More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, including me, but very little is known about how best to treat us (though this would be a good place to start). Since I was diagnosed with chronic migraines in middle school, and in the some 15-odd years since then, I’ve tried everything, including Botox three times before the age of 25. During my junior year of college, while studying abroad in the U.K., I found something approximating a remedy — Boots menthol-infused patches that are meant to be worn across the forehead. They were so life-changing, I returned to the U.S. with a small stash.
As you can imagine, they ran out quickly, and for a while, I enlisted the help of friends traveling abroad to keep my supply stocked. Determined to find a solution on this side of the ocean, I decided to try the WellPatch Migraine & Headache Patches I spotted on Amazon.
Let me be frank: A minty-cool patch does not get rid of a migraine, but for the up-to-12 hours it is designed to stay in place, it provides the closest thing to relief that you can find without being completely free of migraines. When I am in my bed, trying to fall asleep, it is the very first thing I reach for.
Think of it as an ice pack for the 21st century, though not too cold in the brain-freeze way ice packs can be. They stay put, hands-free, and don’t need to be wrapped in soggy paper towels. Infused with lavender oil and menthol, they’re soothing enough to lull me into slumber. And unlike copious amounts of Excedrin Migraine (the only other at-home pain relief I’ve got, and which is, incidentally, better than any prescription I’ve ever tried), overuse won’t cause stomach issues. They’re so effective, I order them in Costco-size amounts — 24 at a time. I’d be terrified of life without them.
Other headache-relieving cold remedies
Strat associate editor (and fellow migraine sufferer) Katy Schneider loves this ice roller: “This roller stays cold for hours; it has a handle, so your hand doesn’t freeze holding it to your forehead; and, as a fringe benefit, it claims to revitalize your face and reduce puffiness under your eyes.”
Writer Hilary Reid adores the migraine-easing abilities of the cold mask: “The mask lived up to its DIY-spa promise — it diminishes puffy eyes immediately. I keep the eye mask in the freezer, and take it out just before I want to use it. But it’s also proven far more useful than I ever imagined. The flexible form lends itself to anything from icing an oncoming zit to soothing a migraine.”
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