Capsaicin is a substance found in chili peppers that gives them their “heat,” and it does double-duty as a pain reliever. While it’s hard to believe that something that scorches your mouth can soothe pain, the reality is that capsaicin is an effective topical analgesic.
Researchers believe that capsaicin works by stimulating nerve receptors. Repeated applications are believed to deplete the chemical that transmits pain and prevent the nerve receptors from processing pain signals for extended periods of time. And that’s good news if you experience pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle sprains, migraines, or shingles. Capsaicin may also be used to alleviate, or at least, lessen the pain from diabetic neuropathy, a common diabetes complication that typically affects nerves in the legs and feet. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include numbness, tingling, burning, and pain.
Capzasin-HP is a “high potency” topical analgesic cream that contains 0.1% capsaicin. While it’s intended for relieving the pain of arthritis, it can provide quick relief from neuropathy pain, as well. In fact, studies show that capsaicin can be effective in temporarily lessening neuropathy pain when applied several times a day.
Before using Capzaicin-HP creme for the first time, read the directions carefully, and avoid getting the cream near your eyes, nose, and mouth. Also, never apply Capzasin-HP to a wound or broken skin. For the best results, you will likely need to apply Capzasin-HP three to four times daily. Check with your provider if your pain worsens, if your skin turns red, or if any new symptoms appear.