Medicinal plant Cayenne pepper with the active ingredient capsaicin stimulates the skin circulation as a medicinal plant and relieves pain. Thermal patches for back pain or tension are among the most frequently sold self-care products. Most of these heat patches contain an active ingredient from the cayenne pepper: capsaicin. This pungent is either extracted from the medicinal plant – or comes as synthetic capsaicin. The effect is the same in both cases: The heat patch unfolds strong heat on the skin. And warmth is good for many forms of tension. This effect is well known from physical therapy (Fango, red light). The Stiftung Warentest confirms the positive effect of heat patches with cayenne pepper or capsaicin: For the “treatment of back pain and tension … the products are considered suitable”.
Active substance and mode of action
Capsaicin is the most important so-called pungent from the hot pepper (chili) and the cayenne pepper.
Skin contact with capsaicin causes severe heat and pain receptors. As a result, the pungent initially causes a burning sensation of pain lasting several hours. This is followed by a period of insensitivity that can last for several days or weeks. Even this effect contributes to the fact that pain is not or less felt.
The skin irritation caused by cayenne pepper has even more effects: the blood circulation in the skin is strongly stimulated by expanding the skin cells near the surface. As a result, inflammatory processes associated with tension or pain are increasingly being combatted.
At the same time, capsaicin penetrates through the skin into the tissue, where it inhibits the activity of prostaglandins. These are substances involved in inflammatory processes and pain perception.
Apply cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper thermal patches are not suitable for everyone. Some people find the heat to be very uncomfortable and too painful. In such cases, you should remove the patches again. Redness and pain then subside within a few hours.
For diabetes and fluctuating high blood pressure, you should ask your doctor before using cayenne pepper medicines.
Apply heat patches only once a day
In general, thermal patches with cayenne pepper or capsaicin should not be used too often because the skin would otherwise be damaged. Most plasters allow a maximum of one application per day. Please pay attention to the respective leaflet.
It is usually advisable to allow at least 12 hours before applying a new cayenne pepper patch. The maximum application time is given by most manufacturers with a maximum of 3 weeks. Creams and ointments can often be applied two to four times a day.
Go to the doctor with persistent back pain
Back pain from tension is the most common reason for applying heat patches. If such back pain does not happen within 6 weeks at the latest, you should consult a doctor. Immediately you should seek medical help if back pain is particularly strong, change greatly or it comes to abnormal sensations such as tingling or numbness, paralysis, and involuntary discharge of urine and stool.
Thermal patches or capsaicin-containing preparations must not be combined with other skin irritants such as ointments or red light treatment. It threatens skin damage.
If you have touched the inside of a thermal patch or the cream or ointment with your hands: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap. And be careful not to touch mucous membranes and the eye before. Burning pains and watery eyes would be the result.
Thermal patches and other capsaicin-containing products should never be allowed to reach wounds, inflamed skin, eczema, mucous membranes or the eyes. Please read the appropriate warnings and precautions on the package leaflet of the product. It is recommended that you use gloves when applying capsaicin preparations.
Physical exertion can increase the heat development of patches and creams. For example, if you are sensitive to these remedies, you should not use them before exercising or gardening.
Please refrain from additional heat treatments. Your temperature sensation may be lowered to cause burns. Also, avoid sunbeds and sun exposure on the treated areas.
Taking muscle relaxants (muscle relaxants) can cause itching, redness, and pain that can spread throughout the body. These changes are also possible with a time-delayed application of several hours.
If ACE inhibitors are taken for hypertension, coughing may increase. Coughing is a very typical side effect of these medications.
Redness and pain are desirable effects of treatment with cayenne pepper. If the sensation of heat or pain is particularly severe, you should remove the plaster. If skin reactions do not recede after 3 days at the latest, you should consult a doctor. In case of vesicular and ulcerous lesions, please consult a doctor immediately.
Repeated use may reduce the effect of capsaicin. In addition, temporary damage to superficial nerves is possible.
Inhalation of capsaicin may cause coughing and sneezing.
Some capsaicin-containing products contain parabens as preservatives. With a corresponding allergy you should refrain from these products. Of course, capsaicin should not be applied to paprika and cayenne pepper allergy.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, And Children
As a precaution, ask your doctor before using cayenne pepper during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Of course, patches or creams should not be used around the breast during lactation.
For children under the age of 12, cayenne pepper is not suitable because of the pain associated with the application.
Medicinal Plant Cayenne Pepper (Capsici Fructus Acer) soon
- promotes skin circulation, relieves pain, inhibits inflammatory processes
- usually well tolerated, with sensitive skin possibly severe pain
- do not apply to wounds, should not get in the eyes
- do not combine with other blood circulation therapies
- Doctor interview in pregnancy and lactation, diabetes and hypertension
- Areas of application: Shoulder-arm pain, back pain and other pain due to tension, pain due to joint disease (osteoarthritis), sore muscles, nerve pain.