What is Salonpas? Ingredients, Benefits, and Side Effects

By Sophia Monroe Updated 10/14/2020

Salonpas is a line of FDA-approved, over-the-counter topical pain relief products by Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical.

Salonpas was first introduced in 1934 and is one of the oldest external pain relief brands dominating the market.

It is useful in controlling joint and muscle pain associated with:

  • Arthritis
  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Bruises
  • Sports injuries

Per the product label, Salonpas can provide temporary relief from mild to moderate pain for around 8 to 12 hours. It works well on:

  • Neck pain
  • Backache
  • Sore shoulders
  • Knee pain
  • Elbow and wrist pain
  • Stiff thighs, hips, legs, and shins

Salonpas is available in multiple forms, including pain patch, spray, roll-on, gel, and cream.

The effectiveness of Salonpas pain relief technology has been tested in clinical trials involving more than 800 patients.


The main active ingredients in Salonpas include the following:


Research [1] shows that menthol can relieve pain by almost 95%. It has an instant pain controlling effect as it acts as a counterirritant by creating a cooling sensation that helps mask pain.

Methyl Salicylate

This compound soothes inflammation by momentarily desensitizing the nerve receptors. A clinical study [2] found that a single 8-hour application of a pain patch containing methyl salicylate provides significant relief to patients with lower backache.


According to medical research [3], applying camphor on the skin can help reduce pain and inflammation in the targeted area. The FDA approves the use of camphor [4] as a topical treatment for mild arthritic pain.


  • For external use only
  • Use only as directed (see specific product packing for details)
  • If prone to allergic reaction from aspirin or salicylates, consult a doctor before use
  • Do not use on wounds or damaged skin, or with a heating pad
  • Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes
  • Do not bandage tightly after application
  • Stop use and consult a physician if:

             o   Rash, itching, or excessive irritation develops

             o   Symptoms clear up and occur again within a few days

  • Ask a doctor before using Salonpas if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not suitable for children under 12 years of age


Based on sales percentage, Salonpas is said to be the world’s No. 1 over-the-counter topical pain relief brand.

Want to learn more about Salonpas pain relief technology?

Check out our detailed Salonpas review. Click here
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