Best Gout Pain Relief Creams: Top Picks

March 19, 2024

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Gout is an incredibly painful form of arthritis that afflicts over 8 million adults in the United States alone. This condition, in which uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints and cause inflammation and intense pain, often strikes the base of the big toe but can occur in the ankles, heels, knees, wrists and fingers as well.

The pain from an acute gout attack has been described as one of the worst pains humans can experience – even worse than childbirth or a broken bone according to some sufferers! The excruciating pain, redness and swelling often comes on suddenly, reaches peak intensity within hours, and can last anywhere from 3 to 14 days if left untreated.

When gout pain and inflammation flares up, quick relief becomes an urgent priority. Topical creams and ointments can provide fast-acting, localized pain relief for many gout sufferers. These specially formulated gout relief creams contain active ingredients like menthol, camphor and capsaicin that work to soothe inflammation, cool burning sensations, dampen pain signals to the brain and temporarily numb nerve endings.

Read on to learn more about using topical creams and ointments as part of your gout pain management regimen.

How Do Gout Creams Work?

Gout creams are rubbed directly onto the skin over the affected joint when gout pain and swelling flare up. The active medicinal ingredients then work in various ways to ease symptoms:

Menthol, Camphor & Eucalyptus

Ingredients like menthol and camphor create a cooling, numbing sensation by activating TRPM8 receptors in nerve cells. This helps mask feelings of pain and cool hot, inflamed joints. They also increase blood flow to speed healing.


Arnica is an anti-inflammatory herb that can reduce swelling, inflammation and bruising. It soothes painful joints caused by gout when applied topically.


Magnesium relaxes muscles and helps reduce muscle spasms and cramps that can occur with extreme gout pain. It also aids the transmission of nerve signals to decrease painful sensations.


Capsaicin is extracted from chili peppers and diminishes the amount of “substance P”, a neurotransmitter that sends pain signals to the nervous system. By decreasing substance P, feelings of pain reduce.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin

These compounds occur naturally in healthy cartilage and have anti-inflammatory effects that can decrease swelling. They also stimulate cartilage regeneration to help counter gout’s damaging effects.


Found in prescription-strength gout creams, this anesthetic temporarily numbs nerve endings in the skin to completely block feelings of pain and discomfort. Powerful relief!

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Benefits of Using Topical Relief Creams for Gout Pain

There are many advantages to using topical relief creams to manage gout pain:

1. Fast relief

Gout pain creams provide much faster relief compared to oral gout medications which can take hours to provide relief if at all. Just smoothly massaging the cream onto affected joints delivers soothing relief in minutes as the medicine is directly absorbed into the skin tissue.

2. Avoid digestion

Oral gout pills needs to survive digestion and reach sufficient blood concentration levels to have an effect. Gout creams bypass this route and are efficiently absorbed through skin cell membranes directly at the site of pain for quick action.

3. Fewer systemic side effects

Oral gout medicines circulate through the whole body and impact many non-target areas often causing side effects like stomach irritation, renal dysfunction and more. Topical creams only impact the area applied, not the whole system.

4. Easy to apply on the go

Gout pain tends to strike suddenly at the most inconvenient times. Rather than waiting to take a pill when pain hits, just whip out a portable roller-ball gout cream applicator from your pocket or purse and roll onto joints for near-instant relief no matter where you are!

5. Use alongside other medications

Gout pain creams can provide additional relief when used together with common oral gout medications like NSAIDs, Colchicine, steroids or Uricosurics. This gives you multiple ways to combat pain for better control.

6. Moisturize skin

Gout creams contain moisturizing ingredients like Vitamin E, aloe vera and mineral oils that soften and hydrate the skin while also providing pain management benefits. No chapped skin from repeated ice pack applications!

Key Ingredients to Seek Out in Gout Relief Creams

If you’re considering trying out a topical gout pain relief cream, check that it contains research-backed ingredients that target gout’s core symptoms like:


Provides rapid cooling analgesia by activating nerves that signal cold to the brain which helps override pain sensations from flared joints. Also improves blood flow.


Generates an immediate feeling of coldness followed by prolonged numbness by desensitizing pain nerve endings in the skin for fast relief.


Soothes muscular aches & swelling while speeding up the body’s natural healing processes. Powerful herbal anti-inflammatory.


Reduces transmission of pain signals by temporarily draining nerve cells of substance P, a messenger for sending pain impulses. Promotes healing too.

Aloe Vera

Calms inflamed joints and enhances circulation to remove inflammatory waste products pooling around tissue damaged by gout crystals.

Glucosamine Sulfate

Precursor compound for growth and repair of cartilage to help counter gout’s damaging effects to joints over time. Also exhibits anti-inflammatory activity.

Chondroitin Sulfate

Building block for healthy cartilage that combats inflammation and repairs damage to soft tissue around joints aggrieved by gout.

Vitamin E Oil

Essential antioxidant the boosts efficacy of other active ingredients while moisturizing and nourishing skin.

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DIY Homemade Gout Cream Recipes

Want to take matters into your own hands? Here are some easy homemade gout cream recipes you can whip up using everyday ingredients from home:

Minty Menthol Rub

  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon menthol crystals
  • 1⁄2 cup coconut oil

Melt coconut oil and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Allow to slightly cool then apply to affected joints. Provides a powerfully icy-hot sensation!

Arnica All-Pain Blaster

  • 1⁄2 cup Arnica gel or cream
  • 10 drops ginger oil
  • 10 drops chamomile oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil

Mix all ingredients well in a small jar with a lid. Smooth over gout-stricken joints up to 3-4 times daily for relief.

Cayenne-Capsaicin Cream

  • 2 tablespoons cayenne powder
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 jar lid coconut oil

Heat 1 cup oil in a pan until liquified. Remove from heat and mix in cayenne powder. Pour into jar and let cool until semi-solid then apply moderately to pain points. Wash hands thoroughly afterwards and avoid touching eyes!

Anti-Inflammatory Aloe Rub

  • 1⁄2 cup aloe vera gel
  • 12 drops turmeric essential oil
  • 12 drops frankincense oil
  • 1 tablespoon magnesium flakes

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Scoop into a container and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Amazing soothing relief!

Simple Soothing Salve

  • 1 cup coconut or olive oil
  • Beeswax pellets
  • 15 – 25 drops lavender oil

Melt 1⁄4 cup beeswax in 1 cup warmed oil then mix in lavender oil once slightly cooled. Pour into containers, let fully harden then rub directly onto affected joints as needed for relief.

Quick Tip: Make sure to do a small skin patch test when using any new topical preparation to check for potential allergic reactions! Discontinue use if any skin irritation occurs.

How To Apply Gout Cream For Best Results

To properly apply your gout relief cream for maximum pain-soothing benefits:

  • Thoroughly wash and dry skin first
  • Apply gout cream generously in a thick layer directly on & around the gout-afflicted joint
  • Gently massage into skin using light circular motions until fully absorbed
  • Leave on for rapid relief; reapply as needed up to 3-4 times daily
  • Always wash hands thoroughly after application
  • Keep treatment area clean and dry by changing socks/bandages regularly
  • Avoid very hot/humid conditions and cover treated areas with lightweight clothing


Precautions When Using Topical Gout Creams

While gout creams are generally very safe with minimal risks compared to oral gout medications, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Perform a skin patch test first to check for any reactions
  • Avoid open wounds as ingredients may cause stinging
  • Don’t bandage tightly or use heating pads over treated areas
  • If applying prescription lidocaine creams, use exactly as directed
  • Discontinue if rashes, increased swelling or pain occurs
  • Not suitable for some people with very sensitive skin
  • Avoid contact with eyes and other mucous membranes
  • Check with your doctor before using if pregnant or breastfeeding

With sensible precautions, most people can enjoy safe, fast relief from gout aches & swelling with topical creams. Those containing proven medicinal ingredients can be powerful additions for gaining control over sudden gout flares.

FAQs About Gout Relief Creams

Are topical gout creams or ice packs better for pain?

For sudden gout pain flares, topical creams absorbed into skin tissue typically work faster than ice packs alone. However using ice packs first for 5-10 minutes until numb then applying gout cream can boost relief. The cold constricts blood vessels so more medicine can penetrate deep tissue rather than only upper skin layers for better effects.

How fast does a gout cream work?

Quality gout relief creams with ingredients like menthol, camphor and capsaicin can begin easing pain, cooling and numbness within 5 minutes after massaging into the skin around affected joints. Maximum effects are typically felt in 10-30 minutes. Prescription lidocaine creams work fastest – numbness starts in 3-5 minutes.

Can I use muscle rubs like Bengay or Icy Hot for gout?

Yes, over-the-counter muscle rubs contain similar ingredients to specialized gout creams like menthol and camphor so they can temporarily relieve gout aches & inflammation when applied topically. Just ensure you don’t have any allergies or skin sensitivities first.

Are gout creams OK to use daily or just for flares?

During sudden acute gout flares, using gout pain relief creams daily helps control raging symptoms so you can function. Once the intense flare-up resolves over 1-2 weeks, just use the creams as-needed for minor pain. Using daily long-term could risk skin irritation. Have oral meds on standby for new flares.

Can I use gout creams together with oral colchicine or NSAIDs?

Yes, it’s safe and often ideal to use topical gout creams simultaneously with most common oral gout medications such as NSAIDs, colchicine, steroids or uricosurics. The oral meds reduce overall disease while gout creams provide additional localized relief. Just avoid mixing creams with topical NSAID gels.

The Bottom Line

Gout can interrupt life with bursts of burning, stabbing joint pain that intensifies rapidly. Countering these periodic flares involves treating the underlying condition as well as finding immediate relief. While long-term medications that reduce uric acid levels are crucial, fast-acting gout relief creams play a key role during sudden attacks when you need to function.

Look for creams containing highly effective analgesic agents like menthol, camphor, arnica, capsaicin, glucosamine, aloe vera or fast-acting anesthetic lidocaine. Apply these specially formulated creams generously onto the agonizing joints to allay the fiery pain and swelling of gout so you can carry on with your day. Used appropriately alongside other gout treatments, these savior creams offer a simple way to weather the inflammatory storm.

Main Points:

  • Gout creams provide localized pain relief when applied to affected joints
  • Menthol, camphor, aloe vera and capsaicin soothe and numb pain
  • Creams absorption directly via the skin allows fast relief
  • Fewer side effects than oral gout medications
  • Can use gout creams with oral meds for enhanced relief
  • Check labels for proven pain-relieving ingredients
  • Apply generously and massage in for best effects
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