getting first, second and third degree burns and other skin irritations from Icy Hot Heat Therapy products, leading manufacturer Chattem, Inc. to order a recall.

Icy Hot Heat Therapy is a self-heating disposable patch designed to soothe muscular and joint pain. The following Icy Hot Heat Therapy products are being recalled:

  • Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat – Back
  • Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat – Arm, Neck and Leg
  • Icy Hot Heat Therapy Air Activated Heat – Arm, Neck, and Leg

Some of the recalled products were samples of the Icy Hot that were issued with a promotional package of the 3 oz. size of Aspercreme Pain Relieving Crème.

Catherine Baker, a spokeswoman for Chattem, said she couldn’t elaborate on exactly how people were getting burned from Icy Hot, but speculated that it could be from keeping the pain reliever on for too long. (The label warns against using Icy Hot for more than eight hours in any 24-hour period.)

Other warnings advise against using the product while sleeping, or on thin, damaged skin or open wounds. Elderly people with more sensitive skin are at a greater risk of getting burned from Icy Hot.

At least some of those injuries happened to people who used the product incorrectly, said Baker.

After receiving the first spate of injury reports in September, the company expanded the warning label to include specific instructions for people 55 and older, whose sensitive skin might be better protected by applying the patch to their clothing instead of directly to their skin.

“Because we are unsure if it is misuse or not, we’re going to study that before we make the decision to put the product back on the market or not,” Baker says.

If you’ve purchased one of the recalled products, it can be exchanged for a full refund by calling Chattem’s Consumer Affairs Department at 1-877-742-6275.

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