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massage therapy musings &
persistent pain ponderings

Product Review: Capzasin-HP

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Capzasin is currently made by Sanofi US, headquartered in New Jersey. They also make many other topical products (including Icy Hot and Aspercreme), vaccines, and prescription medications.


Capzasin-HP has just one active ingredient:


Capsaicin is an active component of plants belonging to the genus Capsicum (chili peppers). It is an irritant for all mammals and produces a sensation of burning when it comes in contact with tissue. Capsaicin warms the skin and temporarily blocks a chemical called substance P, which delivers pain messages to the brain.

A study published in 2011 summarized that topical capsaicin reduces skin hypersensitivity and pain by a process described as "defunctionalization" of nociceptor fibers. A nociceptor is a nerve cell gives a shout out to the spinal cord and brain when it senses potentially damaging stimuli and usually causes the perception of pain. This "defunctionalization" process is rather complex, so I'd suggest reading the study to learn more.

Capsaicin is also odorless, making it an ideal topical choice for those with scent sensitivities or simply don't want to have an cloud of topical pain reliever smell around them.


There are no known major side effects for using Capzasin topically (on the skin, external use only) as directed. Although one should seek medical attention if severe allergic reaction occurs. Not a good idea to use on broken or damaged skin, and be sure to keep it clear of the eyes - ouch.

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, ask your doctor before use.


I found an established body of research that may suggest the use of capsaicin for mild pain relief. Given the very low risk and very limited side effects, it would seem worth a try for individuals seeking a complementary and/or off-the-shelf product for pain relief.

You can purchase Capzasin-HP at most major pharmacies. You can also find it on Amazon.


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Well hello! My name's Raechel and I'm a massage therapist.

I enjoy writing about wellness (duh); nerding out about sci-fi or Dungeons & Dragons; trying to grow plants; building things and sailing with my significant other; thoughtful conversations with close friends; loving my German Sheppard dog; and getting lost in a book.