Definition of counterirritant in English:


See synonyms for counterirritant on


  • Something such as heat or an ointment that is used to produce surface irritation of the skin, thereby counteracting underlying pain or discomfort.

    ‘Distraction could be provided by rubbing the patient with counterirritants such as stinging nettles.’
    • ‘It is one of the most commonly used counterirritants for temporary relief of pain.’
    • ‘Most other pain creams contain counterirritants which bring about a mild to extreme burning sensation which distracts the mind from the pain temporarily.’
    • ‘It acts as a counterirritant that stimulates nerve endings, helping to reduce the number of pain messages that reach the brain.’
    • ‘Most counterirritants use heat or cold to ‘distract’ the brain from recognizing the original pain source.’



/ˌkoun(t)ərˈirəd(ə)nt/ /ˌkaʊn(t)ərˈɪrəd(ə)nt/