Karen says she has been using heat treatment patches since she was about 15 years old (she is 38 now) to relieve pain caused by a bad back. She has chronic pain associated with ruptured discs and relies on the patches to help when her back is particularly painful. In December 2007, Karen put on an Icy Hot Heat Therapy Patch—it didn't take long for her to realize something was wrong.
"Less than an hour later [after putting the patch on], I made my husband take the patch off me. It felt like there were tiny little needles sticking into my back. The area blistered right away. I still have the scars from it, all the way across my lower back. The blisters were about the size of a nickel and there were four of them across my lower back.
"I couldn't put anything on the blisters for the pain. To this day, when certain things rub that area, it just doesn't feel right. I had a doctor look at my back because it felt like there was something sticking into my skin.
"It was painful for at least a month and a half after I used the patch. It hurt to sit and bend and lying on my back was difficult. I have a salon and I sell real estate. It was difficult for me to work and wear clothes that were professional. Even wearing jeans sometimes is painful because of the way the jeans sit--they rub that area on my back."
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"I don't think it was labeled that it [the heat therapy patch] could burn your skin like that," Karen says. "It's pretty scary that you can have permanent scars from something you can buy over the counter. I will never ever buy their product line again. I'm scared to death of it."
Although the patches have been recalled, some customers have still been able to purchase the patches at local pharmacies. If you have any unused Icy Hot Heat Therapy Patches, do not use them. People are now investigating a possible lawsuit against Chattem, alleging they were seriously injured by the company's Icy Hot Heat Therapy Patches. If you or someone you love suffered such an injury, you may be eligible to join a lawsuit. Contact a lawyer to discuss your options.