Contrary to some beliefs, there is no evidence that snail mucus-based products can help manage pain from arthritis. However, studies do suggest that snail products could have other health benefits. To manage arthritis pain, standard lines of treatment remain the better option.

To discover more evidence-based information and resources for arthritis, visit our dedicated hub.

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that results in painful joints. Some individuals believe that products containing snail mucus might be useful for relieving this pain.

According to a 2021 review, snails produce mucus to coat themselves, forming a protective layer. The mucins secreted in the mucus are used in certain skincare products, cosmetics, and wound healing treatments.

This article will investigate the suggestion that snail mucus might help arthritis pain before looking at the broader effectiveness of snail mucus-based products in medicine. After discussing their safety, it will also detail existing treatment options for arthritis.

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There is no scientific evidence that snail mucus can help to relieve pain from arthritis. Scientists have not produced any studies to test whether or not this is true. There is also no evidence that snail mucus-based oils, gels, and creams can help with arthritis.

Because many skincare products and cosmetics contain snail mucin, people might assume that it could have benefits for arthritis pain too. People might also have heard about ziconotide, a pain reliever derived from snails.

Ziconotide is a pain reliever that people take to treat chronic pain. Scientists extract chemicals from the venom of Conus magus, a type of sea snail, to produce ziconotide. This may have inspired some people to theorize that other snail mucus-based products are medicinally useful.

One study did find that regular injections of ziconotide, along with the opioid oxymorphone, could decrease pain and improve joint motion in people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is important to realize that ziconotide is not the same as snail mucus.

Moreover, ziconotide is an intrathecal pain reliever, meaning that doctors inject it directly into the spine. This is not the case when it comes to snail mucus-based products. Snail oils, gels, and creams are topical products, which a person rubs into their skin.

Although there is no evidence that snail mucus-based medications help with arthritis, they may have other applications in medicine. These include:

  • Reducing skin damage: A 2020 study suggests that topical use of snail mucus could help prevent premature skin damage from ozone exposure.
  • Treating gastric ulcers: A recent animal study looked at whether snail mucus extract could help protect against gastric ulcers, as well as accompanying inflammation, oxidative stress, and gastric mucus levels. Researchers found a positive effect in mice, but it is unknown whether humans would also benefit.
  • Preventing skin cancer: A study found that snail mucus may help prevent tumor development in human melanoma cells.
  • Treating infections: Another study found evidence that snail mucus has antimicrobial properties. This could make it a useful ingredient in medicines in the future.

Because scientists have not done much research on snail mucus-based medicines, it is hard to know what precautions people should take when using them. If a person is using cosmetics containing snail mucus, they should stop using them if they develop the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:

Research shows that sea snails and other mollusks are potent allergens. It is possible that if someone is in contact with products containing snail mucus, they could have an allergic reaction. However, there are no reported cases of this in scientific literature.

Although scientists know very little about up-and-coming snail mucus-based medications, there is evidence that ziconotide carries side effects. These include:

There is currently no known cure for arthritis. However, there is a range of treatment options available.

Treatment for arthritis centers on pain management, recovery of joint function, and minimizing long-term joint damage. Typical arthritis treatment includes medications such as:

Other treatment options include:

Learn more

Learn more about natural remedies for arthritis:

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects a person’s joints. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • joint pain
  • decreased range of motion
  • joint stiffness
  • joint deformities

Arthritis can be a challenging condition, and some people may wish to find alternative ways of managing its symptoms, including snail mucus. However, there is no scientific evidence that snail mucus on its own can help reduce pain from arthritis.

When combined with certain opiates, the snail mucus-based pain reliever ziconotide may be useful for treating arthritis, but this drug can have serious side effects.

There is no evidence that snail mucus-based products, such as oils, gels, and creams have any benefit to people with arthritic pain. A person should talk with a healthcare professional about the best treatment option for them.