When nerves in your body are damaged, it’s called neuropathy. This condition can lead to chronic pain. If you experience numbness, burning, or tingling in your hands or feet, it’s called peripheral neuropathy. Occurs on parts of the body that are far from the center (peripheral), such as the extremities.
Many diseases can cause neuropathic pain. The most common one is diabetes.
There are several ways to treat neuropathy. You may take a pill by mouth. You can also inject some medicines to relieve inflammation. These are called steroid injections or “nerve blocks.”
Topical creams made with pain-relieving substances can be used to treat neuropathy. The most common ingredients are capsaicin and lidocaine. You can apply the cream to the painful areas of your body.
Local treatment of neuropathy will be discussed here. You will learn what to look for when buying these products. You will also learn how to use the cream properly.
How to Treat Neuralgia
Topical cream for neuropathy pain
Apply a topical cream to the injured body area. The drug in the product is absorbed through the skin.
There are two topical medications used to treat neuropathy: pain relief creams and narcotic creams. Everyone works in a different way.
Somatic and Visceral Pain
the word”Analgesics” means pain relief. You don’t need a doctor’s prescription to use pain relief cream.
Many of these products contain a substance called capsaicin. It comes from pepper seeds. The substance seems to make it harder for nerve cells in your body to send pain signals to your brain.
If you apply a cream containing capsaicin to the injured body part, it may relieve some pain.
Understanding Pain Gate Control Theory
One anesthetic is a medicine that makes you feel no pain. This is called “numbness”. A numbing cream helps relieve pain because it numbs the rubbed area of skin.
Lidocaine is the drug in most anesthetic creams. When you apply the cream, lidocaine stops the nerves in that part of your body from sending pain signals to the brain.
You can also get a patch that contains lidocaine. You wear the patch on the injured body part.
If you need more help with your pain, you can get prescription numbing creams and patches from your doctor. One is called EMLA. It works quickly – usually within an hour of wearing it.
There are two types of creams that can be used to treat nerve pain. One way is to block your nerves from sending pain signals. The other numbs your skin so you don’t feel pain.
How Pain Relief Patches Work
Capsaicin is a substance in peppers. It can be used to treat a variety of pains. You can use products containing capsaicin for back pain, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, shingles, and tendonitis.
Some studies have looked at whether capsaicin can help people with neuropathy. A 2012 review showed that a topical cream containing 0.075% capsaicin could help some people with nerve pain after surgery. The cream has also helped some people with diabetic neuropathy.
How to manage pain after surgery
In 2017, researchers looked at studies testing capsaicin products. People in the study had conditions that cause pain, such as HIV neuropathy, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and postherpetic neuralgia.
A small number of people in these studies told the researchers that their pain “greatly or very” improved after they used the capsaicin-rich cream.
However, people in other studies did not find the cream helpful. Because research is mixed, we can’t say for sure that capsaicin will help everyone with neuralgia.
That said, if other treatments for neuropathy don’t work, some people may benefit from at least trying a capsaicin cream.
Side effects of topical capsaicin
You can buy some over-the-counter (OTC) capsaicin creams at your local pharmacy. Here are some examples:
Most OTC products contain only small amounts of capsaicin. If you need a stronger product, you must get a prescription from your doctor.
Qutenza is a high-dose capsaicin product commonly prescribed for people with diabetic neuropathy in the feet.
Here are some important things you need to know before applying capsaicin cream:
- Keep cream away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you have cream in your eyes, it can be very irritating.
- Do not apply the cream to open wounds, cuts, or broken skin.
- Store cream in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets.
Capsaicin is a substance found in peppers. It stops your nerves from sending pain signals. You can get over-the-counter creams or as a doctor’s prescription.
Lidocaine blocks pain signals in your body. Creams and ointments that contain lidocaine can cause you to lose sensation where you apply them. This is also known as “numbing” the area.
You can use lidocaine products on wounds such as scrapes, insect bites, and minor burns.
Lidocaine may help relieve nerve pain. A 2017 study found that topical lidocaine therapy can help people with peripheral neuropathic pain who are unable to take oral medications or who have had an adverse reaction to other treatments.
how your nervous system works
You can buy some products that contain lidocaine over-the-counter (OTC) at your local pharmacy. Here are some examples:
- Senate c
For some injuries, OTC creams may not be enough. If you need stronger pain relief, your doctor can prescribe a product with more lidocaine. EMLA is a common prescription lidocaine cream. It will numb your skin within an hour of wearing it.
Most common cause of chronic pain
You may have lidocaine cream side effects, including:
- Allergic reactions such as rashes
- Difficulty breathing
- dizziness and drowsiness
- fever and chills
There are also some safety tips to keep in mind when using lidocaine cream:
- Products containing lidocaine can numb the parts of your body where you use them. If you can’t feel an area of your body, you could accidentally injure it without knowing it.
- Do not apply lidocaine cream to any area of the skin that has an open wound, cut, or pain.
Creams containing lidocaine can numb your skin. If you can’t feel that part of your body, you won’t feel pain. Lidocaine is found in many over-the-counter products, but you can get a stronger prescription if needed.
Be careful if you use products that contain lidocaine. If you can’t feel a part of your body, you could be hurting without knowing it.
What happens if you use too much lidocaine?
Menthol is a chemical that occurs naturally in the peppermint plant. It can also be made in a laboratory. Menthol imparts a cool and refreshing feel to mint gum or mouthwash.
Skin creams made with menthol can relieve mild pain. One study found that topical menthol products could help those experiencing nerve pain from chemotherapy. In fact, many major cancer centers recommend menthol creams to treat neuropathy in cancer patients.
Menthol creams have several benefits: they work well and quickly; they don’t cost much; and people get them easily.
You can buy some creams that contain menthol at your local pharmacy. They are sold over the counter, which means you don’t need a doctor’s prescription. Here are some examples:
- small absorbent
- Ben Gai
Your doctor can also prescribe a cream containing menthol and other pain relievers.
DicloStream is a topical cream with Diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and menthol. People commonly use this ointment for pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. Research has shown that DicloStream can also treat neuropathic pain.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), products that contain large amounts of menthol can cause burns. In some cases (second or third degree) burns can be severe.
Use with caution if your product contains more than 3% menthol (either as the sole ingredient or in combination with other ingredients such as methyl salicylate).
Always consult your doctor before using any type of topical pain treatment.
Menthol is a chemical in the peppermint plant. That’s the “clean” feel of a peppermint mouthwash. Creams containing menthol may help relieve some nerve pains. You can buy some over-the-counter medicines or ask your doctor to give you a prescription. Some creams that contain menthol also contain other pain relievers.
You need to be careful if you use a product that contains a lot of menthol (over 3%). It can cause burns.
There are other natural substances that may help relieve neuropathy pain. Many herbal remedies can improve inflammation. They are said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Some herbal products are available over the counter at your local pharmacy or health store. Here are some examples:
- biological freezing
A 2018 study review found that common plants may help fight inflammation, including:
- Artemisia annua
Natural Pain Relief Herbs
Some of these plants may help with neuropathic pain because of their other properties. For example, they might:
- Contains substances that prevent cell damage (antioxidants)
- Anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatory)
- Helps prevent cell death (anti-apoptosis)
- Protects the structures of the brain and nervous system (neuroprotection)
You can find many herbal pain relievers at your pharmacy or health store. However, be sure to consult your doctor before using herbal products. Some may interact with medications you may already be taking, or may not be safe to use if you have certain medical conditions.
Products containing menthol, capsaicin, and lidocaine work in different ways to block nerve signals and relieve pain. Creams and ointments can be applied directly to the injured skin area and begin to work quickly.
These products are safe and may work, but be careful. Using too much menthol-containing products can cause burns. Lidocaine can numb your skin, so you may hurt yourself without feeling it. If you get capsaicin in your eyes, it can be very irritating.
How to Cope with Breakthrough Pain
Pain from neuropathy can make your daily life difficult, if not impossible. However, there are ways to treat nerve pain.
Creams and ointments are an easy, low-cost way to treat neuropathy. While you can buy many of these products over the counter, they may not be enough to help you manage your pain. You can discuss prescription options with your doctor.
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