Pros: Simple to use, works effectively.
Cons: Would prefer a cleaner storage option.
Between my job as a programmer, and my hobby as an Epinionator, I spend way too many hours on the computer. Unfortunately, this means that I sometimes suffer from pain in my wrist, on the back of my hand, and in my fingers. Especially on my right hand, the one that uses the mouse or the laptop's pointer device. I've been to doctors who really don't have much to say about the pain. They don't find anything physically wrong, they say it's simply "over use" or "muscle fatigue".
I have tried many over the counter pain remedies, but my favorite by far is the Salonpas patch.
How do you use it?
Salonpas patches come in two sizes. The one I use is 2.56" by 1.65". It's a perfect size to place across the back of my hand, or over my wrist. Sometimes I cut a strip to wrap around my finger. The larger size (5.12" ? 3.31") would be better for back pain, or leg pain, but I've never used that size, so my review is only for the smaller size.
Inside the cardboard box, there are removable plastic sleeves. Inside each sleeve are pairs of patches attached to backing material. So if you remove one item from the sleeve, you are actually removing two patches - one on each side of the material. Don't make a mistake and throw the second one away! I wish the plastic sleeves were resealable, but they are not. Even though the sticky side, the side that will touch my skin, is against the backing material, I don't like the fact that the other side is exposed. In order to keep the patches clean, I prefer to place them in ziplock plastic bags.
It's a simple matter to peel the patch from its backing, and stick it on your skin. The adhesive is strong. Although the corners tend to curl up, the main portion of the patch stays put even as I move my hand, and even if it gets wet. However, it is easy to remove, and doesn't leave any glue behind. As opposed to band-aids and other medical adhesives, this one does not irritate my skin at all. No redness, no itchiness! It has a slight menthol odor which I actually like. Unfortunately, the patch is bright white. I would prefer more of a skin-tone so it's less obvious when you're wearing it.
These are not designed for young kids. Adults and children over 12 can wear each patch up to 8 hours. Three times a day, for up to seven days. They must not be placed in or near the mouth or the eyes.
So what's in it, and how does it work?
There are four active ingredients: Methyl Salicylate, Menthol, Camphor, and Tocopherol Acetate. Do I know what these are? Nope. But I know that shortly after applying the patch, the pain is relieved. There is a slight warming effect, but not a harsh burning which I sometimes experience from ointments that are designed to really heat the area. This is just a small warming effect, and a pleasant overall relief of the pain.
I find wearing one patch during the day while I'm at work, then another one overnight, for one or two days typically provides all the relief I need. I'm very pleased to find a product that works so well, and is so simple to use. They come in boxes of 20, 40, or 120. They sell them all over the place - at drug stores, grocery stores, and large retail stores. You can also purchase them online. I bought 40 patches for about $8. I highly recommend these patches for minor joint and muscle pain.