Capsaicin, the component that gives heat to chili peppers, is the active ingredient in Capzasin arthritis pain relief cream, according to Drugs.com. Topical capsaicin treats bruises, nerve pain caused by shingles, joint pain associated with arthritis, and muscle sprains and strains. Capsaicin can also relieve pain after surgery and to treat radiation- and chemotherapy-induced mouth sores, adds WebMD. It also treats cluster headaches and psoriasis.Continue Reading
Topical capsaicin cream creates a burning sensation that typically subsides with repeated applications, although covering the affected area with a bandage intensifies the burning, as does exposing the treated area to sunlight and tanning beds. Sweating and warm water can also increase the burning, so avoid bathing and vigorous exercise one hour before and one hour after applying capsaicin. Side effects that require medical attention include blistering, swelling and extreme pain. Keep capsaicin away from the eyes, nose, mouth and genitals, and rinse the thoroughly if contact does occur. Also keep capsaicin away from contact lenses.
The heat produced by capsaicin decreases a chemical in the nerve cells that transmits pain signals, explains Drugs.com. The topical solution can be applied up to four times a day, and symptoms may not improve for up to two weeks.Learn more about Medications & Vitamins