Saturday, June 22, 2013

Capsaicin is Not Recommended For Dodo-Heads

WHY do I feel so compelled to share my dodo-head incidents with the whole internet world, hm?

Regardless of my motivation to blab, this thing is bigger than I am, so here goes...

As Madame President of the B.O.B. club, aka Bone on Bone, I've been experimenting with various over the counter pain remedies for my aching right knee. This particular dodo incident began when I spotted a bright red box in the pharmacy that promised in bright gold foil letters to alleviate arthritis pain using an all-natural primary ingredient.

I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about the capabilities of anything in topical form to reduce pain in a joint located beneath layers of skin and adipose tissue. But I have noticed that frequent use of ibuprofen or aspirin is upsetting my stomach lately, and decided to give this tube of cream a try.

So I tossed the thing into my shopping cart, and last night as I was hobbling around getting ready for bed, decided to try the stuff out. I perched on the edge of my bathtub squinting at the teensy print on the carton for directions. I read enough that I figured I had gotten the gist of things and tossed the cardboard aside. And slathered the white cream all over my knee.

As I washed my hands, I thought a bit about the name of the main active ingredient: capsaicin. Hm. I seemed to recall that this was the stuff in hot peppers that made them HOT.

Stupidly, I doesn't seem to have an does this stuff taste like jalapenos?

And STUPIDLY, I tentatively stuck out my tongue and licked the palm of my hand.

Yowsers! Yes, I decided, it most definitely did. Even though I had washed my hands throughly I could distinctly feel the sting and heat on my tongue.

I washed my hands again.

Then, in the same STUPID mode, I realized that I had to attend to needs, and as I finished, realized that even though I had washed my hands with soap and water that....


I'm not going to go into anatomical detail here but believe me, this was not a pleasant experience.

After yet another round of soap and water, I decided that I was finally ready for bed. And, as I pulled the covers up under my chin after smooching John goodnight, I......

Yes. Yet another STUPID.

Without thinking, (obviously) I rubbed my eyes.

I rubbed my eyes.

YOWSA YOWSERS!! Eyedrops.....where's my eyedrops?!....

After squirting roughly half a bottle of drops into my stinging eyes, I thought seriously about pitching the $14.00 tube into the garbage. But somewhere bouncing around in my head with all the stupid stuff, I vaguely recalled the reason that I even considered buying this product. I remembered reading this information from Johns Hopkins found here:
     Perhaps best known as the compound that gives hot peppers their “bite,” capsaicin reduces the amount of a neurotransmitter called substance P, which is thought to release inflammation-causing enzymes and possibly trigger pain impulses to the brain.
     The ointment should be applied to affected joints three or four times a day. It usually takes one to two weeks for pain to diminish, although up to six weeks of treatment might be required for maximum benefit. Pain quickly returns after capsaicin is discontinued. Burning, stinging, and redness occur in 40% to 70% of people, but these side effects usually diminish after several days of use.
     Over-the-counter products containing capsaicin include Capzasin-HP, Capzasin-P, Zostrix, and Zostrix-HP
In other words, there's actual science behind the use of this product for non-stupid people. Well, now.

I think I am going to give it another try, this time using disposable gloves for each application. If I can manage to avoid any more yowsers incidents, I'll report back in a few weeks regarding it's effectiveness.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to take Carl Jung's words to heart: “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”

Oh, hey. I've got the pain part of this consciousness-raising experience covered.


cargillwitch said...

I heard a similar tale of woe regarding a coworker of my brother ( who was working as a biologist )who had been eradicating posion ivy. He decided to " relieve" himself outside, which requires some..err.. manual manipulation shall we say. Poor guy spent two weeks on sick leave attending too a very bad case of poison ivy on a rather delicate part of the male anatomy!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA!!! Julia, you're awesome!

-Laura in Monte Rio, CA

L said...

Cracking me up! I love that you shared that!

Betsi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gill said...

I remember some years ago a friend had some very small chilles sent over from Mauritius, he told me they were jokingly called 'burn your bum chillies'.The were burning hot when you ate them but, when nature took it's course, they would emerge very much hotter. Being young and willing to try anything, I ate them. all I will say is that I have no intention of eating them again.....

Anonymous said...

Julia, have you ever tried Biofreeze gel? I first got acquainted with it when I was seeing a massage therapist for my fibromyalgia. This past week, my foot neuropathy was so bad I couldn't sleep so I slathered it up with Biofreeze and it didn't take long for me to doze off. You can buy it at most pharmacies or Amazon has 4 oz. for $8.60 with free shipping (it has a 4.5 rating).


Christine said...

Voltaren is a prescription NSAID cream you can apply to joints which does work well. problem is, I usually have a bunch of joints acting up at once.

Also, Topricin is a cream that falls in the alternative medicine category which has had some success with joint pain. I did not find it helpful but may be worth a shot.

AutoimmuneGal said...

Thanks for giving me today's chuckle!! The thing is that I've had a bit of an experience with tiger balm (helps my sore muscles) and totally understand. Ended up getting it in my eyes unintentionally and wow was that no fun. Burning, tingling, and tearing as you know from your capzasin escapade.

Disposable non-latex gloves have been doing the trick for me, but sometimes I forget or manage to get some on my hand when taking off the gloves. So yes, I've gotten in my eyes more than once.

ShEiLa said...

I have often thought about buying some of this...
Note to self:: apply with protective gloves.

Thanks for sharing... So sorry you experienced the burn.


ShEiLa said...

I just read the bio freeze comment... I do love that! It's been awhile I need to get some more. You have to wash your hands well with that as well. ( or use gloves ) I have used the roll- on which makes application easier.