How Long Does Capsaicin Stay on Skin?

Joint or muscle pains are unbearable at times, and you need to get some relief as soon as possible. One of the best ways to get pain relief is by using capsaicin patches or capsaicin creams. How long does the effect of capsaicin stay on the skin?

After you have applied capsaicin on your skin, you may experience a stinging or burning sensation and some skin redness. Most often, these conditions disappear after a few days. However, it may also last from 2 to 4 weeks.

Even if you reduce your dosage of capsaicin, the burning sensation will not go away. But if you reduce your dosage, the degree of pain relief that you get will also diminish.

You should also avoid exposure to sunlight because your skin will be more sensitive to heat. If you need to go out, use sunscreen.

Read on to learn more about how long capsaicin stays on the skin, its benefits, and some important warnings.

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How Long Does Capsaicin Stay on Skin?

When you apply capsaicin on your skin, it will stay there for a few days, but sometimes it may stay there from 2 to 4 weeks. The process by which it will start to relieve your pain will only take about 2 hours. But it is possible that the capsaicin patch would do its work for up to 3 months.

Normally, if you will use capsaicin to relieve your pain, it may take you up to 2 weeks before you feel any improvements. For best results, you have to keep on applying this substance as directed by your medical provider. The pain in your muscle or joint will gradually diminish over time.

What Is Capsaicin and Its Benefits?

how long does capsaicin stay on skin
Capzasin is one of the top brands of capsaicin creams and gels

It was in 1878 when capsaicin was isolated as a chemical compound in crystalline form from chili peppers. After that, researchers found out that the application of capsaicin caused a burning sensation in the mucous membranes.

Then in 1961, Japanese chemists were able to isolate substances that are similar to capsaicin from chili peppers. Capsaicin is now accepted in scientific circles as the active ingredient in chili peppers. It is the substance that makes chili peppers hot.

Now, capsaicin is available in patches, lotions, and medicated creams. Capsaicin is now being used in topical form for pain relief due to neuralgia. It is also applied to the skin to relieve the pain caused by a number of illnesses, which include psoriasis, arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy.

There are new studies that suggest capsaicin can also kill prostate cancer cells through the process of apoptosis. [1] Capsaicin brings to the table many significant benefits.

  • The most popular benefit is pain relief. You can apply it topically and you can also ingest it. The topical types can help relieve your pain from a number of health conditions such as fibromyalgia, lower back pain, nerve pain, and arthritis.
  • Capsaicin can also benefit those who have heart problems. Experiments conducted in mice reveal that capsaicin increases nitric oxide in the blood vessel, thereby delaying the occurrence of stroke. The mice were also observed to enjoy increased lifespan.

Experiments also showed that this substance lowers the blood pressure of rats that are prone to hypertension. Capsaicin can also prevent the usual increase in blood pressure at night after eating foods high in sodium. This suggests that it can reduce the kidney’s ability to retain sodium.

There are also experiments that showed the ability of capsaicin to dilate the coronary arteries of pigs.

  • Capsaicin can also help prevent prostate cancer. Experiments have also shown that it can kill prostate cancer cells. According to the American Association for Cancer Research, this makes it a viable component of any treatment plan for prostate cancer.
  • Capsaicin is also effective in treating psoriasis. Through the process called cutaneous vasodilation, this substance has the ability to inhibit the widening of the blood vessels of the skin.
  • Capsaicin can also help in weight loss. Clinical trials showed that this substance can increase your metabolic rate. It can also increase your energy expenditure by as much as 50 calories each day. It does not, thankfully, increase your heart rate. It also helps to decrease your appetite by activating the parts of your brain that control appetite as well as increasing the secretion of your GLP-1.
  • Capsaicin also showed some promise in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Experiments reveal that when this substance was topically applied to patients suffering from these diseases, they experienced pain relief. One out of six patients with neuropathy experienced pain relief when capsaicin was administered.
  • Patients with lung issues, emphysema and COPD can get relief if Capsaicin is administered to them. Researchers have found out that those who have chronic cough can be helped by inhaling capsaicin.

It can break up the accumulated mucus on such patients and relieve phlegm. In this regard, some have testified that when they eat cayenne pepper, they were able to cough out their mucus much better.

The below video provides more insight into how long capsaicin stays on skin and its benefits:

Capsaicin – The Right Dosage

Capsaicin is available in patches, gels, and creams. The way it is administered varies from person to person. It can be administered to both adults and children. If you are an average adult, you can apply the 0.075 percent cream up to four times a day.

You can apply a capsaicin patch on your skin for up to eight hours. There are four types of capsaicin patches that you can use. They are the 0.025 percent, the 0.03 percent, the 0.0375 percent, and the 0.05 percent patches. But you should not use it for more than five consecutive days.

Children over 12 years old can use the capsaicin dosage for adults. It goes to say that capsaicin should not be administered in whatever form and concentration to children under the age of 12.

Before applying capsaicin, you should clean and dry the skin area where you will apply it. If you are using cream or lotion, apply a thin layer of the substance to your skin.

Then rub it gently until it is absorbed by the skin. The effects of even a small amount of capsaicin cream will last for several days on your skin.

To use a capsaicin patch, just peel off the liner and apply the patch to your skin. Ensure it’s securely attached by pressing its edges on your skin. In removing the patch, just peel it off, and replace it with a new one. Repeat for a max of 4 times.

Capsaicin Overdose and Missing a Dose

If you apply too much capsaicin on your skin, you may experience acute redness or even burning. Do not apply capsaicin more than four times a day. If you forget to apply one dose, just skip it if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose.

You will not be harmed, but it may reduce the effectiveness of the medication, and it may also reduce the amount of substance P, which helps in relieving your pain.

Capsaicin – How Does it Work?

how does capsaicin work
Capsaicin 3D Molecule

In basic terms, when you apply capsaicin on an aching part of your body, substance P, which is the neuropeptide that delivers pain signals, is reduced in that particular spot. Scientific studies have shown that if the amount of substance P is reduced, the pain is also reduced.          

The method by which the pain is reduced is not yet fully understood by researchers. Scientists do, however, know that capsaicin is a neuropeptide-active agent, which means it affects the development, storage, release, and transport of substance P. [2]

This particular substance is the primary chemical mediator of pain stimuli that originates from the outer nervous system to the central nervous system.

Regular or prolonged use of capsaicin will result in the depletion of neurotransmitters of our neurons. As a result, neurogenic inflammation will stop, and you won’t feel the sensation of pain. Once you stop applying capsaicin, your neurons will start to recover.

Capsaicin Warnings

Since capsaicin stays on the skin for about 2 to 4 weeks, you need to be aware of its dangers. Use capsaicin strictly as prescribed by your medical provider or according to the direction on the label. It is dangerous to take this substance orally. Capsaicin is to be used topically on the skin only.

Capsaicin induces a burning sensation when it is applied to the skin. But with continued use, you will be able to bear this sensation. If capsaicin gets into your mouth, eyes, or nose, rinse it with water right away.

You should not take a bath within an hour before or after you have applied capsaicin. Don’t go swimming or engage in strenuous exercise either. Heat from the warm water and your perspiration will increase the burning sensation on your skin.

Don’t allow capsaicin to get in contact with dentures, contact lenses, and other personal items that you use in sensitive parts of your body.

Side Effects of Capsaicin

Burning sensation and skin irritation are the most common side effects of capsaicin. Often, the burning sensation lasts for only a couple of days. But if these side effects persist, contact your medical provider at once.

There are capsaicin products that contain benzyl alcohol. If you are allergic to benzyl alcohol, check the label carefully! Anyone who is allergic to benzyl alcohol could potentially experience toxic gasping syndrome.

You are advised to read the label before buying capsaicin from the drug store or ask a doctor.

Capsaicin can also cause third-degree burns in some people. So be very careful with it and follow the instructions on the package.

Some people may also experience CNS (central nervous system) depression after taking capsaicin. You don’t know if you are prone to this condition, so be careful when driving a car or operating machinery after you have applied capsaicin on your skin.

Capsaicin Interactions

It is not common for topical medications to interfere with other medications that are injected or taken orally. Nevertheless, you need to inform your medical provider that you are applying capsaicin on your skin.

They need to know so that they won’t give you any medication that will interfere or contradict with capsaicin. Or they might instruct you to stop taking capsaicin as it will interfere with the other medications that you are currently taking.

Don’t use other topical medications on the part of your body where you have applied capsaicin unless you have asked for the approval of your medical provider.

Recommended Products to Pair with Capsaicin

If there is redness and inflammation of your skin after you have applied capsaicin, you can use the following products. These products can alleviate these conditions.

1) Malin + Golez Vitamin E Face Moisturizer

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The Malin + Golez Vitamin E Face Moisturizer will gently and effectively hydrate and balance your skin to stop the redness and inflammation after you have applied capsaicin. This moisturizer‘s formula is a synthesis of natural antioxidants, vitamins E, B5, and soothing chamomile.

2) Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

Another product that you can use to alleviate inflammation and redness of the skin is Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This product contains high-potency, purified grade lactic acid, which helps in the restoration of healthy and smoother skin.

3) Paula’s ChoiceReplenishing Moisture Cream

The Paula’s Choice Replenishing Moisture Cream is another product that you can use to treat redness and inflammation of the skin:

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This cream can restore and renew the suppleness of your skin and moisturize it as well. It is able to repair sun-damaged skin. You will immediately notice its restorative abilities the first day that you use it.

Conclusion – How Long Does Capsaicin Stay on Skin?

To revisit our initial question, how long does capsaicin stay on the skin? The effects of capsaicin stay on the skin for a few days, or as long as 2 to 4 weeks in some cases.

Even if capsaicin stays on your skin after 2 to four weeks of application, you don’t have to be bothered by its side effects. Just be careful in using it, and you don’t need to worry about anything. The important thing is that with capsaicin, you have something that will force the pain to go away.