What Are the Uses of Capsaicin Gel?

Meshell Powell

Capsaicin gel is a topical over-the-counter medication used to treat a variety of painful conditions affecting the muscles, joints, and nerves. Muscle strains or sprains and arthritis are commonly treated with capsaicin gel. In some cases, nerve pain, especially pain associated with a medical condition known as trigeminal neuralgia, may be treated with this medication as well. Side effects may include redness or burning at the application site, so caution should be exercised when using this type of topical pain reliever. Any questions or concerns about the use of capsaicin gel on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Peppers, a source of capsaicin.
Peppers, a source of capsaicin.

Muscle pain is frequently treated with topical preparations such as capsaicin gel. Muscle strains or sprains often respond favorably to this type of treatment. Those with medical conditions that are known to cause chronic muscle pain, such as fibromyalgia or lupus, may benefit from the use of this type of topical medication.

Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia may include extreme facial pain.
Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia may include extreme facial pain.

Arthritis is a medical term used to describe a group of disorders that cause pain and inflammation of various joints of the body. Capsaicin gel can be helpful in relieving pain and discomfort for many who suffer from this type of disease process. Some forms of nerve pain may also respond to treatment with capsaicin gel. This is particularly true for those with a condition known as trigeminal neuralgia, a disorder that can cause excruciating facial pain.

There are some important precautions that need to be taken when using capsaicin gel. This product is a derivative of chili peppers, so it can have many of the same properties. Skin irritation and burning are common and are usually mild, although the discomfort may become severe. Products containing capsaicin should never be used on broken skin or used near sensitive areas of the body such as the eyes or genitals.

It should be noted that the use of capsaicin gel may not always provide immediate results. In fact, it may take several weeks of continued usage before any noticeable pain relief takes place. Those who have ever experienced an allergic reaction to capsaicin, peppers, or other food items may not be able to use this product. Even though this product can be purchased without a prescription, a doctor should be consulted with any specific questions about the various uses of the gel or whether capsaicin usage is safe in an individual situation.

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