Cremas efecto frío y calor | ¿Cómo funcionan?

photo-1432753759888-b30b2bdac995No hace falta correr una maratón para sufrir dolores musculares, una mala posición durante la noche, puede hacer que nos levantemos con de espalda y de cabeza, una sesión de turisteo o un trabajo de pie hará que nuestras piernas se noten cansadas e incluso algo inflamadas, o simplemente enfermedades degenerativas como la artrosis o la osteoporosis.

Remedios como los anti inflamatorios por vía oral (ibuprofeno) son los más usados para paliar estos dolores, sin embargo muchas veces el uso de cremas de frío o calor, pueden aliviar las molestias sin tener que recurrir a ellos.

Hoy destripamos cómo funcionan estás cremas y que ingredientes nos proporcionan ese efecto calor y frío.

Las cremas con efecto calor, acompañado en ocasiones por un enrojecimiento de la piel o cremas con efecto frío, que proporcionan una sensación de frescor instantánea son las más habituales en el mercado. Las encontramos en formato gel, como bálsamos o en cremas junto con efectos calmantes, sustancias analgésicas y anti inflamatorias, que ayudan a desinflamar los músculos y enmascarar el dolor.

Como últimamente me extiendo mucho con los artículos vamos a ver si soy capaz de explicarlo de manera resumida ¡Vamos allá!

menthol-plant

CREMAS EFECTO FRÍO

Uso: después del ejercicio o tras una larga jornada de trabajo. Deja una sensación de frío en la piel.

Composición básica:

  • El mentol va a ser el componente principal que nos dará ese efecto frío, al igual que otras esencias terpénicas alcohólicas como el  eucalipto, o cetónicas como el alcanfor (de este hablamos un poco más en las cremas efecto calor).
  • Se usa alcohol como ingrediente mayoritario, permite una mejor vehiculización de los principios activos y por supuesto, su solubilización.

¿Cómo funcionan?menthol-skeletal

El mentol se conoce por su efecto frío, y esto se debe a la estimulación de nuestros receptores termorreguladores, en concreto el  TRPM8. Evidentemente la concentración de mentol no es tan elevada en estas cremas como para producir dolor por el frío.

Sustancias monoterpénicas de la misma familia que el mentol son el eucaliptol, linalool o geraniol, o derivados sintéticos con estructuras similares como Cooling Agent 10 (Menthoxypropanediol). Además de estimular el receptor TPRM8 favorece la vasodilatación local, aliviando el dolor muscular y «acortando» la fase de recuperación.

camphor

CREMAS EFECTO CALOR

Uso: previo al ejercicio, ayuda a un calentamiento muscular, o también post-ejercicio relaja y calma contracturas musculares.

Composición básica:

  • Uno de los componentes principales es el alcanfor (camphor), y causa el efecto calor. 
  • Las esencias de extractos vegetales son también comunes en estas formulaciones como el eucalipto y el mentol, pero no por su efecto frío, si no para camuflar el olor del alcanfor. 

¿Cómo funcionan?

alcanfor-2d-svgEl alcanfor al igual que el mentol puede ocasionar un efecto frío en contacto con la piel, sin embargo, pasado un tiempo y debido a su efecto rubefaciente provoca una sensación de calor y enrojecimiento de la piel. Esto último hace que sea bastante contraindicado para personas con heridas en la piel, piel muy seca o con dermatitis. 

A su vez el alcanfor tiene afectos analgésicos, evitando la adición de otros analgésicos tipo lidocaínas para completar su formulación.

Un ejemplo de crema efectiva y sencilla de formulación es el famoso bálsamo del Tigre rojo. Es perfecto para contracturas y dolor de cabeza (personalmente probado y verificado). Relaja y alivia el dolor, eso sí, aunque lleva mentol y peppermint , su olor sigue siendo un pelin desagradable (¡y ten cuidado que mancha!).

OTROS INGREDIENTES QUE PODEMOS ENCONTRAR

Podríamos decir que los 2 ingredientes básicos de estas cremas son el mentol y el alcanfor. Y si miramos los INCIs de muchas de estas cremas, veremos que son los principales activos que producen estos efectos.

Algunos son de compuestos sintéticos como los siguientes:

ingredientes-crema-frio-calor

Si nos vamos a compuestos más «naturales» (aunque también se pueden obtener de manera sintética) encontramos algunos que seguro que os sonarán.

ingredientes-crema-frio-calor-ii

Evidentemente tenemos muchos otros compuestos que se pueden añadir a estas cremas como son la alantoína (regenerativo), urea y glicerina (regenerativas e hidratantes), ácido hialurónico o derivados de la capseina (presente en las guindillas ) entre otros.

¿Usas habitualmente estas cremas?

Si es así fijaté en los ingredientes y deja tu opinión

¡Quizás nos puedas mencionar algún otro del que aún no hemos hablado!

¡Nos vemos pronto!

 


Bibliografía

Cremas de efecto frío/calor 

[1TRPM8: The Cold and Menthol Receptor, David D. McKemy

[2Effect of topical Menthol on ipsilateral and contralateral superficial blood flow following about of maximum voluntary muscle contraction, Robert Topp et al.Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2011, 6,83–91. 

[3The menthol receptor TRPM8 is the principal detector of environmental cold, Nature 2007, 448, 204-208.

[4] Camphor induces cold and warm sensations with increases in skin and muscle blood flow in human,T. Kotaka et al. Biol Pharm Bull. 2014, 37, 1913-1918.

[5] Sensory characteristic of camphor, Barry G. Green, Journal of investigative dermatology 1990, 94, 662-666.

Otros ingredientes

[6Active Ingredients Used in Cosmetics: Safety Survey, Autores:  Committee of Experts on Cosmetic Products.

[7Topical Ginger Treatment With a Compress or Patch for Osteoarthritis Symptoms,  T. Therkleson J Holist Nurs 201432 173-182.

[8] Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence, N. S. Mashhadi et al. Int J Prev Med. 20144, 36–42.

[9Comparative antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of [6]-gingerol, [8]-gingerol, [10]-gingerol and [6]-shogaol, S. Dugasani  et al.,  J Ethnopharmacol. 2010, 3, 515-520.

[10] Robbing The Bees: A Biography Of Honey, Holley Bishop.

[11] Más sobre el veneno de las abejas en el Blog de Meritxell

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