Capsaicin Cream for Prurigo Nodulares
Complete remission going on 2 months. Did 2 rounds of capsaicin 0.05% (mixed 0.075 & 0.025) once or twice a day. First round (2 weeks of use) got 3 weeks remission then relapse. Used another 2 weeks then remission going on 2 months now. I had a severe case lasting a year and a half until I finally got a biopsy. Found capsaicin idea online (German study). Careful, don't get in eyes!!
I took advice found on this website after suffering w Prurigo nodularis for a year and half. Caipasin cream has worked wonders for my skin. This skin issue is like chicken pox but lesions are much larger.
In reply to Linda (Texas),
Posted by Linda (Texas) on 07/02/2017
Trading ideas with other victims of prurigo... Sorry...no cure..... I have been suffering for nearly three years.. I have gone from a cheerful, busy commercial photographer to a mostly in 'my p.j.s depressed lady in her 70s.... I have worked with my primary care doctor, my dermatologist and my allergist trying to find some relief... and for me, I have accomplished a little but, want to share it... I take 2 Benadryl every morning, and more every six hours if I need them.. I find if I can just not begin to touch my skin as soon as I wake up, it is helpful... and the Benadryl does stop my itching. We tried 24 hr. anti- histamines for the itching, but,,,,,, about 7-10 hours later you begin to itch and you still have a lot of medication in your body so I take 2 Tylenol or 2 Bayer aspirins to stop the inflammation and the pain' I also have Tramadol with Tylenol if I need it for pain... so far I have not had to use it.
I live in S. Texas and I am exposed to the sun all the time.. I find it very irritating to my skin... not as a' feel better' idea. I also had my allergist with blood work, not skin patches, test for some allergies I may have in food and environment that could be irritating my prurigo infected skin and she found, citrus, ( which I was eating all the time), and tomatoes, as well as well as outside mold came up positive.. I am seeing her tomorrow because I have kept a journal of what I had eaten before a new outbreak... This is the best thing I have done... I have lowered the debilitating itching and pain somewhat.
I told my dermatologist that I knew this was not as interesting as treating and curing cancer or some other dread disease, but, that I did think it was treated just as skin sores...... I went on to explain to him, the depression, the shame ( yes, seeing yourself covered in sores has some sort of shame connected to it,,, at least by me... like a leper! ) it, the inability, especially for women to get dressed in regular clothes, bras, spanx, slacks, sweaters, etc is just short of torture... I did read that when one scratches their sores, it stimulates the nerves, as if they are being exererized and actually cause more pain in that area as time goes on.. I do have a great tube of medicine to put on the lesions.. it must have a wax base because it stays on and also cuts off air and prevents itching,,, it is fluocinide .05..... You may have some luck with it.. and lastly if I have an open lesions, I put an otc antibiotic ointment on them and they seem to heal more quickly.
I don't think any of you will disagree with me that your friends and family, just don't '''get ''' how a few sores can be so bad..... They have not lain in bed all night trying to find a distraction to keep from just crying out from pain. Do any of you ever feel like you have ants biting your sun broiled skin? I do.. I have never written about anything like this,,, and I don't pretend to know if any of these ideas help you.... and oh,,, be very careful with your soaps, gel, and shower supplies,,,,,,, use a s little as possible...and try to skip a shower once in awhile....and for goodness sake don't dry,,, just wrap a Egyptian cotton towel around you and '' air dry as you slather Cerave on your damaged skin.
Would love to have suggestions.. never heard of this stuff til I got it...."
Below is a link to an old and obscure abstract suggesting that capsiacin cream may have profound effects on people living with prurigo nodularis (PN). In the study it was found that all patients with PN who used topical capsaicin cream were able to eliminate pruritus within 12 days! From that point, gradual healing started. In the study, they used capsaicin cream that was 0.025% to 0.3%. By comparison, this cream is .01%:
This one is .1% :
Not to minimalize the effects of this cream, but I have tried it before and it felt like it was burning. You must be very careful when handling it also as you never want to have any on your hands and then rub an itchy eye!!! It's hot stuff to be sure, but if it can do what the abstract suggests, it may be worth the effort if you can handle the heat of it. Capsaicin is known to help ameliorate pruritis (itching), but sometimes I wonder if it is able to do that simply because it is so hot itself that the burning sensation just over powers the itchy sensation??
Here is the abstract:
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Mar;44(3):471-8.
Treatment of prurigo nodularis with topical capsaicin.
Prurigo nodularis is an eruption of lichenified or excoriated nodules caused by intractable pruritus that is difficult to treat. Therefore the antipruritic efficacy of capsaicin seemed to be of particular interest because this alkaloid, extractable from red pepper, interferes with the perception of pruritus and pain by depletion of neuropeptides in small sensory cutaneous nerves.
The aim of this concentration- and regimen-ranging study was to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and practicability of capsaicin in the topical treatment of prurigo nodularis in a large series of patients.
A total of 33 patients with prurigo nodularis of various origins were selected to receive capsaicin (0.025% to 0.3%) 4 to 6 times daily for 2 weeks up to 10 months. The consecutive follow-up period was up to 6 months. In 7 patients, skin biopsy specimens were taken before, during, and after therapy and investigated histologically, immunohistochemically, and ultrastructurally.
All 33 patients could be evaluated for efficacy. After cessation of the symptoms of neurogenic inflammation, such as burning sensations or erythema, all of them experienced a complete elimination of pruritus within 12 days. In addition, capsaicin largely contributed to the gradual healing of the skin lesions. After discontinuation of the therapy, pruritus returned in 16 of 33 patients within 2 months. At the ultrastructural level, no degenerative changes of cutaneous nerves could be found during or after capsaicin therapy. Depletion of substance P was demonstrated by confocal laser scanning microscopy thus confirming the specific effect of capsaicin in vivo.
Topical treatment of prurigo nodularis with capsaicin proved to be an effective and safe regimen resulting in clearing of the skin lesions.
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Please keep us posted on your progress!