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Massaging rubbing alcohol into the skin is a popular remedy for sports injuries and areas of inflammation. While massaging the skin with oil increases blood flow, massage with rubbing alcohol causes blood vessels to constrict and decreases fluid accumulation and inflammation.

History of Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, was discovered by Pierre Berthelot in the 1860's and is used widely today in cleaning products, drugs, antifreeze, beauty products and solvents.

Types of Rubbing Alcohol

It is important when using rubbing alcohol for massage to use one that is 70% or higher alcohol by volume, not 70-proof. 70-proof rubbing alcohol is actually only 35% alcohol.

How to Give a Rubbing-Alcohol Massage

To use rubbing alcohol to give a massage, pour a small amount of alcohol on your hands and massage into the skin until the alcohol has dissolved. The rubbing alcohol will provide an intense cooling sensation and will have a strong smell.

Do not use on infants, as the rubbing alcohol could lower their core temperature and get into the bloodstream. Infants do not have the ability to shiver, so they can only warm their bodies back up by burning fat.