A topical pain relief cream is a safe and non-invasive alternative to pain pills. A skilled pharmacist can tailor unique compounded creams to your specific symptoms. Over-the-counter (OTC) topical analgesics often contain menthol or camphor to cool the skin.
When you use a topical pain relief cream, it is applied directly to the skin. When you swallow a pill, it must pass through the digestive system to be absorbed into your bloodstream. This process can take thirty or forty minutes to feel the effects of your medication. This can be dangerous for some people with gastrointestinal conditions. Also, long-term use of pain pills can cause damage to your stomach lining.
Topical pain relief creams are made at a compounding pharmacy. They are created to treat a specific condition or injury and can be customized to your needs. This allows them to work more efficiently than generic over-the-counter products. These compounded topical creams have not undergone the same rigorous testing and quality control as FDA-approved medications. This lack of oversight may put the public at risk for potential harm.
Unlike pills that you swallow, topical pain relief creams are applied directly to the skin. This allows them to enter the bloodstream much slower and is not absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract. Most rub-on treatments contain an anti-inflammatory such as methyl salicylate, which gives Wintergreen flavor and provides a counter-irritant effect when applied to the skin. Some also include capsaicin, which makes chili peppers feel hot on your tongue, to block nerve cells that transmit pain messages. These topical medicines are dispensed by pharmacists who compound the practice of combining, mixing, or adjusting ingredients to create a medication tailored specifically for each patient. Because of their side effects, these topical creams can relieve pain in patients who cannot take oral medications such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen. They are safe when used as directed. However, they should not be used on open wounds or if you have a known salicylate allergy.
If you’ve sprained an ankle or tweaked your knee playing sports, you’ve probably turned to over-the-counter topical pain relief creams. These gels, sprays, or creams are applied directly to the affected area and can be absorbed through the skin, quickly reaching the spot that hurts. They’re also more targeted than oral pain medications because they don’t need to pass through your digestive system. Pill ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream and spread throughout your body, which is why people experience side effects when taking pain pills. However, like any other medication, these creams and gels can cause unwanted side effects if misused.
It’s Easy to Apply
Unlike taking pills that must be swallowed, topical treatments must only be applied to the skin. This makes it easier for athletes to administer pain relief and can be done on the go. Over-the-counter products come in creams, sprays, patches, and gels. They can be found at most drugstores. Some are even available as a prescription from your doctor for stronger options. One popular option is a combination topical analgesic/antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin. Pramoxine hydrochloride relieves itching and soothes irritation, while Neosporin, the non-stinging antibiotic you’ve probably used before, protects minor cuts and scrapes as they heal.