Pain Relief - How Capsicum Plasters Work
Capsicum plaster, also known as chili pepper patches or hot pepper patches, provides a unique form of drug-free pain relief. They work by using the active ingredient capsaicin found naturally in hot peppers. Here’s an overview of how these medicated plasters help alleviate pain:
What’s in Capsicum Plasters
- Capsaicin - This is what gives chili peppers their heat and therapeutic effects for pain relief. It works by depleting substance P, a neurotransmitter that communicates pain signals.
- Adhesives - The patch contains adhesives that allow it to stick firmly to the skin and hold the capsicum plaster in place. Common adhesives used include acrylics, resins, and polymers.
- Backing material – Paper, cloth, or plastic backings support the adhesive and capsicum plaster. This provides structure so the patch stays intact on the skin.
How Do Capsicum Plasters Relieve Pain?
Capsicum plasters relieve pain in two key ways:
1. Counterirritation Effect
- Applying something irritating like capsaicin tricks the body into feeling heat and irritation instead of the underlying pain.
2. Depletes Substance P
- With repeated use, capsaicin wears down substance P which is needed to transmit pain signals to the brain. This reduces the ability to feel pain in that area.
When to Use Capsicum Plasters
Capsicum plasters can provide safe, natural pain relief for:
- Back, neck, shoulder, and muscle pain
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Sports injuries and strains
Apply the patch to clean dry skin on the area that hurts. The warming sensation can last up to 8 hours, providing prolonged pain relief. Continue using the capsicum plaster daily as needed until the pain subsides.