Topical Pain Medications

FAQs on Topical Pain Medications

Your skin can absorb topical pain medications. Commonly, the varieties you will see are gels or creams that can be rubbed onto your skin over painful joints or other areas. Some of them can come in a patch which sticks to your skin or a spray. The use of hot or cold packs can be applied as well.


What are the major indicators for having Topical Pain Medications?


Topical pain medications are many times used by patients who can’t take oral medications or have difficulty swallowing pills. Sometimes patients might have had a surgery that will impede their ability to absorb drugs through their GI system. This is where topical medications can be used to manage pain.

A pain relief cream or patch can be used as well when you have pain in an area that is quite specific. In this way, you can put the medication directly on the affected area, such as a painful joint, instead of taking an oral drug which would affect your whole body.


What does Topical Pain Medication entail?


Topical pain medications can be used within a day or so after you experience a minor injury to a muscle, with the ok of your doctor. First you should follow up with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Your doctor can decide which method of topical pain medication is right for your injury and how often you need to use it. It is always best to consult with your doctor before trying something.


The three main types of topical medications for pain include:


  • Pain medications – These are applied to your skin, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation in a localized area of your body, or aspirin creams that block substances in your body which are causing pain.
  • Local anesthetics – these medications numb areas for short time periods. They’ve got various uses such as lidocaine patches to relive stabbing, burning, chronic aches that can occur from an infection of shingles. Dentists can use these anesthetics on your gums to ease the pain of an injection.
  • Counter irritants – these products have substances like eucalyptus, menthol or oil of wintergreen in them which will irritate your nerve endings and make a cool feeling on your skin. This distracts your brain from the deeper sources of pain.


How do Topical Pain Medications help the doctor provide treatment?


By using topical pain medications on your injury, you can experience a relief from the pain so that your doctor can fully treat the injury itself. It will be easier for your doctor to tell everything which is going on once your pain has been reduced.


What to expect when using Topical Pain Medications?


Depending upon which treatment you need, you will experience different things, but in general, these topical pain medications will help to alleviate any discomfort that you are feeling from another injury or condition in a short period of time.


What are the risks of having Topical Pain Medications?


Not everyone will be a good candidate for this treatment for pain relief. Some, who are allergic for example to adhesives, should avoid them. Plus, anyone who is sensitive to an active ingredient in an oral pain reliever should also not try it in a topical form.


What are the benefits of having Topical Pain Medications?


There are several benefits to this type of pain management which include localized treatment, speed in which the drug takes to work, fewer side effects than oral medications and the ability for your doctor to compound, or personalize the treatment for you. This lets them adjust medication levels and combine just the right ingredients for your specific problem.




“A Guide to Topical Pain Medications.” Everyday Health


“Arthritis pain: Treatments absorbed through your skin”.MayoClinic


“Benefits of Topical Pain Relief vs Oral Medications.” RXCompound