Some topical treatments for itches, rashes, or muscle aches may contain salicylic acid, which can cause burning or irritation. Topical salicylic acid is a keratolytic (peeling agent) that causes shedding of the outer layer of skin and can create an artificial wound that may not heal.1 This acid is also used as an anti-inflammatory drug.
Capsaicin, however, has been found to decrease pain by reducing the chemical (substance P) that helps send pain signal through the nerves.2 Derived from the cayenne plant, capsaicin is hot when applied and therefore should not be rubbed on broken or irritated skin. Even with healthy skin, there may be some irritation or burning for a period of time before you can feel the therapeutic effects of capsaicin. But before you use this or any other product to help decrease the pain of neuropathy, talk with your doctor to determine which products are right for you.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
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By Mark Turco THE PROBLEM: A stroke occurs when an artery in the brain is blocked from a blood clot not allowing blood flow to the brain and depriving it of oxygen. Stroke affects people across the globe, regardless of gender, age or race. Women, for example, have more strokes every year than men. People of African descent also have a much higher risk of stroke. Family members of stroke victims may share a hereditary link, and...