Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How To Get Relief From Shingles Pain

How Long Does Shingles Last

Pain relief from shingles

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.

What You Can Do About Nerve Pain That Lingers After Shingles

Chronic pain that continues after a case of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia . It is estimated that about 20% of patients will experience this type of nerve pain as a complication of shingles.

Those who have had chickenpox are at risk of developing shingles later in life. People who develop PHN are generally age 60 and older. Although there is no cure for PHN, there are several methods of pain management that can ease symptoms. Fortunately, the type of pain that arises from postherpetic neuralgia improves over time.

Neuralgia affects the nerves, causing structural and functional damage. It can feel like a stabbing or burning pain that radiates along the affected nerve.

Neuropathic pain is not caused by an external injury or stimuli but originates from inside the nervous system. When the herpes-varicella zoster virus is reactivated in the form of shingles, scar tissue forms alongside nerves, creating pressure, and sending pain signals to the brain.

Hearing Loss And Facial Weakness

Complications of herpes zoster oticus and Ramsay Hunt syndrome might include hearing loss and facial weakness. For most people, these are temporary symptoms, but it is possible for the damage to become permanent, especially if shingles is left untreated.

Ramsay Hunt syndrome accounts for up to 12% of facial paralysis. In some cases, it has a worse outcome than Bells palsya condition that causes temporary weakness in the muscles of the face.

Recommended Reading: Why Do People Get Shingles

How Well Does Shingrix Work

Two doses of Shingrix provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication of shingles.

  • In adults 50 to 69 years old with healthy immune systems, Shingrix was 97% effective in preventing shingles in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective.
  • In adults 50 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective in preventing PHN in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 89% effective.
  • In adults with weakened immune systems, Shingrix was between 68% and 91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on their underlying immunocompromising condition.

In people 70 years and older who had healthy immune systems, Shingrix immunity remained high throughout 7 years following vaccination.

Also Check: Is Shingles A Sign Of Hiv

Oral Care With Shingles

Shingles Pain Relief (BM125)

If you have developed new or have healing shingles blisters in the mouth, maintain proper oral hygiene so the ruptured blisters dont get infected. Be careful not to irritate the blisters with your toothbrush, which may slow healing and make them more painful. However, keep brushing your teeth and flossing daily. Your dentist may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash to keep your mouth clean to promote healing.

Specific treatment for shingles will be determined by your healthcare provider based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • How long the shingles have been present
  • Extent of the condition
  • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference

There is no cure for shingles. It simply has to run its course. Treatment focuses on pain relief. Painkillers may help relieve some of the pain. Antiviral drugs may help lessen some of the symptoms and reduce nerve damage. Other treatments may include:

  • Creams or lotions to help relieve itching
  • Cool compresses applied to affected skin areas
  • Antiviral medicines
  • Anticonvulsants

Read Also: Is It Possible To Have Shingles Without A Rash

These Home Remedies Should Provide Relief During A Case Of Shingles

The editors at Health are a dedicated team of experienced health editors, writers, and other media professionals who strive to bring trustworthy and responsible health and medical content to their readers. As a team, we have decades of experience in health journalism and have worked at legacy publishers and some of the biggest news and media companies in the U.S.

Anyone who had chickenpox as a kid remembers the red, painfully itchy blister-like rash, and perhaps the fever and fatigue that came along with it. But even though it’s true you’re now inoculated against chickenpox for life, there’s one pox-related complication you may not have considered: Shingles.

Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus , and causes a painful, itchy rash in one place on the body. Shingles is most common in adults over 50 years of age in fact, about half of people over age 80 may experience it.

Shingles often begin as pain and itching in the skin before a red rash appears one to two days later, with small, water-filled blisters. These blisters soon rupture and scar over, healing and fading over the course of a few weeks. This process can be extremely uncomfortable and painful, making even the littlest actions difficult.

Here’s how to minimize discomfort and pain with stuff you probably already have at home:

Feeling Poorly In General

One of the challenges doctors encounter is when a patient comes and tells them how they generally feel “under the weather,” but they cannot be any more specific. Sometimes the doctor senses that this is more an emotional problem and the patient’s physical health is fine, but some kinds of illnesses also make people feel at a physical low without any one particular symptom standing out. Shingles are one of these conditions that might produce this general feeling of malaise.

Also Check: What To Do For Nerve Pain From Shingles

Lasting Pain After Shingles

Pain that continues for a long time after a shingles rash has disappeared is called post-herpetic neuralgia. This is the most common complication of shingles. Its still not clear how it can be prevented or what the best treatment is.

Shingles typically causes a rash accompanied by pain in the affected area. The pain normally goes away when the rash goes away. This usually happens after two to four weeks. Pain that continues for longer is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia. The word “post-herpetic” means “post-herpes” because the pain arises after infection by the herpes zoster virus. In very rare cases pain can come back after a shingles infection, even if it had already gone away and the rash has disappeared.

The main symptom of post-herpetic neuralgia is pain in the nerves . The skin is often overly sensitive and itchy as well. This can make it difficult or painful to wash yourself, turn over in bed, or hug someone. The pain and itching can be very severe and might keep you from sleeping.

The Emotional Toll Of Nerve Pain After Shingles

Treatment for shingles pain

Researchers are not just looking at biological and neurological risk factors for PHN. Dworkin was also a co-author of a study looking at psychological risk factors, too. The results were published in the Journal of Pain in 2005.

“It certainly looks like psychological stress can be a potent risk factor for PHN,” Dworkin tells WebMD.

The study showed that people with shingles who went on to develop PHN were more likely to have had symptoms of personality disorders, hypochondria, intense worry about their disease, and other bodily complaints.

Dworkin says previous studies have already shown a connection between stress and shingles development.

“One study even found that the risk of developing PHN was higher in people who were living alone when they developed shingles than people living with others,” Dworkin says, perhaps indicating that social isolation increases the risks of PHN.

You May Like: What Medicare Plan Covers Shingles Shot

Steroids Can Sometimes Help

Dr. Auwaerter notes that some older research done in the early 2000s supports the use of the steroid prednisone taken with an antiviral for short-term shingles pain relief, as well as a decreased risk of developing the more serious PHN. Steroids may be especially beneficial for people over 50, who are at higher risk for PHN. However, they can increase your risk of immunosuppression over time, so theyre generally used for shingles for just one to two weeks. If youre trying this approach, work closely with your doctor to manage the appropriate dosing.

If You Have Shingles Symptoms Get Treatment Now And You May Avoid Permanent Nerve Pain

Shingles, a viral infection of the nerve roots, affects 1 million people in the U.S each year. Most people recover from their bout, but for as many as 50% of those over age 60 who have not been treated, the pain doesn’t go away. It can last for months, years, or even the rest of their lives.

These people have what’s called postherpetic neuralgia , the result of the shingles virus damaging the nerves of the skin. In some cases, the pain is mild. In others, even the slightest touch — from clothing or even a breeze — can be excruciating.

“PHN causes a great deal of suffering and high social costs,” says Robert H. Dworkin, PhD, a professor in the department of anesthesiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. “It can severely disrupt people’s lives.”

But the good news is that there are drugs that can help treat and even prevent PHN, and doctors are learning more about who is at greatest risk of developing this debilitating condition.

You May Like: What Helps With Nerve Pain From Shingles

Oral Pain Relief Medicines

e.g. paracetamol , aspirin ibuprofen

e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen diclofenac , naproxen

e.g. ibuprofen

e.g. diclofenac

  • paracetamol, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories , which include ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen, relieve pain and reduce fever
  • paracetamol is a safe choice for most people, but it is important not to take more than recommended. Paracetamol is an ingredient in many cold and flu remedies, so be careful not to double dose
  • the maximum daily dose of paracetamol for an adult is 4 g , and no more than 1 g every 4 hours.
  • aspirin and NSAIDs are not suitable for everyone. Children under 16 years old must not take aspirin because it can cause Reyes syndrome, which is a serious condition. It should also be avoided by adolescents under 16 years old who have a viral illness
  • check with your pharmacist before taking aspirin or NSAIDs if you:
  • have a history of stomach problems, such as ulcers or indigestion
  • have asthma some asthmatics find their condition is made worse by these types of medicines
  • have kidney problems or a heart condition
  • take other medications
  • have bleeding or bruising problems
  • have an allergy to aspirin or NSAIDs
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • are elderly you may be at more risk of side effects
  • are due to have any type of surgery within the next couple of days

Soak In A Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

MagniLife SHINGLES Maximum Recovery Cream, 1.8 Oz / 54 g, Relieves ...

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.

Don’t Miss: What Type Of Shingles Are Best

Is Shingles Contagious

If you are in contact with someone who has shingles, you will not get the symptoms of shingles yourself. However, direct contact with fluid from a shingles rash can still spread the varicella-zoster virus, which can cause chickenpox in people who have not had chickenpox before or the chickenpox vaccine. The risk of spreading the virus is low if the shingles rash is kept covered.

When To Seek Care

Early shingles symptoms, such as pain or flu-like feelings, are not obvious signs of a shingles outbreak.

Once a rash appears, you should see your primary care physician or a dermatologist. A trained eye can often diagnose shingles by visually inspecting the rash.

If you have shingles, you may never experience the extreme pain that can often come with it. You may only feel itching and some minor discomfort.

Even without the painful symptoms of shingles, its recommended that you see a healthcare professional and start antiviral treatment within 72 hours of a rashs appearance.

Its especially important to seek prompt medical care if a rash forms near one or both eyes. Shingles in the eye may cause permanent vision loss.

Recommended Reading: What Do You Do To Treat Shingles

Why Does Postherpetic Neuralgia Happen

Postherpetic neuralgia starts out with a very familiar illness: chickenpox. The virus that causes it is called varicella-zoster. Once chickenpox has run its course, the virus âhides outâ in your nervous system.

Doctors arenât sure exactly why, but sometimes the virus reactivates decades later and travels along pathways to your skin. A painful, blistering rash can erupt. Thatâs shingles.

In some cases, shingles can damage your nerves so that they canât send messages from your skin to your brain as they usually do. That scramble of signals can trigger the ongoing pain of neuralgia.

If the pain lasts more than a year, it can become permanent.

How Is Shingles Diagnosed

New treatment for the pain of shingles

Your healthcare provider will do a complete physical exam and ask about your medical history, specifically about whether you have ever had chickenpox.

Your healthcare provider will likely know right away that it is shingles based on the unique rash. The rash usually appears one area on one side of the body or face. It appears as red spots, small fluid- or pus-filled vesicles, or scabs.

The healthcare provider may also take skin scrapings for testing.

Don’t Miss: How To Fix Lifted Shingles

Shingles And Your Eyes

If the shingles rash breaks out on the face, near the eye, the vision may be affected. An ophthalmologist should be consulted right away when pain or other symptoms of shingles affect the eye or the area near the eye.

Shingles painand other symptoms from an outbreak of herpes zosterusually lasts between three to five weeks. Most people experience shingles once, but in some instances, people will continue to experience pain. When this happens, its called postherpetic neuralgia .

What Is Your Product Guarantee

Return Policy for Auto-Ship Deliveries

Truewell retains a 30-Day money-back guarantee on all Truewell auto-ship products. If you, the buyer, are unhappy with the product for any reason – even if you’ve used the full supply of the supplement- you can return the empty bottle for a full refund of the purchase price less shipping and handling. To obtain your refund, you must do the following: Call us at 1-800-689-1037 . You will be given a Return Merchandise Authorization number. To receive your refund, you must postmark your return within 30 days of purchase. Be sure to clearly write the return merchandise authorization number on the outside of the box. Our shipping department is NOT allowed to accept any packages without an RMA number. You pay for return shipping.

We will not accept or issue a refund for any packages marked return to sender or refused.

If you return a package, we recommend that you get proof of shipment. Upon receipt of your returned product with a valid RMA number, a refund will be issued to your credit card. After the shipping department receives your return, it generally takes 3-5 business days or less to process your refund. Once a return is processed, it can take up to one billing cycle for this return to be posted to your account, depending on your financial institution.

Return Policy for Standard Deliveries
Address the return package to:

Truewell ReturnsRMA: 41 Canal StreetLewiston, ME 04240

Read Also: How Many Shingles Shots Are Needed

Treatment Of Pain After Shingles

Treatment for people with PHN may include:

  • Nerve blocks: Local anesthetic or alcohol injected directly into the nerve affected
  • Thoracic epidural injections: Local injection in the space around the spinal cord
  • Antidepressant medications: Such as amitriptyline
  • Membrane stabilizers: Such as gabapentin
  • Capsaicinapplication: Topical cream applied to the affected area

How To Relieve Shingles Pain Fast

Nerve Pain Relief Great Organic Shingles Treatment Recovery Cream ...

Shingles is an infection that will naturally go away on its own. Still, health professionals may prescribe antiviral drugs and over-the-counter painkillers to get rid of the pain and soothe the affected area.

Treatment of shingles can last from several weeks to a month, depending on the individuals immunity strength and age. In many cases, the elderly tend to take many weeks to heal. The commonly prescribed medication may include any combination of the following:

Also Check: Can You Get Shingles In The Groin Area

What Can I Take To Feel Better

Your doctor has a host of ways to treat your pain after shingles, including a variety of medications. They include:

Anticonvulsants: These medications were developed to control seizures, but they can also help reduce the pain of postherpetic neuralgia. Examples are:

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about side effects of any new prescription or over-the-counter medication.

When Should I See My Doctor

See your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms of shingles. Starting treatment with antiviral medicines within 3 days of the rash appearing should reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of further complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia.

See your doctor straight away if you have symptoms of shingles and are experiencing the following:

  • symptoms that affect your eye area
  • a temperature of 38°C or higher

You should also see your doctor if you are pregnant, or have a weakened immune system due to medicine that suppresses the immune system, or a condition that weakens your immune system.

Recommended Reading: Best Shingles For The Money

You May Like: How Long Does It Take To Cure Shingles

Popular Articles
Related news