How Long To Use It For
Most people only need to use hydrocortisone skin treatments for a short time. Stop as soon as your skin is better. Sometimes you only need to use the skin treatments for a few days.
For insect bites and stings, nappy rash or contact dermatitis youll probably only need to use a skin cream for up to 1 week.
If you buy hydrocortisone from a pharmacy or shop, do not use it for more than 1 week without talking to your doctor.
Do I Need To Stay Away From Children Pregnant Women People With Cancer Or Anyone With A Weak Immune System After I Get The Zostavax Vaccine
According to the CDC, it is safe to be around babies and young children, pregnant women or anyone with a weakened immune system after you get the Zostavax vaccine. Even though the Zostavax vaccine contains a weakened live varicella zoster virus, the CDC says there is no documented case of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the Zostavax vaccine.
What If I Have Shingles And A Poor Immune System
If you have a poor immune system and develop shingles then see your doctor straightaway. You will normally be given antiviral medication whatever your age and will be monitored for complications. People with a poor immune system include:
- People taking high-dose steroids. per day for more than one week in the previous three months. Or, children who have taken steroids within the previous three months, equivalent to prednisolone 2 mg/kg per day for at least one week, or 1 mg/kg per day for one month.)
- People on lower doses of steroids in combination with other immunosuppressant medicines.
- People taking anti-arthritis medications which can affect the bone marrow.
- People being treated with chemotherapy or generalised radiotherapy, or who have had these treatments within the previous six months.
- People who have had an organ transplant and are on immunosuppressive treatment.
- People who have had a bone marrow transplant and who are still immunosuppressed.
- People with an impaired immune system.
- People who are immunosuppressed with HIV infection.
Don’t Miss: Can Shingles Flare Up Again
Specific Interventions Included In The Review
Studies that focused on the use of corticosteroids for treatment or prevention were eligible for inclusion. One study in which all patients received corticosteroids was excluded. The included studies used oral, topical and injectable corticosteroids .
The included studies used the following regimens for herpes zoster: oral prednisone and prednisolone, starting dose from 35 to 60 mg/day, generally tapering over 3 to 4 weeks oral triamcinolone, 48 mg/day and tapering corticotropin, 1 mg thrice weekly for 7 weeks carbamazepine, 400 mg /day for 4 weeks aciclovir, 4,000 mg/day or 7 to 21 days radiotherapy prednisolone or prednisone plus aciclovir placebo and no treatment. Various analgesics were also used as cointerventions or controls.
The included studies used the following regimens for herpes zoster opthalmicus: betamethasone unspecified corticosteroid aciclovir ointment with and without corticosteroids and dexamethasone . Treatment was generally applied five times daily.
The included studies used the following injectable corticosteroid regimens for acute herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia: corticotropin, 20 to 75 mg/day triamcinolone plus lidocaine, procaine or saline cortisone methylprednisolone plus lidocaine, bupivacaine or epidural bupivacaine intrathecal or epidural methylprednisolone plus lidocaine weekly for 4 weeks intrathecal lidocaine weekly for 4 weeks and no intrathecal injection.
Can Shingles Be Prevented Or Avoided
The best way to prevent shingles is through vaccination. Vaccinate your children for chickenpox. This vaccine reduces their risk for getting chickenpox. You cant get shingles unless youve had chickenpox first.
When you are older, get the shingles vaccine. It is recommended for adults 50 years of age and older. It can prevent shingles. People who have had shingles should get the vaccine to help stop the disease from reoccurring. Common side effects of the vaccine are headache, plus redness, swelling, itching, and soreness at the injection site.
The shingles vaccine is not recommended for anyone who:
- Has had an allergic reaction to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin
- Has an allergy to any component of the shingles vaccine
- Has a weakened immune system due to conditions such as leukemia, HIV, or AIDS
- Is receiving treatment for cancer
- Is being treated with drugs that suppress their immune system, including high-dose steroids
- Is pregnant or might become pregnant within 4 weeks of getting the vaccine
You May Like: How Many Shingles Vaccines Are There
Topicals Are Not A Substitute For Medical Treatment
Topical products can help you manage your symptoms. But they arent a substitute for proper medical treatment.
Its important to visit your doctor if youre dealing with shingles. Your doctor can prescribe antiviral drugs and other medications that can shorten the duration of your infection and help you avoid severe complications.
The following creams may be able to help you manage shingles symptoms.
What To Do If You Think You Have Shingles
If you suspect that you have shingles, its important to visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible. According to the American Academy of Dermatology , treating shingles within the first 72 hours gives you the best chance of minimizing complications like nerve pain.
Antiviral medications or other medications only available by prescription can shorten the duration of your shingles or lessen the severity.
If a cream or other topical isnt reducing your pain, its a good idea to visit your doctor again. They may recommend trying another treatment like capsaicin cream instead of lidocaine.
If a product is making your symptoms worse, its important to stop taking it right away.
You may be able to reduce your symptoms using home remedies while youre waiting to see a healthcare professional. These include applying a wet cold compress or taking a cool bath.
Recommended Reading: How Long Dies Shingles Last
Is A Vaccine Available To Prevent Shingles
Two vaccines are available in the United States to reduce your chance of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. One vaccine, Zostavax®, has been available since 2006. The second vaccine, Shingrix®, has been available since 2017. Shingrix is recommended as the preferred vaccine by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical and public health experts.
Shingrix is given as a two-dose shot in your upper arm. You should receive the second dose two to six months after receiving the first. Shingrix has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. Its effectiveness remains above 85% for at least four years after receiving the vaccine.
Are There Natural Ways To Boost The Immune System To Help Lessen The Chances Of Developing Shingles
Stress is a risk factor for developing shingles. So limiting your stress can be helpful. Try meditation, yoga or other relaxation methods. Eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, dont smoke these are all good living tips, not just for reducing your chance of getting shingles, but also many other diseases and health conditions too.
Recommended Reading: What Does Cvs Charge For Shingles Vaccine
How Should I Use This Medicine
This medicine is only for external use on cold sores. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Use a finger cot or rubber gloves so that you do not spread the infection to another site. Apply a thin layer to cover all lesions. Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water. Do not bathe, shower, or swim within 30 minutes of applying this medicine. Use this medicine at regular intervals. Do not use more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your doctor or health care professional even if you think you are better. Do not stop using except on your doctors advice. Talk to your doctor if your cold sore is not better in 2 weeks.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years of age, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What Does Shingles Feel Like
Essentially, I have narrowed down the three different types of pain that you experience when you have a shingles rash:
1, You know the feeling that you get when you take a bad burn off of ice or cold water? The surface of your skin feels that way wherever you have the rash. I would rate this pain level at a solid 9 out of 10.
2, It comes with severe muscle pain. I have had it both times on my neck and shoulder and it felt like I broke my collarbone. I could hardly lift my arm and it caused some seriously weird shooting pains down my arm.
3, You can feel the length of your entire nerves themselves, right from the edge of your skin down to the bone the rash sends lightning shocks through each one. It is a very bizarre and stressful sensation and the worst part is that you never know when it is coming.
Recommended Reading: How Long Do Wood Shingles Last
How Were Differences Between Studies Investigated
Differences between the studies were discussed in the text with reference to aspects of study validity, but heterogeneity was not formally assessed.
Twenty-four studies were included .
Oral corticosteroids for the prevention of postherpetic neuralgia .
Six studies found no significant difference in the rates of postherpetic neuralgia between corticosteroids and control. Three small studies that lacked adequate statistical analysis found that corticosteroids prevented postherpetic neuralgia.
Topical corticosteroids .
Four studies found that corticosteroids increased the average duration of treatment compared with controls. Three studies found that corticosteroids increased the recurrence rate. Problems with the study quality included: non comparable groups at baseline no baseline comparison no information on the timing of the intervention relative to symptom onset lack of statistical results insufficient information on the corticosteroid regimen and whether the dose was tapered and compliance not measured.
Injectable corticosteroids .
Postherpetic neuralgia: 4 case series found that corticosteroids were less effective in treating postherpetic neuralgia than acute herpes zoster.
Adverse events for intrathecal corticosteroids: neither RCT found evidence of biochemical alterations in cerebrospinal fluid. One RCT found no evidence of complications on a magnetic resonance imaging scan. No other adverse events were mentioned.
Can Other People Catch Shingles
This one is confusing! You can catch chickenpox from other people, but you can’t catch shingles from other people. You only get shingles from a reactivation of your own chickenpox infection in the past.
So if you have shingles, and you come into contact with somebody else, they cannot ‘catch’ your shingles. But if they have never had chickenpox, it is possible that they could catch chickenpox from you.
To put it another way, no, you don’t ‘catch’ shingles. It comes from a virus hiding out in your own body, not from someone else. But if you have shingles, you may be infectious, as it is possible for people to catch chickenpox from you.
Only people who have never had chickenpox are likely to be at risk of catching chickenpox from your shingles. People who have had chickenpox should be immune from catching it again. If the rash is in a covered area of skin, the risk of anyone with whom you are not in close contact catching chickenpox is very low.
Don’t Miss: How To Ease Nerve Pain From Shingles
When Should You Call For Help
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 cannot move the muscles in your face.
- Blisters spread to new parts of your body.
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.
Do Natural Remedies Help
There are several options that can be tried to ease the pain. A73612 and Donnor52059 suggest dabbing cornstarch directly on the sores. I cant find any scientific studies that have researched this, but I cant see that it would do any harm.
A73612 also recommends squirting water from a bottle over the sores when you pee. This is a time-honoured method that will help to ease the pain.
Yolandayw mentioned taking a simple painkiller such as paracetamol during an outbreak. Feelbroken advised putting Vaseline on the sores. Lidocaine 5%, a local anaesthetic gel that numbs the area, is another option. Some people find it helpful to put on five minutes before passing urine. You need to get it on prescription and it doesnt suit everyone. Some people develop sensitivity to it which makes the symptoms worse.
Yolandayw also advised using ice as a home remedy. Simply wrap the ice in a tea towel and apply for 5-10 minutes. Never put ice directly on the skin as this can cause ice burn. Drinking plenty of water can also be helpful as it reduces the concentration of urine, making it less painful when you have to pee.
Dworkin RH, Johnson RW, Breuer J, Gnann JW, et al. Recommendations for the management of herpes zoster. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Jan 1. 44 Suppl 1:S1-26. .
Recommended Reading: How Long Does Shingles Pain Last After Rash
How Does Canesten Hydrocortisone Cream Work
Canesten hydrocortisone cream contains the antifungal clotrimazole and hydrocortisone.
Clotrimazole kills fungi and yeasts by causing holes to appear in fungal cell membranes. This allows essential constituents of the fungal cells to leak out, which kills the fungi and clears up the infection. Clotrimazole also kills some types of bacteria.
Hydrocortisone 1% is a mild topical corticosteroid that reduces inflammation in the skin by stopping skin cells from producing inflammatory substances such as prostaglandins. These are normally released when the skin reacts to irritation or infection. They cause blood vessels to widen and other inflammatory substances to arrive, making the affected area of skin become red, swollen and itchy. By stopping them being released in the skin, hydrocortisone reduces inflammation and relieves redness and itchiness.
Who Can And Cannot Use Hydrocortisone Skin Treatments
Most adults and children aged 10 years and over can use hydrocortisone skin treatments.
Do not use hydrocortisone skin treatments on children under 10 years old unless their doctor recommends it.
Hydrocortisone is not suitable for some people. Tell your pharmacist or doctor before starting the medicine if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to hydrocortisone or any other medicine
- have a skin infection or eye infection
- are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or youre breastfeeding
Hydrocortisone Topical Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
worsening of your skin condition
redness, warmth, swelling, oozing, or severe irritation of any treated skin
high blood sugarincreased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor or
possible signs of absorbing this medicine through your skinweight gain , slow wound healing, thinning or discolored skin, increased body hair, muscle weakness, nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, mood changes, menstrual changes, sexual changes.
Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keys Facts For Hydrocortisone Cream/ointment
It should not be used on the face, unless your doctor has prescribed it for you.
Hydrocortisone acetate 1% cream that can be brought from pharmacies, it is available either as a generic or a branded name such as Hc45 cream. These products should not be used for longer than a week.
Hydrocortisone butyrate cream/ointment is only available on prescription under the brand name of Locoid.
Hydrocortisone cream is more suitable for moist areas of skin, while the thicker, more greasy ointment is more suitable for dry or scaly areas of skin.
Do not use hydrocortisone cream or ointment as a moisturiser.
Don’t Miss: Is The Shingles Shot Free For Seniors
What Are The Symptoms Of Postherpetic Neuralgia
Postherpetic neuralgia is pain that occurs months or years after you have had shingles.
- It happens in the area of your skin where the shingles infection first occurred.
- This is most commonly in a band around your body, usually on one side of your body.
- The pain is described as burning, sharp and jabbing, or deep and aching.
- People with the condition often cant bear even the touch of clothing on the affected skin as they are sensitive to light touch.
- Sometimes postherpetic neuralgia can produce an itchy feeling or numbness.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does The Shingles Vaccine Cost At Cvs
Should I See A Doctor For Shingles
It is usually worth seeing a doctor to be certain about the diagnosis and to see if you need treatment or not. Ideally you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the rash appears.
The rash of shingles can be very painful. So even if the doctor doesn’t think you need an anti-shingles medicine, they may be able to give you stronger painkillers than those you can buy over the counter from the chemist.
You May Like: What Do They Do For Shingles