Topical Melatonin Benefits
Health Benefits

Melatonin's Topical Benefits: 40 Ways It Soothes Pain

on Mar 08, 2024| Modified on Apr 18, 2024
Topical Melatonin Lotion

I have been keeping track of what friends and the EC community are telling me that melatonin lotion has helped them, and that list has been growing steadily to 40 items. I will list those items below. What has become clear from these reports is that when it comes to pain relief, melatonin lotion is far superior to oral melatonin, even at oral dosing as high as 360 mg of melatonin per day. This brings me to the conclusion that a combination of oral melatonin in conjunction with topical melatonin is better than either one alone. It also brings up another important point I want to discuss with you.

One drawback to oral melatonin is that it has very poor bioavailability, and only about 3% of your oral dose actually becomes bioavailable as discussed here :

Here is a relevant study quote :

This cohort crossover study estimated pharmacokinetics of oral and iv melatonin, respectively in healthy volunteers. Bioavailability of oral melatonin was only 3 %.

So, if you take 100 mg of melatonin in capsules, only 3 mg will become bioavailable, which could potentially explain why even 360 mg of oral melatonin can not offer the pain relief that melatonin lotion can. Melatonin taken orally has little, if any, access to the skin, whereas topically applied melatonin can exert its protective effects on the skin.

Another downside to oral melatonin is that it is only active in our bodies for about 4 to 5 hours, and then it is pretty much done. In comparison, topical melatonin not only passes through the skin, it also enters the circulatory system and, from there, can pretty much reach everywhere in the body, including the organs, muscles, brain, and bones. When the lotion is initially applied, the melatonin begins to accumulate in the stratum corneum, which can be about 10 to 30 layers thick. From that state of accumulation, the melatonin is ultimately released into the blood over a period of time somewhat like a melatonin patch might do. The following study briefly describes this process :

Topical Melatonin

Here is a relevant study quote:

This indicates that melatonin is able to penetrate the skin and accumulate in the stratum corneum through prolonged release over a 24 h period from the skin into the blood system.

This study suggests that melatonin cream is released over a 24-hour period, far surpassing oral dosing in this respect.

One of the problems I have always had with oral melatonin was a practical way to overcome the fact that it is essentially done in approximately 5 hours. So if you are trying to keep a steady state of melatonin in your system for 24 hours+, you might have to take oral melatonin 4 to 5 times per day. It appears that melatonin lotion may be a way to keep a more steady state in your system over a 24-hour period.

I take the above to mean that melatonin lotion may be a way to overcome some of the shortcomings of oral melatonin, while offering another way to avail ourselves of all of the potential health benefits that melatonin has for human health.

Given the above information, I have decided to take both oral and topical melatonin to try to get the best of both delivery methods. I will take oral melatonin at night and apply one application of topical melatonin, possibly sparingly to my stomach or back.

40 User-Reported Benefits

Here is the list of what benefits have been reported to me so far by friends and EC community members who are testing or using melatonin lotion:

1. Neck pain from multiple causes.

2. Lower back pain.

3. Shoulder pain.

4. Migraine headache relief.

5. Head and neck pain relief from a neck injury after falling backward onto the rim of a plastic bucket.

6. Eczema of the scalp.

7. Scalp pain.

8. Completely relieved jaw pain from two jaw fractures and helped to get to sleep. Based on studies may also help the fractures to heal faster.

9. Synergy pain relief with the Hyaluronic Acid / Stopain remedy for degenerative disc disease (DDD) as discussed here:

10. Headache relief

11. Muscle pain

12. Eliminated nerve tingling in feet

13. Ankle pain

14. Knee pain

15. Swelling of the neck caused by injury

16. Calf pain of unknown cause

17. Nerve pain

18. Hand and finger pain

19. Back pain that required a cane to walk was relieved enough that no cane was needed after regular twice daily applications.

20. Relieved sciatic nerve pain

21. Relieved thyroiditis and swelling with pain + sore throat pain that made even swallowing saliva very painful and of unknown origin and eliminated it in about a week eliminating the need for further application of melatonin lotion to the area. My friend thought it might have been caused by a recent endoscopy.

22. Relieved hip pain

23. Relieved bulging disc pain

24. Relieved Atopic Dermatitis

25. Stomach discomfort relief after applying to the surface of the stomach.

26 Relieved thumb joint pain

27. Helped a person to alleviate pain and muscle tension prior to her chiropractic appointment allowing her chiropractor to make what they both described as very good adjustments to her spine, which he had previously been unable to do because of muscle stiffness caused by the pain.

28. Helped two people with arthritic hand pain, one that was unresponsive to Borax and one that was only minimally responsive to Borax.

29. Helped a person with pain from liver cancer in the area of the liver to temporarily effectively relieve the recurring pain.

30. Helped a friend to sleep well when applied in the early evening.

31. Relieved pain in sore toes

32. Stiffness and discomfort of the hands without pain present was eliminated.

33. Improves wound healing.

34. Adds to the effectiveness of certain topical psoriasis medications.

35. Relieved toe cramps.

36. Alleviates spinal stenosis pain.

37. Much more effective pain relief than 360 mg of oral melatonin per day.

38. The very significant pain relief in multiple areas of the body caused high blood pressure to decrease, allowing for a halving of the hypertension medication dose by one friend.

39. Reduced the swelling of swollen arthritic finger joints.

40. Healed trigger finger in four days for one EC member.


Melatonin lotion has the potential to cause tiredness from overuse or overapplication, or for people who are very sensitive to topical melatonin lotion. In such cases, only a once-a-day application in the evening may be best, or one application in the late afternoon and once again at bedtime if that works.

I will add to this list as I get more feedback about what melatonin lotion helps.


Related Links:

Topical Melatonin Lotion for Pain Relief: Recipe + Success Stories

Article Q&A

Posted by Mary P (Utica NY) on 04/18/2024

Hi Art! I have melatonin caps… can I open them and prepare this recipe? We only need a 1/4 teaspoon.

Replied by Art
2146 posts

Hi Mary P,

So the one quarter teaspoon is all melatonin and it equals approximately 750 mg of melatonin. You have to consider that melatonin capsules contain a significant amount of fillers so it will take much more than a 1/4 teaspoon of these capsules to get to 750 mg of actual melatonin. It will take the amount of capsules that it takes to equal 750 mg of melatonin. So if you have 10 mg capsules, it will take approximately 75 of these 10 mg capsules to get to that 750 mg area and you can see that 75 capsules is going to be way more than a quarter teaspoon.

There will also be a problem with the solubility of the fillers which may not dissolve in gin and will make the lotion feel gritty. Another potential problem is that some of the fillers may dissolve in the gin, but that may preclude the melatonin from fully dissolving in the gin in which case you will essentially have a diluted mix which may not be effective at all.

I recommended melatonin powder because that is what my friends used and found effective. Since those first three friends reported their results, many other friends and acquaintances have also reported significant benefits from using that same mix.

I highly recommend following what they did in order to make an effective melatonin lotion.

A few friends have reported that mixing all three ingredients together at once by mistake, produced a lotion that gave little to no pain relief. You have to thoroughly dissolve the melatonin in the gin first and then add the lotion to that mix, otherwise the lotion will offer little to no benefit.


Psoriasis and Hyperpigmentation

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Art (CA) on 04/03/2024 2146 posts

This new study suggests melatonin lotion is effective in treating mild to moderate psoriasis:

Here is a relevant study quote :

' Also a significant decrease of 35% (mean (SD) of 2.67 (0.98) to 1.74 (1.12)) and 51% (mean (SD) of 2.67 (0.98) to 1.31 (1.13)) in PASI score, and 40% (mean (SD) of 5.00 (1.58) to 3.00 (1.76))and 61% (mean (SD) of 5.00 (1.58) to 1.92 (1.71)) in DSS score on days 30 and 60 with melatonin cream, 5% w/w (P < 0.001) compared with baseline were observed, respectively. In each of the melatonin or rosuvastatin groups, DLQI improved significantly on days 30 (P < 0.0001) and 60 (P < 0.001) while the changes in the control group were not significant. '

I had already reported that it was synergistic with certain psoriasis medications in the list of 40 items (#34) and helped eczema of the scalp (#6) while other studies suggest it can be useful for atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions, as discussed here :

Here is a relevant quote :

' It has cytoprotective, immunomodulatory, and anti-apoptotic effects. Melatonin is also one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, directly acting on free radicals and the intracellular antioxidant enzyme system. Furthermore, it participates in antitumor activity, hypopigmentation processes in hyperpigmentary disorders, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulating activity in inflammatory dermatoses, maintaining the integrity of the epidermal barrier and thermoregulation of the body. Due predominantly to its positive influence on sleep, melatonin can be used in the treatment of sleep disturbances for those with chronic allergic diseases accompanied by intensive itching (such as atopic dermatitis and chronic spontaneous urticaria). According to the literature data, there are also many proven uses for melatonin in photoprotection and skin aging (due to melatonin's antioxidant effects and role in preventing damage due to DNA repair mechanisms), hyperpigmentary disorders (e.g., melasma) and scalp diseases (such as androgenic alopecia and telogen effluvium). '

It seems that we are just scratching the surface of what melatonin lotion can do!