How To Treat Shingles At Home
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , hospitalization for shingles outbreaks is down. Thirty percent of people hospitalized for shingles usually experience more widespread outbreaks and subsequent pain due to weakened immune systems. Yet, armed with a healthy immune system, a strong support system, and a doctors remote care, you can successfully manage your pain and treat shingles at home.
Precautions And Possible Complications
Shingles can be contagious to certain people. Someone with shingles can pass the virus on to anyone who is not already immune to chickenpox. Shingles can be passed to these people by direct contact with open shingles blisters. But the interesting thing here is that the person who comes in contact with the rash will not develop shingles, but will develop chicken pox.
Immediate medical attention is especially recommended if you have shingles, as well as any of the following:
- You are 70 years of age or older.
- Rash and pain near the eye because lack of treatment could lead to permanent damage to the eye.
- You have a weakened immune system due to chronic health issues or medication.
- The shingle rash is widespread and painful.
Post-herpetic neuralgia is the most prevalent complication of shingles. PHN is when someone with shingles experiences pain, which can be really severe, in the shingles rash areas after the rash is gone. PHN usually goes away in a few weeks or months, but some people can have it for years. The older the age of a shingles sufferer, the more likely the development and severity of PHN. In extremely rare cases, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, blindness hearing issues, brain inflammation or death.
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.
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.
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How Is Shingles Diagnosed
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.
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.
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What Medications Help For Shingles Pain
Pain from shingles can be very distressing. If you need help managing your pain, talk to your provider about the options below. The right one for you will depend on many factors, like how bad your pain is, other medications youre taking, and any other health issues you have.
None of these options are a replacement for the antivirals above, and they are generally for short-term use, since longer use can increase your risk for side effects.
NSAIDs. For shingles pain, start with NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You can find these over the counter on pharmacy store shelves, and they include popular medications like , , and . These are meant for short-term relief of mild to moderate pain.
Glucocorticoids. For more severe pain, glucocorticoids like may help. They may also speed up healing from shingles.
Opioid pain medications. Lastly, you can ask your provider about an opioid pain medication like oxycodone or hydrocodone/acetaminophen. These are also for short-term treatment. Opioids come with a risk for causing dependency and addiction, among other side effects.
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Use An Apple Cider Vinegar Compress To Dry Up Blisters
Apple cider vinegar has been traditionally used for tackling rashes caused by shingles and chickenpox. Apply a compress of apple cider vinegar diluted with an equal quantity of warm water or add 2 to 4 cups of apple cider vinegar to a tub of warm bath water and enjoy a long soak. The acidity of vinegar can help quicken the drying of blisters and ease itching. However, this remedy is not recommended on broken skin or open blisters.67
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Got Shingles Heres How To Treat Shingles At Home
A red blistery rash, acute localized pain, fatigue, headache, and fever are just a few of the symptoms shingles sufferers face. You may have shingles if you are experiencing these or other unusual signs and had developed chickenpox in the past. Were covering conventional treatments, as well as how to treat shingles at home to allay discomfort.
Seek immediate medical attention for proper medical diagnosis before employing self-care methods. Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a debilitating condition that can lead to other serious complications if not treated properly. While under adequate medical supervision, you can work to alleviate the excruciating pain and irritability typical of shingles outbreaks. Shingles pain relief is your main priority if youve got shingles.
Take An Oatmeal Bath To Relieve Itching
Oats are widely known for their anti-itching property. You can add ground oats to bath water and settle in for a soak to relieve your itchy rash. Finely ground oats turns into a gooey mass when mixed with water. This coats your skin, soothing your skin and relieving itching. This calming property of oats is attributed to its gluten content.10
Written by: Renée Naturally
What is Shingles?Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles affects the nerve endings in the skin and can appear anywhere on the body, however, it is most commonly found on the skin around the ribs and torso. Once the varicella-zoster virus enters the body and has caused chickenpox , it never goes away completely. It usually lies dormant in the spinal cord and nerve cells that lead from the spinal cord and brain. In approximately 1 out of 3 people who have been infected by chickenpox in the past, the shingles virus will be activated at some stage in their lives.
Who is at risk for shingles?Those who are most at risk for developing Shingles include
Foods & Drinks to help with recovery from shingles include
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Apply A Baking Soda Solution To Relieve Irritated Skin
Another common remedy for itching thats easily available at home is baking soda. Add a little baking soda to a glass of water and apply the solution to relieve irritated skin. You can also try adding some baking soda to your bath water.15 Although its not clear how exactly baking soda works, its alkaline nature is supposed to be at work here.
What Does A Mild Case Of Shingles Look Like
Not everyone with shingles will develop a blistering rash. A mild case of shingles may include a red rash without blisters. The shingles rash and blisters are distinct characteristics of the illness. Mild cases of shingles do not usually cause headaches, fever, or fatigue.
Whether mild or severe, pain is the most common symptom of shingles. Most people describe a deep burning, throbbing, or stabbing sensation. The pain usually subsides within 30 days.
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Can I Treat Shingles Quickly At Home
> > Read Testimonials of Successfully Curing Shingles naturally, thousands of people have got rid of the varicella-zoster virus from their body permanently.
The reason responsible for acquiring shingles is the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that earlier results in chickenpox. After it leads to chickenpox, the virus becomes latent and lodges in the nerve roots. It re-activates after a duration and causes shingles.
Shingles are commonly seen to strike those above 50 years of age or are immuno-suppressed for some reason, such as cancer medications. It might also result from severe physical/emotional stress that temporarily decreases the immune response.
About 3 4 days before the blisters forming, fever, or even gastrointestinal problems arise. The site on which shingles are likely to manifest begins paining and burning. Eventually, the blisters appear that result in extreme pain and burning sensation on reddened patches on the skin.
The blisters resulting from shingles are very contagious. After about four days, the blisters weep, dry, and scab. They later fall off naturally, and the rashes generally cease to exist after about two weeks. However, postherpetic neuralgia might develop on the site that results in extreme pain.
How are shingles conventionally managed?
Conventional management of shingles involves,
Fortified calamine lotion also offers relief.
Essential fatty acids sourced from flaxseed oil complement the skins health.
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.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Shingles
Often the first shingles symptoms happen in the area where the rash will appear. A person may have tingling, itching, or pain in this area. When the rash shows up, the pain may be mild or severe.
The rash starts as groups of tiny pimples on one side of the body or the face. Its often in the shape of a band or belt. The pimples change to pus-filled blisters that break open and scab over in about 710 days. The scabs usually heal and fall off about 24 weeks after the rash starts.
Some kids with shingles also may have a fever and a headache, and might feel tired and achy. Rarely, a child has the pain of shingles without the rash. More severe symptoms can happen, but usually in people over age 50.
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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 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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Dab Calendula Oil To Ease Itching And Promote Healing
Calendula or marigold is known for its healing properties. Homeopathy recommends the use of calendula oil or gel to relieve itching and encourage healing of blisters caused by chickenpox and shingles.8 Calendula has anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to quicken wound healing as well as improve the texture of skin. Flavonoids present in this herb are thought to be responsible for this effect.9
When Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine
The current shingles vaccine is a safe, easy, and more effective way to prevent shingles than the previous vaccine. In fact, it is over 90% effective at preventing shingles. Most adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, which is given in two doses. You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctors office and at some pharmacies.
You should get the shingles vaccine if you:
- Have already had chickenpox, the chickenpox vaccine, or shingles
- Received the prior shingles vaccine called Zostavax
- Dont remember having had chickenpox
Medicare Part D and private health insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Check with Medicare or your health plan to find out if it is covered.
You should not get vaccinated if you:
- Currently have shingles
- Are sick or have a fever
- Had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of the shingles vaccine
If you are unsure about the above criteria or have other health concerns, talk with your doctor before getting the vaccine.
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What Is The Prognosis For Shingles What Are Possible Shingles Complications
Many cases of shingles go away by themselves, with or without treatment. The rash and pain should be gone in two to three weeks. However, shingles may last longer and be more likely to recur if the person is older, especially older than 50 years of age, or if they have a serious medical problem.
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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.
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Stay Away From Certain Groups Of People If You Have Shingles
You cannot spread shingles to others. But people who have not had chickenpox before could catch chickenpox from you.
This is because shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus.
Try to avoid:
- pregnant people who have not had chickenpox before
- people with a weakened immune system like someone having chemotherapy
- babies less than 1 month old unless you gave birth to them, as your baby should be protected from the virus by your immune system
Common Symptom Of Shingles
The most common symptom of shingles is red, itchy, and painful rashes, which are smallpox marks that often occur on the buttocks, lower back, neck, cheeks, trunk, or face. It can also spread to anywhere on your body.
The rashes come in patches, and this makes the rashes highly noticeable. When the rashes develop into blisters filled with fluid, you may feel extremely itchy and painful. The rashes may disappear completely within 5-6 weeks. Other common symptoms include fatigue, body pain, fever, headaches, dizziness, and sensitivity to light.
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What Are The Risks Associated With Shingles
Some people experience pain around the rash site for a month or morepain that is severe enough to interfere with daily activities.
Scratching the rash can also cause a secondary infection if harmful bacteria get into the sores.
Shingles on the face can involve the eyes, which is serious because it can cause scarring and blindness.
The occurrence and severity of shingles and its complications increase with age.
How Can You Care For Yourself At Home
- Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. Antiviral medicine helps you get better faster.
- Try not to scratch or pick at the blisters.
- Keep the blisters moist until they heal over. One way to do this is to cover them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen , or naproxen . Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Avoid close contact with people until the blisters have healed. It is very important for you to avoid contact with anyone who has never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine. Young babies and anyone who is pregnant or has a hard time fighting infection are especially at risk.
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