Prince Harry’s highly discussed new book, Spare, has a surprising number of references to his penis. “My penis was a matter of public record,” the prince wrote, according to Page Six, “and indeed some public curiosity.” But one particular tale about his penis, which he referred to as his “todger,” is going viral on TikTok for its Freudian undertones and all-around TMI vibes. In one alarmingly graphic moment, Harry describes having a frostbitten penis at brother Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in April 2011. Based on a friend’s recommendation, though, he supposedly found a home remedy for healing frostbite: Elizabeth Arden cream. What is this miracle product?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty details of Harry’s go-to frostbite cure, let’s discuss why it was even necessary. Apparently, ahead of Will and Kate’s nuptials, Harry — who served in the military from 2005 to 2015 — took a charity trip to the North Pole, where he walked 200 miles with his fellow soldiers. The extreme conditions and arctic temperatures left his body a little worse for wear, causing his penis to be “frostnipped,” “extremely sensitive,” and “borderline traumatized.” Frostnip is an early stage of frostbite, and it is not as severe as more advanced stages, which can lead to lasting tissue damage. Per the National Health Service (NHS), frostnip is categorized by a “pins and needles” sensation. The skin turning red or pale white is also common at this stage.
Since Harry’s injuries were taking a while to heal, he wrote that a friend suggested he use Elizabeth Arden cream to treat his nether regions. Coincidentally, the (unspecified) product was also a favorite of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. “‘My mum used that on her lips. You want me to put that on my todger?’” he recalled in the memoir. “‘It works, Harry. Trust me.’ I found a tube, and the minute I opened it, the smell transported me through time. I felt as if my mum was right there in the room. And I took a smidge, and applied it down there.”
Below, find everything you need to know about Harry’s method for treating frostbite, plus other home remedies that might be worth trying.
Does Elizabeth Arden Cream Help Cure Frostbite?
For some, a mild case of frostbite, like what Harry described, can be aided by frequently moisturizing the area after it’s been rewarmed. Cue the use of the Elizabeth Arden cream. Harry (shockingly) didn’t share too many details about the actual cream used, but one option seems like the obvious choice: Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant ($27). The formula includes moisturizing ingredients like petroleum jelly, salicylic acid, vitamin E, and lanolin. Fun (and non-phallic) fact: The cream was named after an Elizabeth Arden client claimed that applying the cream on her kid’s “grazed knee” cured it “eight hours later.”
The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant features ingredients like petrolatum and vitamin E ingredients to seal in moisture.
For a superficial case of frostbite, Harry’s healing method isn’t a bad one. “We treat frostbite by gently warming the skin and supporting the skin barrier through hydration and protection,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist, associate professor of dermatology, and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells Elite Daily. “Products that form an occlusive barrier on the skin like Vaseline Petroleum Jelly or the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant are great options.”
According to Zeichner, these products “form a seal over the skin to protect it from the environment and allow for an optimal wound healing response from the inside out.” Hence, the miraculous reputation.
However, according to Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care and practicing dermatologist at Modern Dermatology, this cream may not work for everyone. “I like it better than Aquaphor because of the plant oils, but it is still primarily petroleum mixed with a number of common allergens.” (Those allergens include lanolin, fragrance, citral, citronellol, geraniol, limonene, and linalool.)
Although this product can form an occlusive barrier, which can aid healing, the doctor adds that petroleum jelly “cannot be absorbed by the skin.” As Rogers explains, “It just sits on top of it,” so while it prevents moisture loss, it doesn’t actively restore it.
Elizabeth Arden has not directly responded to Harry’s unexpected shoutout, but it seems like the brand did take the opportunity to promote another product in their skin care lineup. “You’ve heard all the buzz about plumping Hyaluronic Acid, but did you know it’s extremely helpful during the colder months ❄️ ? The trick is to apply it to damp skin—HA pulls the moisture 💧 from the environment into the skin,” the company tweeted on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
What Are The Best Home Remedies For Frostbite?
Treatment for frostbite depends on the severity. For more extreme cases, a visit to the doctor or emergency room is necessary. For frostnip, however, home remedies like ointments can usually come in handy.
“The treatment for frostbite is multifold including rewarming, pain medication, dead tissue debridement (removal), antibiotics, and wound care,” Rogers says. Pain management with an over-the-counter pain reliever can also be helpful.
According to Rogers, the benefit of ointment is that it keeps the wound moist, which can expedite healing. She recommends using a more “powerful humectant to pull water back into the skin,” rather than just lying on top of it. Specifically, products with glycerin — which pulls moisture from the top layer of the skin into the deeper levels — are a good choice.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, board-certified dermatologist, associate professor of dermatology, and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care and practicing dermatologist at Modern Dermatology