What is Capsaicin?

Naturally found in peppers, capsaicin is the compound that makes peppers spicy and hot to the taste. When used as a topical cream, capsaicin has been found to cause the pain receptors in the body to have a heightened and then decreased response, which will in effect lower pain levels. While pain initially may increase due to the capsaicin’s irritant compound, within a few uses, pain levels will begin to decrease.

Capsaicin’s effectiveness has only been noted with continuous use over a course of weeks, and so it is recommended that, should you decide to use capsaicin as a pain relieving tool, you apply it for consecutive weeks to see results.

Types of Capsaicin

Capsaicin can be found in many forms, but the most popular are as a lotion, cream, or in a solid, deodorant-like stick. Capsaicin taken orally may also produce the same kind of pain relief as when applied directly to the skin.
It is important to wash your hands when using capsaicin cream as it can irritate other areas of the body. Special care should be taken not to touch the eyes or nose either, as it will cause an unpleasant burning sensation.

Conditions Related To Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a type of topical treatment for pain conditions, such as arthritis or cluster headaches. It can alleviate pain after surgery and help with neuralgia or painful conditions of the skin such as psoriasis.

Conclusion

There are very few safety concerns with the use of capsaicin. Most of them involve the safe handling of the medication to avoid contact with sensitive areas. Itching may occur during the treatments but this usually subsides. Doctors recommend starting with smaller doses and gradually increasing the amount as your body gets used to the sensation.

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