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Capsaicin vs. pain neurotransmitters - Calling all chile alchemists

I watched a very interesting documentry on this exact subject a few months back , i think it was made in the U.K.
Reserchers inserted electrical acupuncture like heat probes into peoples skin and muscles and tested weather heat rubs actualy penetrated the skin, they tested all the top selling rubs and not one registered any heat penetration of the skin, every test was done on the forearms though?.
I don't know much about this but isn't it perception of heat that affects the nerves rather than actual heat? Does a heat rub magically get hot when removed from the tube and put on the skin?
Regardless, the purpose of the skin is to keep stuff out. We have up to seven layers of skin and there are very few things that can penetrate all layers. That's why I decided to sneak up on this by using coconut oil for the first treatment rather than go all out with the emu oil carrier that will penetrate all layers.
The first treatment went largely as planned. My wife spread about 1½ ml of the coconut/capsaicin oil on the target area and covered it with plastic wrap. No real sensation of heat for the first half hour, then it warmed up considerably. Not even close to uncomfortable. After a little more than an hour she removed the wrap and said the skin looked normal with a slight oily sheen. Since I was watching something interesting on the TV, I waited another half hour before hitting the shower.
This is where it went wrong. I assumed I'd get under the hot water and after a good rinse, have my wife glove up again and scrub it for me. When the hot water hit my back it was like a gas attack. A take your breath away type of sensation. After a while when it was safer for my wife to come in the shower room, she used a paper towel soaked in alcohol to rub it down and cut the capsaicin. This helped a lot.
I overlooked the part in the actual capsaicin prescribing info regarding the second component in the patch kit that said:  "generously apply Cleansing Gel  (butylated hydroxyanisole, carbomer copolymer, edetate disodium, polyethylene glycol, purified water, and sodium hydroxide.) to the treatment area and leave on for at least one minute. Remove Cleansing Gel with a dry wipe and gently wash the area with mild soap and water and dry thoroughly." Apparently using the cleansing gel that comes with the patch kit is important to neutralize the capsaicin before washing. Imagine that!
After paying more attention to the patch prescribing information and our experience of today, it's apparent it's not an impediment if all capsaicin is noty absorbed. Maybe it's not supposed to but yet and still, for the next treatment I will use the emu oil as a carrier to ensure more of it is. Additionally, I have certainly learned it may be worthwhile to try to duplicate that "cleansing gel" of BHA, EDTA, PEG, lye and whatever that other thing is. Or maybe it's sufficient to do the good alcohol cut and rinse prior to the shower. Funny thing is in all the mixing and cooking and application and treatment time, there never was a hint of a noxious fume that emanated from anything until the hot water hit it. The good part is I think we now know a bit about how pepper spray works.
The hot water did considerably turn up the heat in my back and this lasted for an hour. It also gave my back a bit of a sunburn look for a while but no a big deal. A nice effect immediately noticeable is the constant pain in my back is gone and now it's six hours later. Will it last for 12 weeks? Me no think so but I'm ready for further exploration as needed.
Good first experiment.  Couple of thoughts- would adding a heating pad to the affected area help and I would suggest wiping the oil off with paper towels and alcohol or even a strong grease-cutting dish soap (used straight, rub it around, then wipe off with paper towels) before the shower.  I've heard many folks say an automotive hand degreaser like Goop works also.  
salsalady said:
Good first experiment.  Couple of thoughts- would adding a heating pad to the affected area help and I would suggest wiping the oil off with paper towels and alcohol or even a strong grease-cutting dish soap (used straight, rub it around, then wipe off with paper towels) before the shower.  I've heard many folks say an automotive hand degreaser like Goop works also.  

     I was thinking along those lines today, too. Along with heat, adding something like camphor or methyl salicylate might "open up the pores" more too. I don't know how much truth there is to that, but some Scandinavians (I think - Finns, maybe) flog eachother with young yellow birch branches (contain natural methyl salicylate) in saunas for medicinal reasons. The hot air and sweating and birch oil is refreshing and relieves back pain.
After more than a day, it's certain the treatment is working. Not perfect but a great improvement. Pain level is probably 10% of normal.
Since capsaicin is what it's all about in the pharmaceutical I'm trying to emulate, I think I'll avoid any other ingredients that may or may not do any good but next time we'll move up to emu oil to carry the capsaicin to maximum depths.
The use of coconut oil for first try was an exercise in precaution since I didn't know what kind of a ride I may be in for. I mean, when the treatment instructions for doctors says to use a topical anesthetic on the treatment area prior to patch application and then advises opiates during and after, I didn't want to get overly sporty. Coconut oil also has a tendency to clog the pores, a trait that doesn't exist in emu oil which goes straight through. 
Maybe heat will help open the pores but I'm thinking it may get uncomfortable considering what the hot water did when I got in the shower. That lit me up pretty good in addition firing off the pepper gas attack. I definitely will not make the mistake of jumping straight into the shower without cutting the capsaicin again.
After a week and a half, I know the treatment is most certainly working. I'm pain free in the mornings, every morning. For the first time since April 17, 2004.
It holds up fairly well throughout the day but the pain will begin to come in later in the day. Nothing like usual but it's there. I reckon it's probably like going from 0 to 60 rather than starting at 60 and going to 240.
It doesn't hold up all that well if I work too hard like I did Saturday tending and feeding this 800 ft² fire pile all day. By dark, the pain level was up pretty good. For this day, my fitbit activity tracker gave me credit for 21,222 steps (10.6 mies), 371 active minutes and 290 minutes in the cardio zone. I'm thinking this job probably would have made me hurt 30 years ago too.
We did a supplemental treatment last Sunday using emu oil as the carrier. A two week follow treatment is a lot quicker than the pharmaceutical retreat of 12 weeks but that's one of the benefits of rolling your own. The emu oil is mo'betta than coconut oil and the treatment provided improvement. The treatment itself was better the second time, especially the cleanup with plenty of alcohol before hitting the shower. No pepper gas victims this time around.
:thumbsUp:    It's always good to NotPepperGas your Lovely~~~ :lol:
Keep us posted.
side Note- do you think there would be any difference in effect if the lotion is-
A- spread on a pad and held onto the skin
B- lotion lightly applied directly to skin like sun screen lotion
C- lotion applied directly to skin and then aggressively massaged into the skin
The first run with the coconut oil was precautionary knowing the emu oil carries anything directly through all layers of skin. The area is the thoracic spine between my shoulder blades. T1 - T5. The big idea is to duplicate the qutenza pain patch. She pours the stuff out on the target and rubs it in a little, then covers it tightly with plastic wrap using her uncontaminated hand to press that in and smooth it for best skin contact. Then I lay on my belly for an hour.
If it was another area of the body such as a knee or feet, I think the best application method would be aggressively massage into the skin. Then wrap the knee or put on some socks (stretch on some nitrile gloves?) and leave the capsaicin to do it's magic.
I don't think spreading it on like a 1.2 million SHU oily lotion and going about your business is a good idea.  Remember your caution about contaminating the place with an alcohol/reaper powder extraction sprayed on me? Speaking of, I have about 6 ml of beautiful ruby red tincture made from 190 proof and pepper powder I need to do something with. It won't be as good as Pure Evil on ice cream but  it seems like a good thing to try :fireball:
We did a 6 week followup treatment on Sunday. It was uneventful and I can't say it was needed yet. Consequently, it didn't make much of a difference.
I'm not sure about the mix we used. This was an initially botched batch made with coconut oil. Due to some spillage and rejiggering, I set this aside and started over fresh since I didn't have a good grasp of the percentage/SHU of the batch.
The skin heat felt more similar to the initial coconut oil based treatment in February than the emu oil base used for the second treatment. This obviously means the emu oil pulls much more of the capsaicin through the skin.
In another 6 weeks or so we'll followup with an emu oil based treatment.
thanks for the update, I was just thinking of this the last couple days.
Thank you for the update and great write-up.
This is a amazing work you have done.
I have just made a discovery that 1 Qutenza patch with cleaning lotion costs the equivalent of US $400 over here.
We must find an alternative.!
In the interest of expediting this project and the satisfaction of my curiosity, I made up more emu oil/capsaicin solution today but added some ethanol this time. I want to see how well that improves the solubility of the capsaicin crystals into the oil. I'd like to dissolve the capsaicin into solution without using heat. I also strengthened it a bit, bringing it up to 10% or 1,600,000 SHU. So far, two tubes are resting in a 88° F cabinet and it appears the cap dissolves very well in this blend. I'm thinking the Everclear will evaporate quickly upon application and the emu oil will work as it's supposed to. If the weekend cooperates, we'll do a treatment Sunday. If we get it done, it will be a 5 week followup.
Indeed, it would be tough paying that much money for a pain patch and never mind the treatment is supposed to be done by a doctor for more bucks.
Perhaps you've already looked into it, but maybe resiniferatoxin would end up being a good alternative to capsaicin. You could essentially ramp the "SHU" as high as you wanted without needing to worry about solubility. I think it would also open up quite a few more options in the method of application because you would need much less of it.
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Thanks. Yes, I do know of that stuff but not much other than it's 16 Billion SHU and expensive. The stuff costs $55 per milligram from one supplier. The tiny figures needed to calculate the measurement make my head hurt. To produce a dose of my capsaicin treatment at 10%, I need 150 milligrams. To use RTX, I would need only 0.15 milligrams. How do you even measure something like that? I don't own a scale that will come close.
That's 0.00075 carats. I honestly can't visualize what a tiny pile that would be but I know if I put 1350 of them together, I have one carat.  It's bad juju for me to goof around with anything that potent. I'd probably have to put on magnifiers to even see that pile :party:
Amazing conversation.  I use off the shelf preparations for neuropathy pain.  Have a pain management doctor who tells me it cant work, but it does.  Not saying miracle, but takes the edge off and keeps legs from jumping around when trying to sleep.
We did the treatment Sunday afternoon. The effect was the best yet. Amazingly pain free afterwards like I wouldn't have felt a thing if somebody hit me in the back with a sledge hammer. My back was very hot for an hour after the cleanup. Like glow in the dark hot. This makes me think I really wasn't working with 10%/1,6000,000 SHU because of the alcohol. The solution was mixed to that strength by weight and specific gravity of the liquids but I wonder if that half ml of ethanol didn't flash off quickly leaving something more like 13+% and 2,000,000 SHU. Does anyone know about the volatility of alcohol mixed into an oil solution?
The scorecard so far has me feeling more pain by the time we do the followup treatments but I can deal with that. 12 weeks would be nice but I wonder how far patients make it into the represented 12 week Qutenza treatment window before efficacy begins winding down?
Since the only real cost of my treatments is time, I'm loving it.
Treatments to date:
#1    02/18/17
#2    03/05/17
#3    04/16/17
#4    05/21/17
without looking at the calendar, you had times between treatments of -
3 weeks
5 weeks
5 weeks
Just approximating for general reference....
Alcohol does evaporate fairly quickly.  I have no idea the specific times/temps/etc.  This may be a very basic trial/error situation.  Try one solution or ratio, see how it works. 
But then again there are also factors of ...what is your body or skin temp and will that expedite the evaporation of the alcohol?  :banghead:
I dunno~~~ I'll leave that to others with more smarts than me.  :)   Just want to find a recipe that works for the neuropathy stuff.