Aspirin tablets tearing up your stomach? Don’t worry, there’s always another way. Besides taking aspirin by mouth, you can also absorb it through your skin in the form of methyl salicylate ointment, wintergreen oil and many other forms. Unlike tablets though (where it’s clear that taking more than 20 in a day, or two every four hours, is trouble), ointment sneaks up on you fast. It’s immediately absorbed the minute you slather it on, so it relieves pain fast, but it also reaches high levels of absorbency just as quickly. So while ointments may be a friend to your tummy, apply only as directed and don’t slather it on like it’s banana-scented SPF.

MORE: Alternative Pain Relief