Aspercreme is the brand name of a line of products that are geared towards nerve and joint pain management. It is a very popular brand and has earned a pretty good reputation.
The brand is a subsidiary of Chattem, Inc which runs a number of companies and has under its belt a number of popular brands such as Rolaids.
The Aspercreme line of products is intended to help the user move without pain and to help keep them mobile.
The main ingredient in all of the Aspercreme products is Lidocaine which we will get into detail about in the next section. Most of the Aspercreme products which include patches and foot pain cream are topical anesthetics.
Aspercreme Ingredients – What to look for
There is only one active ingredient in all of the Aspercreme products (Apsercreme foot pain cream, XL back patch, Lidocaine back patch and foot pain cream for diabetic skin) and they are supported by a variety of inactive ingredients but we are going to focus on the star of the show here:
- Lidocaine – There is a 4% concentration of Lidocaine in each of the Aspercreme products and as we learned from Poison Lidocaine is a type of local and topical anesthetic (meaning it can be applied to the skin directly and only anesthetizes the portion of the body that it was applied to)that helps block the nerves from registering pain so that the user experiences some or all relief from certain kinds of pains. Lidocaine was first developed in 1944 when it was clinically tested and was derived from Isogramine in 1933 by its discoverers according to Anesthesiology.
How Does it Work – The Science Behind Aspercreme
As Lidocaine is the only active ingredient in this line of products, it is important to go over how it works on the body and the nerves. The way that Lidocaine works are by essentially inhibiting messages from being relayed to the body.
In this sense, it does not so much prevent pain from happening; it simply prevents pain signals from being registered to the brain. In other words, your body is still feeling pain but you are totally unaware of it as your brain is.
It does this by preventing local neurons from signaling the brain that pain is occurring from the nerves and possibly from other sources. Nerve fibers need sodium to send electrical signals to the brain and lidocaine works by preventing sodium from ever entering the nerve endings, thus effectively making it temporarily impossible for pain signals to be relayed.
Aspercreme Pros & Cons
- This product may temporarily ease pain
- It comes in a variety of applicable methods
- Comes from a trusted brand name
- Does not target pain at its root
- Overuse of lidocaine can cause serious complications
- The creams may cause some redness or skin irritation
Customer Questions and Answers
- Aspercreme Foot Pain Cream - Apply a thin layer to the affected area every 6 to 8 hours and don't exceed 3 applications per 24 hours.
- Aspercreme XL Lidocaine Patch – Clean the affected area of application and remove the backing from the patch itself. Carefully lay the patch over the affected area and you can leave one patch on for 12 hours.
- Aspercreme Lidocaine Patch – Clean and dry the area of application then remove the backing of the patch. Carefully apply the patch to the affected area and you can leave the patch on for up to 12 hours.
Aspercreme can be bought at many well-known retail stores. It is widely available at physical stores where the price is likely to vary. As such you cannot buy Aspercreme products on their official website but they do direct you to the stores in which they are available. You can expect to pay between $7.99 to $10 for an Aspercreme product depending on which one you need.
Aspercreme and its feature ingredient are generally safe. When used as directed Aspercreme should be safe but overuse can result in serious side-effects such as methemoglobinemia which is a condition that impairs iron in red blood cells to carry oxygen to bodily tissues. Signs of this condition include pale skin, blue skin and drowsiness.
Aspercreme should be generally safe but do not apply on open wounds and do not use for more than a week without talking to a doctor.
Since Aspercreme is not available through any official manufacturer site, you will be subject to the return and refund policy of the retailer you buy it from which are sure to vary.
- Biofreeze – This popular alternative to Aspercreme contains menthol and can be purchased for $13.29 for a single tube.
- Blue Emu – This is a topical analgesic that comes in cream form and features. You can buy a single jar (12 ounces) for $26.88.
- Hempactiv – This hemp-derived cream features MSM, arnica, and menthol and you can get a single jar for $36.97.
Is Aspercreme Safe?
The short answer is yes. When used responsibly it is safe. But if you use it excessively or without the supervision of a doctor it can be very dangerous and even result in death.
Aspercreme Customer Reviews and Results
Aspercreme has received very favorable reviews from customers saying that it helped them with pains in their shins, shoulders, and backs and even that their doctor told them to use it. Still, a few customers did mention that it did nothing for their knee pain.
The Bottom Line
Aspercreme has been around for a long time and there is a reason for it. It is effective for blocking pain and can help with many different types of pain resulting from arthritis, cramps and nerve damage.
It comes in a variety of products to choose from and has been met with favorably. However, Aspercreme does not result in long-term pain relief not does it treat the root causes of pain.
The bottom line on Aspercreme is that if you are not too concerned about what is causing a certain type of pain you are experiencing and just want some temporary relief from it, Aspercreme is a good option. This makes Aspercreme a cursory solution for pains that are not chronic.
Is there Anything Else you Should Know about Aspercreme?
The main thing you should keep in mind about this product is that if you do suffer from chronic pain, it is probably not a good idea to self-medicate with Aspercreme or any other lidocaine based product.
That is because lidocaine is not sure it simply eases the symptoms of the larger problem. If you do suffer from chronic pain of some sort you should ask your doctor or specialist on how best to treat it before you try something like Aspercreme.
Furthermore, we cannot stress enough that if you do use Aspercreme, do not exceed the recommended usage instructions. This can lead to some serious complications that may lead to hospitalization and even worse.
2) HSS J. 2012 Jul; 8(2): 159–164. Published online 2012 Jun 30. doi: 10.1007/s11420-012-9273-0 Pharmacologic Management of Osteoarthritis-Related Pain in Older Adults
3) Derry S, Wiffen PJ, Moore RA, Quinlan J (July 2014). "Topical lidocaine for neuropathic pain in adults". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 7 (7): CD010958. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010958.pub2. PMID 25058164