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How To Take Care Of Shingles Rash

What Does Early Stages Of Shingles Look Like

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

Shingles progress through several stages as the virus replicates in your body. Shingles start as a rash with red bumps, known as papules, distributed most frequently over your back and torso.

Within several days, grouped blisters are present. Within seven to ten days, the vesicles dry up and crust.

The early stage of shingles looks like small, red, raised, solid pimples or an inflamed rash. These are tiny, raised bumps on the skin. Eventually, these bumps blister and later crust. The beginning stages of shingles create tingling and localized pain.

The early stages of shingles are also described as itching, burning, or deep pain. People who have had shingles also described the early stages as similar to the beginning of the flu.

Aloe Vera And Cayenne Pepper

Aloe Vera has curative antifungal and anti-microbial properties that help to heal the blisters and sores caused due to shingles damage. Cayenne paper, on the other hand, has high contents of a compound called capsaicin, which helps get rid of pains, itching, and inflammation and prevents the infected area from further infections.

To use aloe Vera:

  • Take a fresh aloe Vera leaf plant, cut it open and extract the gel.
  • Take 2 to 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper powder and mix it with the gel.
  • You can also add 2 tablespoons of organic turmeric and gently apply the paste on the blisters.
  • Repeat this application 2 times daily for 1 week.
  • You can also use organic cold-pressed Aloe Vera

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    Home Remedies And Lifestyle

    In addition to triggering an uncomfortable rash, shingles can cause symptoms that are similar to those of other viral infections.

    While prescription and over-the-counter drugs can help, one of the most important things you can do while dealing with the illness is to take good care of yourself. If you’re caring for someone else who has shingles, “creature comforts” can be enormously soothing.

    Verywell / Laura Porter

    Integrate these basic tactics into even the busiest daily routine:

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    Skin Care And Itch Relief For Shingles

    To relieve itching and discomfort, try:

    • A cool, wet compresses on the affected skin
    • Soothing baths and lotions, such as colloidal oatmeal bath, starch baths, or calamine lotion
    • Zostrix, a cream that contains capsaicin
    • Antihistamines to reduce itching

    Keep your skin clean. Throw away bandages you use to cover your skin sores. Throw away or wash in hot water clothing that has contact with your skin sores. Wash your sheets and towels in hot water.

    While your skin sores are still open and oozing, avoid all contact with anyone who has never had chickenpox, especially pregnant women.

    Is The Zostavax Vaccine Still Being Used

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    Yes. The CDC, however, recommends Zostavax for adults age 60 and older, but not routinely for people aged 50 to 59. Zostavax is given as a single-dose shot versus the two-dose shot for Shingrix. Zostavax is less effective than Shingrix in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia .

    You can consider Zostavax if you are allergic to Shingrix or if Shingrix is unavailable because of supply shortage and you want some immediate protection from a possible case of shingles and/or postherpetic neuralgia. Because its a weakened live vaccine, it may be dangerous if you have cancer, HIV, or take steroids, chemotherapy or other medications that suppress your immune system. Ask your healthcare provider if the Zostavax vaccine is an option for you.

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    Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 As Soon As You Suspect Shingles

    You might need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.

    This works best if taken within 3 days of your symptoms starting.

    111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

    Go to 111.nhs.uk or .

    Get an urgent GP appointment

    A GP may be able to treat you.

    Ask your GP surgery for an urgent appointment.

    Consider Using Creams Lotions Or Patches

    Shingles can be very painful. If you need help managing pain, your doctor might prescribe a topical pain-relieving cream or patch. These contain lidocaine or other nerve block medication for the skin.

    A medicated anti-itch cream that includes an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine , might also help you find some relief.

    After the rash has scabbed over, you can try using creams or lotions to soothe any remaining symptoms. Look for products that contain:

    • colloidal oatmeal

    Your doctor may also recommend an oral over-the-counter pain reliever such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or acetaminophen . Always follow the dosage instructions on the label or take according to your doctors instructions.

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    What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Shingles

    Most people get shingles once, but its possible to get it again.

    If you have a healthy immune system, the blisters tend to clear in 7 to 10 days. The rash tends to go away completely within 2 to 4 weeks. The pain may last longer, but usually stops in 1 or 2 months.

    For some people, the pain will last longer than the rash. When it does, its called postherpetic neuralgia , which can come and go or be constant. PHN can last for months, years, or the rest of your life. Treatment can help reduce the amount of pain you feel.

    Be sure to tell your doctor if you continue to have pain. Treatment can help you feel more comfortable.

    For anyone who has a shingles rash, the right self-care can help ease your discomfort. Youll find out what dermatologists recommend at, Shingles: Self-care.

    ImageGetty Images

    ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention . About shingles. Page last reviewed 10/17/2017. Last accessed 4/1/2019.

    Dooling KL, Guo A, et al. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 67:103-8.

    Madkan V, Sra K, et al. Human herpes viruses. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008: 1204-8.

    Straus SE, Oxman MN. Varicella and herpes zoster. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1885-98.

    Shingles Chickenpox And Pregnancy

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    An attack of shingles during pregnancy will not harm the unborn baby. The mother is already carrying the varicella zoster virus before developing shingles and there is no increase in the risk of passing it on to the fetus if shingles develops. However, an attack of chickenpox during pregnancy can be serious and requires urgent medical attention.

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    What Is The Outlook

    If you have a particularly severe case of shingles, it could take months to go away. It can also become a long-term problem for some people. If you have postherpetic neuralgia, you may need to see your doctor more often.

    Complications that involve the eye or ear may require ongoing care, especially if you have lingering vision or hearing problems.

    Most people have shingles only once, but it can recur. This is more likely to happen if you have a weakened immune system.

    If you havent had any major complications, your symptoms should clear up within a matter of weeks with few, if any, lasting effects.

    Management Of Exposed Health Care Workers

    To prevent transmission of varicella in health care facilities, all health care workers should have evidence of immunity to varicella. This information should be documented and readily available. See Ensuring Immunity to Varicella in Health Care Workers for more information. Health care workers exposed to zoster:

    • With adequate evidence of immunity to varicella:
    • Should be monitored daily for symptoms of varicella from days 8-21 after exposure.
  • With 1 documented dose of varicella vaccine:
  • Should receive a second dose of varicella vaccine. Monitor for symptoms of varicella from days 8-21 after exposure.
  • Without any documented varicella vaccine:
  • Should be furloughed from days 8-21 after exposure or removed from patient care settings during this time. These health care workers should be offered varicella vaccine within 3-5 days after exposure if it is not otherwise contraindicated. Health care workers who are at high risk for severe disease and cannot receive varicella vaccine are recommended to receive VariZIG.
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    When To Seek Medical Advice

    Shingles is not usually serious, but you should see your GP as soon as possible if you recognise the symptoms. Early treatment may help reduce the severity of your symptoms and the risk of developing complications.

    You should also see your GP if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system and you think you have been exposed to someone with chickenpox or shingles and haven’t had chickenpox before.

    What Specialists Treat Shingles

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    Primary care physicians, including internal medicine specialists, family medicine specialists and/or specialists in infectious diseases, can appropriately treat some patients. An emergency medicine physician may start the initial care. However, if there is a chance the eye may be involved, an ophthalmologist should be consulted. If a person is pregnant and gets shingles, they should consult with their ob-gyn physician immediately. For long-term or chronic pain involved in postherpetic neuralgia, a neurologist and/or pain specialists may be involved in the care of the patient.

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    Key Points About Shingles

    • Shingles is a common viral infection of the nerves. It causes a painful rash or small blisters on an area of skin.
    • Shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus is reactivated.
    • It is more common in people with weakened immune systems, and in people over the age of 50.
    • Shingles starts with skin sensitivity, tingling, itching, and/or pain followed by rash that looks like small, red spots that turn into blisters.
    • The rash is typically affects just one area on one side of the body or face.
    • Treatment that is started as soon as possible helps reduce the severity of the disease.

    Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of Your Body

    The virus travels in specific nerves, so you will often see shingles occur in a band on one side of your body. This band corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash stays somewhat localized to an area. It doesnt spread over your whole body. Your torso is a common area, as is your face.

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    What Problems Can Happen

    Most cases of shingles heal on their own, with or without treatment, and wont lead to any other problems. In rare cases, shingles can lead to complications, including:

    • Ongoing pain : Damaged nerve fibers in the skin send confused messages to the brain, leading to pain. Pain can go on for a long time after the shingles rash is gone. This is the most common shingles complication.
    • Vision problems: Shingles near or in an eye can lead to vision loss.
    • Skin infections: A shingles rash can become infected with bacteria, leading to impetigo or cellulitis.
    • Nervous system problems: Shingles on the face can involve different nerves that connect to the brain. This can lead to nerve-related problems such as facial paralysis, hearing problems, and problems with balance. In very rare cases, shingles can lead to encephalitis .

    When To Call A Doctor For A Rash

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    There are times when a rash is an indication of a serious health problem. If you have a sudden, unexplained rash, it may mean you are having an allergic reaction, or you have an underlying illness or infection. You may need immediate medical help. Call the doctor immediately if any of the following situations occur:

    Sudden Onset: If you get a rash that appears quickly and spreads rapidly, it might be an allergy. Allergic reactions to medications are common and can be severe. If you are having trouble breathing as well as a rash, call 911.

    Fever: If you have a rash with a fever, call a doctor or 911 immediately. It could be an allergic reaction or an infection, including diseases such as scarlet fever, measles, mononucleosis, and shingles.

    All Over Your Body: A rash covering a lot of your body may be due to an infection or allergic reaction.

    Blisters: If your rash has blisters or open sores, it could be a serious issue. Itâs severe if the blisters are near your mouth, eyes, or genitals. Blistering sometimes happens if a rash is due to an infection or is a reaction to medication.

    Pain: You should always talk to a doctor about painful rashes.

    Infection: The skin where the rash is can get infected from scratching at it. If you notice yellow or green fluid, crusting, pain, or warmth and swelling around the rash, call your doctor.

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    Preventing The Virus Spreading

    If you have the shingles rash, do not share towels or flannels, go swimming, or play contact sports. This will help prevent the virus being passed on to someone who has not had chickenpox.

    You should also avoid work or school if your rash is weeping and cannot be covered.

    Chickenpox can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people. If you have shingles, avoid:

    • women who are pregnant and have not had chickenpox before as they could catch it from you, which may harm their unborn baby
    • people who have a weak immune system, such as someone with HIV or AIDS
    • babies less than one month old, unless it is your own baby, in which case your baby should have antibodies to protect them from the virus

    Once your blisters have dried and scabbed over, you are no longer contagious and will not need to avoid anyone.

    What Should You Expect If You Get Shingles

    Shingles can be a very painful condition. If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and end symptoms earlier.

    A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If you’ve never had shingles in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the shingles vaccine. If youve never had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting the chickenpox vaccine.

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    What Are Shingles Symptoms

    Common symptoms of shingles are pain and a rash in a belt-like form that stops at the midline of the body affecting only one side. Symptoms of shingles progress from burning and itching sensations to severe pain at the location of the rash. Early shingles symptoms may include burning, tingling, or a numb sensation on the skin accompanied by headache, upset stomach, and chills.

    Later stages include painful fluid-filled blisters that cause severe pain, fever, and severe itching.

    When Should You Call For Help

    Pin on General Health

    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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    Control Measures For Patients With Disseminated Or Generalized Rash

    • If the rash is disseminated , follow standard precautions plus airborne and contact precaution until the lesions are crusted, regardless of if the patient is immunocompromised or immunocompetent.
    • Place patient in negative airflow rooms. If this is unavailable, place patients in their own room and keep the door closed. Those without immunity to varicella should not enter the room.
    • Only health care workers with adequate immunity to varicella should care for patients with zoster.

    Why Doesnt Having Chickenpox Earlier In Life Provide Immunity Against Having Shingles Later

    After having chickenpox, your body doesnt rid your system of the virus. Instead, the virus stays in a portion of the spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. In most people, the virus simply stays there quietly and doesnt cause problems. Scientists arent always sure why the virus gets active again, but they know stress can be a cause.

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    How Do People Get Shingles

    People get shingles when the virus that causes chicken pox, varicella zoster, is reactivated in their body. The varicella zoster virus doesnt leave the body, even after a person has recovered from chicken pox. It can flare up again, causing shingles, often many years after a person has had chicken pox. The virus tends to reactivate when a persons immune system is weakened because of another health problem.

    Avoid Scratching The Blisters

    New treatment for the pain of shingles

    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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