Saturday, September 30, 2023

Pain Relief For Shingles On Face

Treat Your Body And Mind

How to treat shingles

You can get worn down mentally when youâre in constant pain. Stress can make it seem even worse. Self-care starts with treating your rash, but donât stop there. Your mind and emotional state need to be cared for as well.

5. Stick with good habits: Your bodyâs working hard to fight the varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles. To give it the right support, you can:

  • Eat nutritious food and have regular meals. Ask someone to make a run to the grocery store for fresh fruit and such if youâre not up for it.
  • Try to get a good nightâs sleep and rest anytime you need to.
  • Do gentle exercises, such as walking or stretching. Light activity can help take your mind off the pain. Keep it simple though, and check with your doctor if youâre trying something new.

6. Distract yourself: Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to put your focus elsewhere. Here are a few things to try:

What Is A Tens Unit

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a method of pain relief that involves the use of a moderate electrical current. It is a small machine, and it is battery-operated. It has leads that are connected to sticky pads called electrodes.

A TENS unit is a non-invasive method used for relieving pain. Some people are able to reduce the intake of pain medications thanks to the TENS unit.

The unit is also very convenient because it is quite small, portable, and discrete. You can carry it in your pocket, or clip it onto a belt to ensure that you have instant access to pain relief throughout the day.

It has controls that allow people to apply an appropriate level of pain relief. This can be achieved by altering some aspects of the electrical current, such as intensity, frequency, and duration.

The frequency refers to the number of electrical impulses per second. High-frequency pulses range from 80 to 120 cycles per second, and they are believed to help acute pain.

Low-frequency pulses range from 1 to 20 cycles per second and are more suitable for the treatment of chronic pain.

Need to know how to use the settings on your TENS unit? Click here

Antidepressants May Offer Surprising Relief

Antidepressants may have been invented for depression, but they are also known to modulate peripheral nerves, Dr. Auwaerter says, thereby dulling PHN pain. Your physician may suggest Pamelor or Aventyl or Elavil . Dr. Auwaerter adds that these medications can sometimes cause side effects like fatigue and sluggishnessthough PHN patients usually only need a low dose, which is unlikely to cause major adverse effects.

Also Check: What Is Shingles In Adults

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.

When Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine

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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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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.

Safety And Side Effects

While CBD is not a replacement for standard treatment options, its probably OK to try CBD for shingles, despite the lack of scientific evidence. Just make sure to talk with your doctor first, especially if youre taking any medications or supplements. CBD may interact with some medications.

Topicals are less likely than ingested products to make their way into your bloodstream, but its still best to be cautious and follow your doctors recommendation.

Additionally, be sure that youre aware of potential side effects. While suggest that CBD is generally safe to use topically or orally, some people may experience mild side effects such as:

  • weight or appetite changes

Its possible to receive a positive test result for THC when taking CBD products, especially full-spectrum CBD products.

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Rebooting The Nervous System

Its like restarting a computer, Dr. Rosenquist says. When its running slowly or acting weird, you restart it. We are trying to turn that nerve off. When it comes back on, hopefully, it will send an appropriate transmission as opposed to a pain transmission.

Treatmentoptions for PHN patients include:

  • Intercostal nerve blocks: A local anesthetic can be injected between two ribs.
  • Thoracic epidural injections: Anti-inflammatory medicine can be injected into the space around the spinal cord to decrease nerve root inflammation and reduce pain.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: Medications such as amitriptyline may be used to relieve pain.
  • Membrane stabilizers: Medications such as gabapentin can be used to reduce the pain associated with PHN.
  • Capsaicin cream: This topical cream can be applied to the affected area to relieve pain temporarily.
  • Patientswith refractory PHN rarely need opioid pain medication. However,you should be evaluated by a physician. We cant make a blanket statement abouttreatment. It is individualized, she says.

    What Does A Mild Case Of Shingles Look Like

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

    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.

    Recommended Reading: How To Recover Quickly From Shingles

    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

    Shingles And Nerve Paths

    Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. Only people whove had chickenpox or chickenpox vaccines can develop shingles. Having a chickenpox vaccine can lead to shingles because the vaccine contains the virus that causes chickenpox.

    Shingles isnt contagious, but people who have not had chickenpox can develop chickenpox if they come in contact with open blisters of somebody with shingles.

    After your body fights off a chickenpox infection, the herpes zoster virus remains dormant in your cranial nerves and spinal ganglia until it becomes reactivated. Spinal ganglia are nerve cells that connect your spinal cord to nerves in your body and limbs.

    The virus reactivates when your immune system is no longer able to suppress it. Reactivation most commonly occurs in older adults because the immune system tends to get weaker with age, as well as in people with suppressed immune systems.

    Once the virus is active, it usually spreads down sensory nerve fibers that lead from your spinal cord to your skin. These nerves carry sensory information like feelings of pain, itchiness, or pressure from your skin to your spinal cord and brain.

    Once the virus gets to the end of these sensory nerves, it reaches your skin and usually leads to a rash. This rash often shows up in one or two nearby areas of skin called dermatomes.

    A dermatome is an area of your skin where the sensation is supplied by one spinal nerve.

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    Liquid Dimethyl Sulfoxide And Idoxuridine

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    Idoxuridine is an antiviral medication approved in Europe for treating shingles.

    One 2015 publication suggested frequent application of 5 to 40 percent idoxuridine dissolved in DMSO may speed up the healing time of shingles. However, in the United States, idoxuridine is only FDA-approved to treat keratitis, a herpes simplex virus infection of the cornea of your eye.

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    Preventing Nerve Pain After Shingles

    But if youre worried about PHN, dont despair. There are medications that can cut your risks of getting the condition. There are three antiviral drugs used: famciclovir , valacyclovir , and acyclovir . These medications need to be started within two to three days of the onset of shingles.

    If you look at the clinical trials with any of these drugs in people over 50, says Dworkin, they cut the rate of pain at six months in half. Thats a very significant improvement. They are also very safe and have few side effects, he says.

    But who needs the drugs? Dworkin says theres not a clear consensus yet.

    There are some obvious cases. I think everyone would agree that someone who is over 50 and has severe symptoms should get preventative treatment, he tells WebMD.

    But for younger people or those with fewer risk factors, the course is less clear.

    Some people think that everyone who gets shingles should get preventative treatment with antiviral medicines, because the medicines are so safe and have such few side effects, he says.

    Others argue that preventative treatment should only be given to those at greater risk. The main reason for this, Dworkin says, is cost.

    A full course of treatment could cost anywhere between $100 and $160, he says. That can add up, and insurance companies might not want to pay if the risks are very, very low.

    e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen diclofenac , naproxen

    e.g. ibuprofen

    e.g. diclofenac

    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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    Shingles Natural Treatment Options

    According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention , roughly 1 million cases of shingles occur each year in the United States and about 33% of the population will develop shingles in their lifetime. This viral outbreak results in debilitating flu-like symptoms and a painful skin rash .

    Many people arent aware that shingles is actually caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox the varicella-zoster virus . Hence, shingles is most likely to occur in those who have had chickenpox .

    While no conventional treatment can completely eliminate the risk of developing shingles, many clinics/physicians use a shingles vaccine and/or antiviral drugs to combat the condition. Sadly, these treatments may be more harmful than they are beneficial.

    Thankfully, there are natural approaches to treating shingles and the VSV virus responsible for it. Read on as this article details what causes shingles, its symptoms, and natural shingles treatment options.

    Contact LifeWorks

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    What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Shingles

    Treatment for shingles pain

    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.

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    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 38ðC 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.

    Why Does Shingles Hurt

    Anyone whos had chickenpox and recovered from it, still harbors the virus deep in their nerves, close to the spinal cord. In this regard, chickenpox resembles the viruses that cause cold sores and genital herpes. Although chickenpox is not the same as sexually transmitted herpes, it is in the same family and it is therefore named herpes zoster.

    Your immune system keeps the herpes zoster virus in check until you experience some stress. This allows the virus to multiply and travel along the entire length of the nerve, all the way to the skin. On the skin, it creates painful blisters that can readily ooze, allowing the virus to infect its next victim. You are highly infectious at this point and should avoid contact with people who arent vaccinated.

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    Should I See A Doctor

    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 doesnât 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.

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