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Shingles health centre

Capsaicin cream or gel

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Capsaicin is a substance from the chilli pepper plant. It makes chillis hot. Creams and gels containing capsaicin act on the nerve endings in your skin, which sense pain. The idea is that capsaicin 'distracts' your nerves and stops you from feeling pain.

We don't know if capsaicin creams or gels can be helpful if you have long-lasting pain after shingles. The research is mixed. In some studies on capsaicin creams and gels, just over half the people using them got good pain relief. [22] But in other studies, capsaicin creams and gels didn't make any difference compared with placebo creams or gels. [23]

Some people in the studies found capsaicin caused stinging or burning pain in the skin. But these reactions tended to go away with time. [22]


For references related to Shingles click here.
Last Updated: September 05, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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