Friday, June 14, 2024

Can Shingles Be Treated At Home

Try Probiotics And Lysine

How to treat shingles

According to a 2021 study published in Foods, probiotics may help to support your immune system and your bodys defense against viral infections, including shingles . You may benefit from taking a daily probiotic-rich foods. Yogurt is a probiotic-rich food thats also rich in lysine. According to a 2017 study published in Integrative Medicine , lysine may help to reduce viral infections . You may benefit from eating yogurt and other lysine-rich foods, including wild-caught salmon, pasture-raised poultry, and grass-fed beef. You may also benefit from taking an L-Lysine supplement as a natural treatment for shingles.

How Can You Prevent Spreading The Virus

You cant give shingles to someone else, but the varicella-zoster virus is very contagious. If you have shingles and you expose someone else who has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, you can give them the virus. Theyll get chickenpox, not shingles, but this puts them at risk for shingles later on.

Youre contagious when your blisters are oozing, or after they break and before they crust over. Do the following to avoid spreading the virus to others:

  • Keep your rash covered, especially when the blisters are active.
  • Try not to touch, rub, or scratch your rash.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.

Avoid contact with people whove never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, especially:

Am I At Risk For Shingles

Everyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for developing shingles. Researchers do not fully understand what makes the virus become active and cause shingles. But some things make it more likely:

  • Older age. The risk of developing shingles increases as you age. About half of all shingles cases are in adults age 60 or older. The chance of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70.
  • Trouble fighting infections. Your immune system is the part of your body that responds to infections. Age can affect your immune system. So can HIV, cancer, cancer treatments, too much sun, and organ transplant drugs. Even stress or a cold can weaken your immune system for a short time. These all can put you at risk for shingles.

Most people only have shingles one time. However, it is possible to have it more than once.

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Lower Your Stress And Improve Your Sleep

High stress and poor sleep may compromise your immune system, increase inflammation, and increase histamine in your body . A chronically stressed and sleepless, fatigued state can compromise your bodys ability to recover from a shingles infection. Reducing your stress levels and improving your sleep are among the most important natural treatments for shingles.

Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you are feeling tired and unwell, honor your body by getting more sleep and resting. Practice meditation, breathwork, gratitude, and progressive muscle relaxation strategies to reduce stress, relax your body, and calm your mind.

Natural Remedies For Shingles

6 Foods To Avoid With Shingles: Measures To Prevent

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. The varicella zoster virus causes this viral infection. Its the same virus that causes chickenpox.

If you had chickenpox as a child, the shingles virus lies dormant in your body. The virus can reactivate later in life and cause a shingles rash. The rash can occur on any part of your body but typically only affects small sections.

Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. The rash and fluid-filled blisters form within a couple of days after the onset of pain. Some people with shingles also have a fever, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1 in 3 people in the United States will develop shingles at some point in their lifetime.

The shingles virus can last between two and six weeks. Shingles isnt life-threatening, but some people experience postherpetic neuralgia. This is when nerve fibers become damaged, causing shingles pain that lasts for weeks or months after the rash clears.

Theres no cure for shingles, but your doctor can prescribe antiviral medication to help shorten the duration of the virus and reduce symptoms.

Although an antiviral is an effective treatment for shingles, its not the only option. Several natural remedies may also reduce pain and discomfort.

Dry your body completely and then wash your towel to avoid spreading the virus to others.

  • orange and yellow fruits

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Soak In A Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

This DYI option hasnt been tested for shingles specifically but experts say it may provide some skin relief while your rash is still acting up. Colloidal oatmeal is made by grinding oats into a fine powder . A study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that this natural remedy has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can make it helpful in treating irritated skin. Add colloidal oatmeal to a bath of cool or lukewarm water and soak for about 10 minutes, once per day, for as long as your rash lasts.

How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Shingles

A dermatologist can often diagnose shingles by looking at the rash on your skin.

If there is any question about whether you have shingles, your dermatologist will scrape a bit of fluid from a blister. This will be sent to a lab where a doctor will look at the fluid under a high-powered microscope.

When you have shingles, the fluid contains the virus that causes shingles. Seeing the virus confirms that you have shingles.

Your dermatologist will also ask about your symptoms. Shingles tends to be painful.

When the shingles rash spreads to an eye, it can affect your eyesight

You can reduce this risk by seeing an ophthalmologist immediately.

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What Can I Do For The Pain

To help with the pain of shingles, your doctor might have you take an over-the-counter pain medicine. This could include acetaminophen or ibuprofen .

Applying a medicated anti-itch lotion to the blisters might reduce the pain and itching. Placing cool compresses soaked in water mixed with white vinegar on the blisters and sores might also help.

If shingles causes severe pain, your doctor might prescribe a stronger pain medicine.

How Dangerous Is Shingles

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Shingles isnt considered a dangerous health condition.

Each year about 1 million new cases of shingles are reported in the United States. Most people recover and resume their normal activities once theyre no longer infectious.

However, if shingles isnt treated, particularly severe cases can lead to death.

People with autoimmune conditions and people over the age of 65 are at a higher risk for shingles complications.

Women who are pregnant may also be concerned if they develop shingles. You and your baby will most likely be safe. However, talk with your healthcare provider if youre pregnant and suspect you have shingles.

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Check If You Have Shingles

The first signs of shingles can be:

  • a tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin
  • a headache or feeling generally unwell

A rash will appear a few days later.

Usually you get the shingles rash on your chest and tummy, but it can appear anywhere on your body including on your face, eyes and genitals.

The rash appears as blotches on your skin, on 1 side of your body only. A rash on both the left and right of your body is unlikely to be shingles.

Scott Camazine / Alamy Stock Photo https://www.alamy.com/herpes-zoster-shingles-rash-image3217474.html?pv=1& stamp=2& imageid=04C48F81-4F80-4503-BEE8-E369C12FA659& p=9949& n=0& orientation=0& pn=1& searchtype=0& IsFromSearch=1& srch=foo%3dbar%26st%3d0%26pn%3d1%26ps%3d100%26sortby%3d2%26resultview%3dsortbyPopular%26npgs%3d0%26qt%3dA02G43%26qt_raw%3dA02G43%26lic%3d3%26mr%3d0%26pr%3d0%26ot%3d0%26creative%3d%26ag%3d0%26hc%3d0%26pc%3d%26blackwhite%3d%26cutout%3d%26tbar%3d1%26et%3d0x000000000000000000000%26vp%3d0%26loc%3d0%26imgt%3d0%26dtfr%3d%26dtto%3d%26size%3d0xFF%26archive%3d1%26groupid%3d%26pseudoid%3d%26a%3d%26cdid%3d%26cdsrt%3d%26name%3d%26qn%3d%26apalib%3d%26apalic%3d%26lightbox%3d%26gname%3d%26gtype%3d%26xstx%3d0%26simid%3d%26saveQry%3d%26editorial%3d1%26nu%3d%26t%3d%26edoptin%3d%26customgeoip%3d%26cap%3d1%26cbstore%3d1%26vd%3d0%26lb%3d%26fi%3d2%26edrf%3d0%26ispremium%3d1%26flip%3d0%26pl%3d

Science Photo Library https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/877219/view

Avoid Scratching The Blisters

It might be tempting to scratch or pick at the blisters, especially if theyre causing you discomfort. Know that theyll eventually crust over and fall off if you leave them alone.

Scratching at blisters or scabs can lead to infection and scarring. Cleaning and covering them regularly with a new sterile bandage can help reduce the likelihood that youll pick at the rash.

Keeping the rash clean is one part of the process. The other is to make sure you bandage it properly, especially if the rash is still weeping .

When dealing with a painful shingles rash, your best bet is to use bandages that are:

When youre switching the dressing, allow the skin to dry before covering it with a new bandage.

In addition to keeping the rash protected, bandaging also prevents you from passing the varicella-zoster virus to another person. Be sure to keep bandages on any areas of the rash that havent scabbed over yet.

While shingles isnt contagious, the virus that causes it can be passed to anyone who hasnt had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine. If they come into skin-to-skin contact with the fluid that oozes from a shingles blister, they could end up with chickenpox, according to

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If Home Remedies Fail There Are Medical Treatments

A healthcare professional may prescribe oral anti-viral medication, which you’ll take for seven to 10 days, said Dr. Strowd. They might also prescribe oral or topical medications to help ease any pain.

While shingles is not super contagious to your average, healthy person, it can pose a risk if you’re pregnant, have never had chickenpox or the vaccine, are an older adult, or have a compromised immune system.

Try to avoid contact with those vulnerable groups until your rash forms a scab, as the virus usually spreads through the blister fluid, and keep it covered with a bandage, said Dr. Strowd.

When Should You Call For Help

Check if you have shingles

or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have a new or higher fever.
  • You have a severe headache and a stiff neck.
  • You lose the ability to think clearly.
  • The rash spreads to your forehead, nose, eyes, or eyelids.
  • You have eye pain, or your vision gets worse.
  • You have new pain in your face, or you can’t move the muscles in your face.
  • Blisters spread to new parts of your body.
  • You have symptoms of infection, such as increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • The rash has not healed after 2 to 4 weeks.
  • You still have pain after the rash has healed.

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What Are Medications For Shingles

Antiviral medications like acyclovir , valacyclovir , or famciclovir can reduce the severity and duration of the rash if started within 72 hours of the development of the skin rash, and pain medications like acetaminophen , ibuprofen , and naproxen , and even narcoticpain-control medications may be useful in symptom control. In addition to medications, many people find that home care remedies can also provide relief for the pain of shingles.

How Long Does Shingles Last

Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks.

  • The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
  • Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
  • A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
  • About one week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
  • A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.

Read Also: How Long Do You Have Pain Before Shingles Rash Appears

How To Prevent Shingles

  • Get yourself and your kids vaccinated for chickenpox if you have never had the disease. The vaccine may not necessarily prevent everyone from getting chickenpox, but it has been reported to be successful in 9 out of 10 individuals who took it.
  • Adults in the age group of 50-60 years should take a vaccination for shingles.

As shingles is contagious, it is important that you take precautions to prevent spreading of the infection to other individuals. Heres what you need to do:

  • Keep your rash/blisters covered until they dry completely.
  • Avoid contact with individuals who have never had chickenpox or have weak immunity.
  • Avoid sharing of utensils.
  • Wash your hands frequently.

Shingles or herpes zoster is a viral infection caused by the Varicella zoster virus. It causes fluid-filled blisters, red patches, and rashes. Getting a vaccine may help reduce the development of infections. However, you may also check out some natural treatments for shingles. Oatmeal baths, cold or hot compress, vitamins, coconut oil, garlic, and tea tree oil are effective remedies to manage the symptoms of this infection. In addition, washing your hands frequently, keeping the blisters covered until they dry, and avoiding contact with infected individuals may help prevent shingles. Follow these remedies and tips, and if you still experience the symptoms associated with this viral infection, immediately contact your doctor.

How Long Is Shingles Contagious

New treatment for the pain of shingles

Shingles is not contagious. But if someone comes into contact with the rash at a certain stage, they may contract the varicella-zoster virus and develop chickenpox. If they have chickenpox, shingles can develop later in life.

To prevent the virus from being transmitted, keep shingles rashes covered. Cover the rash from when the blisters appear to when they crust and scab over. According to the , this usually takes 7 to 10 days.

The rash will usually clear after 2 to 4 weeks.

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How Is Shingles Diagnosed

If you have symptoms of shingles, especially if they involve your face, see your doctor or ophthalmologist right away.

Doctors can usually diagnose a shingles rash by performing a physical exam. Your doctor can also take a scraping of your skin rash and send it to a lab for examination under a microscope.

Its particularly important to seek treatment if you have a compromised immune system. Early treatment can help cut down on your chances for serious complications.

Shingles will have to run its course, but quite a few treatment options are available. These include:

  • antiviral drugs

How To Decrease Your Risk Of Complications

Treating shingles early can help shorten the lifespan of the virus.

If youre able to shorten the infection, youll decrease your risk for complications from the virus. Antiviral medication is recommended as a first line of treatment when youre diagnosed with shingles.

Getting a varicella vaccination can help you to avoid contracting shingles and chickenpox. Even if youve already had shingles, a vaccination against shingles can help to prevent the virus from reactivating in your system.

The most common complication associated with shingles is postherpetic neuralgia . PHN is long-term nerve pain that can occur in the area where your shingles rash appeared.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , of people experience PHN after a shingles outbreak.

The older you are when your shingles appears, the higher your risk for long-term nerve pain.

If the virus is left untreated, your risk for other complications related to shingles

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Consider The Benefits Of Capsaicin

Another topical treatment is made from chili peppers, and research has shown that it can help with shingles pain reduction. Capsaicin comes in OTC and prescription forms, and it can be applied topically as a cream or by wearing a patchbut its tricky to administer properly. A report in Molecules noted that capsaicin can cause a burning sensation on the applied area, especially if applied in frequent dosages. In rare cases, it can also cause blood vessel constrictions. Be sure to get your doctors guidance before trying this method on your own.

Can Shingles Be Prevented

6 Foods To Avoid With Shingles: Measures To Prevent

There are 2 vaccines available to reduce the likelihood of developing shingles, Zostavax and Shingrix. If you are over 50, you can talk to your doctor about whether you need it. It is recommended for everyone over 60 and is given free of charge in Australia to people aged 70 to 79.

Vaccination will not guarantee that you will not get shingles, but it will reduce your chance of developing the condition. The vaccine used to protect against shingles is not the same as the vaccine used to protect against chickenpox. Read more about the chickenpox vaccine here.

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How To Avoid Spreading Shingles

The varicella-zoster virus is typically less likely to be transmitted with shingles than with chickenpox. However, the varicella-zoster virus can be passed on from the time that your symptoms start until your rash and blisters have crusted dry.

If you have shingles and are otherwise healthy, you can still go out in public or to work. But be sure to follow these tips:

  • Keep the shingles rash clean and covered. This can help prevent other people from coming into contact with your blisters.
  • Wash your hands often. Also, try not to touch the blisters.
  • Avoid being around pregnant people. The varicella-zoster virus can cause serious health risks for both pregnant people and their babies. Risks include pneumonia and permanent damage to the unborn child. If you find you have shingles after spending time with someone whos pregnant, let them know at once so they can ask their OB-GYN for advice. Be especially careful to avoid pregnant people who havent had chickenpox or the vaccine for it.
  • Avoid other at-risk people. Stay away from premature babies, infants with low birth weights, and children who havent yet had chickenpox or its vaccine. Also, avoid people with weakened immune systems. These include people living with HIV, organ transplant recipients, and people taking immunosuppressant medications or having chemotherapy.

Doctors recommend the chickenpox vaccine for children. Preventing chickenpox will also prevent shingles.

You can get the vaccine

Risk Factors For Shingles

Anyone can develop shingles. If youve had chickenpox, you have some risk of developing shingles. However, some people are at a higher risk for developing shingles .

Risk factors for shingles may include:

  • Being over the age of 60
  • Having a weak immune system due to certain immune-compromising health conditions, including HIV/AIDS or cancer
  • Taking immunosuppressants, steroids, medications given after an organ transplant, or other medications that may weaken your immune function
  • Receiving or having had chemotherapy or radiation treatment

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