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What Makes Up the Best Pain Cream?

December 19, 2022 4 min read

What Makes Up the Best Pain Cream?

What Makes Up the Best Pain Cream?

A pain cream can help you alleviate localized skin discomfort, such as pain caused by inflammation. This article focuses on what makes the best pain cream, the benefits of CBD topical pain creams, and how to apply the creams.

Pain relief creams are often referred to as pain topicals. They are applied on the skin above the area experiencing pain. The creams relieve various acute and chronic pains resulting from sprains, arthritis, strains, or pains related to nerve damage and inflammation. They are considered an alternative to prescription medication treatments, like tablets, and have a small to moderate impact on pain levels. Topical pain products can be a good option if you are experiencing any localized pain. Please consult your doctor before adopting certain pain creams to understand their effect on your skin.

Types of Active Ingredients in Pain Relief Creams

The type of active ingredient in a particular pain cream may depend on the condition it intends to treat. Topical creams contain several active ingredients to enhance blood flow, target inflammation, and relieve pain. Various types of ingredients make up the best pain creams that include the following;


Menthol causes a cooling sensation and is said to trick the mind by making it think that the body temperature is dropping. According to Desai et al. (2021), this cooling effect desensitizes nerve endings. Menthol causes a decrease in arterial blood flow.


Capsaicin ingredient is found in pepper. It causes a warming sensation. The percentage of this ingredient in pain relief creams depends on the product you use, depending on your condition.

Methyl Salicylate

Methyl Salicylate ingredient is effective in countering irritation in the areas experiencing pain. Creams containing this ingredient it causes block pain signals and cools the area.

Topical Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)

NSAID is commonly known as an ingredient of some oral medicines. It is also a topical cream ingredient that helps decrease inflammation in the skin.


Arnica is a plant substance that helps treat muscle injuries, sprains, and bruises. The topical product is used in many organic-based products due to its effectiveness for severe localized pains.

CBD for Pain Creams

CBD, also called Cannabidiol, is used to make pain relief creams. Cannabidiol is one of the main compounds of the cannabis plant, obtained from the hemp strain. Manufacturers can also extract Cannabidiol from marijuana, dissolve it into carrier oils, and infuse it in topical creams. Stojkovski (2022) observed that Cannabidiol relieves joint pain and various chronic pains. Cannabis-infused creams are made from the three main CBD types: broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or CBD isolate. Some cannabis-infused creams may contain traces of THC, especially those made of full-spectrum. However, the THC in topical products makes them more effective than psychoactive.

Benefits of CBD Topical Pain Creams

According to Baswan et al. (2020), the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can help treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The cannabis derivative can also provide therapeutic effects on inflammation caused by arthritis (Burstein, 2015). According to Philpott et al. (2017), CBD reduces pain for people suffering from peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage that causes discomfort, numbness, and weakness in the hands and feet.

How to Apply Pain Creams

The frequency of application of pain cream usually depends on the type of pain cream to be used and the amount of the cream needed. Pain creams are applied directly on the skin above the affected area. According to cream products instructions, you should rub the cream until it is fully absorbed into the skin. The creams cause relief both on the surface and inside the affected area.

When using a pain cream, make sure to:

  • Read the instructions before applying them.
  • Avoid creams on open wounds.
  • Avoid sensitive areas like eyes or genitals
  • Stop using the cream when you notice a rash on the area being applied and consult your doctor.
  • When you notice a painful sensation that makes you uncomfortable, remove the product from your skin and seek medical advice.
  • Avoid heat or hot water when using the topicals.

What to Consider When Buying a Pain Cream

Below is what you should consider before buying a pain cream:

  • If pregnant or breastfeeding, seek medical advice before buying pain creams.
  • Having a history of heart disease requires you to consult your doctor.
  • Use products consistent with your previous allergic reactions
  • The type of pain you are experiencing determines the best cream to buy, depending on the ingredients contained in the cream responsible for relieving pain.

It would help if you also considered the cost; buy the best cream for your pain while considering your budget; do not stray from your financial limits. Most creams are applied frequently during the day; arthritis pain creams must be applied longer than other creams.

Buy creams easily absorbed by the skin; avoid sticky creams. You can check customer reviews from the brand website to analyze the experiences of previous users; positive reviews indicate high-quality products and vice-versa.


Pain creams are topical products used for localized skin conditions. Some pain creams may cause rashes or burns when used longer than indicated. Though you may rarely experience a side effect after using the right pain cream, you should stop using it if you notice irritation. Prolonged pain after using the cream may indicate that it does not work. Seek medical advice to get alternatives for your pain. Before buying any cream, your doctor should advise you about the best, depending on your condition.


Burstein, S. (2015). Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 23(7), 1377-1385.

Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 927.

Desai, R., Gutierrez, J., Cherukuri, S. V., Guzman, J., &Deoker, A. (2021). From chemical burn to below knee amputation: amputation secondary to application of over-the-counter topical analgesic with menthol and methyl salicylate. Cureus, 13(12).

Philpott, H. T., O'Brien, M., & McDougall, J. J. (2017). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain, 158(12), 2442.

Stojkovski, K. (2022). The Best CBD for Arthritis 2022: 7 CBD Oils and Topicals for Joint Pain. ORDER, 7(00).