Do Scar Prevention Creams Work
Silicone scar sheets might help improve prevent new scars, but only if you use them in the first few weeks after an injury. And theres no need to apply special, designated creams to your scars, either, Dr. Khetarpal says.
Instead, its the act of massaging that cream or any simple, bland moisturizer into a scarred area that can have the most impact on healing.
In the first year, its important and has been shown to be helpful to do a gentle massage on your scar for a few minutes a day, she says. It helps break up any scar tissue for ones that are getting thick.
The full scar remodeling process takes a year, during which time your scar may go through different phases of appearance: redder or darker, thicker or more textured. But once you hit the one-year mark, your scar is unlikely to change much on its own.
After youre beyond the one-year phase, topical medicines arent going to do anything, Dr. Khetarpal warns.
How Long Does Shingles Last
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.
How Long Do Shingles Scabs Take To Heal
Shingles scabs will take about 2 to 4 weeks to heal. The exact time frame will be different for each person. It depends on several factors, including the severity of your rash and how soon you get treatment.
However, even after the scabs have cleared up, the pain and discomfort can last for several weeks or months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about
Its important to contact a doctor within 72 hours of developing a shingles rash. The sooner you can get a proper diagnosis, the sooner you can start treatment for shingles.
Early treatment can help shorten the length of your infection and reduce the risk of possible complications.
You should also contact a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- blisters or scabs that wont heal
- signs of a skin infection, like pus or swelling
- worsening or ongoing pain after the scabs heal
- persisting fatigue or fever after the rash heals
- new blisters or scabs
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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.
Scars And Skin Problems After Shingles
Because I have scars from shingles and some worrisome red blotchy areas, where the shingles were, I did some research today. According to my research, shingles scars tend to be deep red or even purple. The scars can lay flat against the skin though some, like mine, can be raised or even pitted. I read that cooked oatmeal cooled to a soft stage, can be applied directly to the skin and rubbed into it. Rub in the oatmeal for 15-20 minutes per day. It is said by many that this process will fade or eliminate shingles scars. Rubbing the oatmeal into the skin everyday, some claim, will not only help scarring but also it will ease neuralgia pain and itching. I’m going to try this oatmeal treatment. Hopefully, it will help.
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5 years ago
Yes. You just cook the oatmeal as you normally would to eat it.
Then, let it cool and rub it into your shingles scars or in the area where you have nerve pain for 15 or 20 minutes every day. I don’t know if it will work but according to a lot of people it does help to reduce the scars and pain.
5 years ago
You are correct that oatmeal will definitely help with the itching and burning of neuralgia, although the effect is temporary. As soon as the oatmeal is removed, the itching returns. Having had severe itching due to allergic reactions to medications involving my entire body, I would take oatmeal baths 3x per day.
I am uncertain if it helps resolve the redness.
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How Is Shingles Treated
There is no cure for shingles, but antiviral medicine may relieve the symptoms and help prevent complications. See your doctor for a prescription of antiviral medicines as soon as possible after symptoms develop. Treatment should be started within 3 days of the shingles rash appearing.
If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether antivirals are right for you.
Over-the counter medicines, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, can be used for pain relief. If over-the-counter medicines are not controlling your pain, your doctor may prescribe other medicines.
There are several things you can do to help manage the condition. They include the following.
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.
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How To Treat Shingles
If you have ever had chickenpox, or been vaccinated for it, you are at risk for getting shingles a painful, blistering rash. This is because after the chickenpox clears, the virus stays in the body. If the virus reactivates, or wakes up, you could get shingles.
Although shingles is much less contagious and itchy than chickenpox, it tends to cause more pain. In addition, although the shingles rash usually clears in a few weeks, some people can experience pain, numbness, itching and tingling that can last months or even years.
According to dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology , common signs and symptoms of shingles include:
- An area of skin that burns, itches, tingles or feels very sensitive: This usually occurs in a small area on one side of the body and lasts one to three days.
- A rash that begins as red spots and quickly turns into groups of clear, painful blisters: These may turn yellow or bloody before they scab over and heal.
- Flu-like symptoms: A fever or headache may occur with the rash.
- Pain: Sometimes, the pain is bad enough for a doctor to prescribe medication. The pain tends to lessen once the blisters heal, which can take two to three weeks.
To help relieve shingles pain and discomfort, the Academy recommends the following tips:
Help Is Available For Phn
Fortunately,early treatment for shingles can lower your chances of getting PHN.
For some people, the pain becomes refractory, or resistant to treatment, explains Dr. Rosenquist. So we want to treat shingles as fast as we can ideally as soon as somebody feels a tingling or burning sensation, even before a rash develops.
Sheadds that whenever nerve pain is involved, some people respond to treatment andsome dont.
However,medications taken orally or injected that can target the affected nerves may beable to stun the nervous system into behaving properly. That meanstransmitting the appropriate signal to the brain.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Scars Due To Shingles
Answered by: Dr Shirish Kumar | Haematologist, WHO, Geneva
Q:Two months back, I was diagnosed with herpes zoster on the left side of my face. First, I got the pain on the inner side of my left jaw. I thought it was dental pain, and the dentist gave me a pain killer. After three or four days, I came to know that it was shingles and I got the treatment for it. But even after two months, I still have a scar mark on the left side of my face due to shingles the pain is also there. How can I remove the scar on my face, as it looks very ugly on my face? Can shingles recur? What precautions do I need to take? Can the scar be removed by using some cream or tablets?
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When Should You See A Healthcare Provider For Shingles
If you experience persistent pain or a widespread itchy rash on the body or face, you should reach out to your healthcare provider. The National Institute of Aging recommends that you see your healthcare provider no later than three days after the rash or skin pain has appeared.
Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to reducing your risk for complications, helping you to heal quicker and reduce the potential for scarring.
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle
In addition to triggering the uncomfortable rash, shingles can cause symptoms that are similar to those of other viral infections.
Shingles can make you feel feverish, tired, and generally unwell.
While prescription and over-the-counter drugs can help, one of the most important things you can do while dealing with it is to take good care of yourself. If youre caring for someone else who has shingles, lavish them with TLC.
Laura Porter / Verywell
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What Can I Do For The Pain
To help with the pain of shingles, your doctor might have you take an over-the-counter pain medicine. This could include acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
Applying a medicated anti-itch lotion to the blisters might reduce the pain and itching. Placing cool compresses soaked in water mixed with white vinegar on the blisters and sores might also help.
If shingles causes severe pain, your doctor might prescribe a stronger pain medicine.
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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.
Who Is Affected By Shingles
All sexes and races are equally susceptible to shingles. The disorder occurs more commonly in those over the age of 50. It is estimated that over 20% of the total population can expect to suffer from shingles during their lifetime. Prior to the AIDS epidemic, approximately 300,000 to 400,000 cases of shingles occurred annually in the United States. Those who have a suppressed immune system or suffer from diabetes, cancer or HIV infection have a higher rate of shingles development. Some studies suggest that shingles can be a marker for certain types of cancer, however, this is still under investigation and no definitive conclusions have been made as to whether this hypothesis is true.
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Tips For Managing Shingles
Helping Herpes zoster patients feel more comfortable
Prompt treatment of Herpes zoster with antiviral and pain medications within 72 hours of the rashs onset can help shorten its duration and reduce complications. But what can patients do to deal with the burning, tingling, numbness, and itching that accompany the rash? Here are a few ideas pharmacists can share with them.
1. Relieve Physical Symptoms
A healing oatmeal bath using cool water, or the application of cool compresses or ice packs, can help calm the itch. Allow the skin to air dry before covering the blisters with a light application of calamine or unscented lotion.
Tell patients not to open the blisters, which can cause permanent scarring. They should cover the rash with nonstick sterile bandages. Alternatively, the patient can wear loose-fitting, natural fiber clothing to allow the skin to breathe.
San Francisco board-certified dermatologist Marie Jhin, MD prescribes gabapentin for nerve pain. If its really painful, we give oral steroids or even a shot of steroids. A lidocaine or capsaicin patch can also help, she says.
2. Reduce Stress
Physical and emotional stress can weaken the immune system and act as a trigger for shingles. Stress can also cause a patient to feel the physical symptoms more intensely and suppress the immune system, delaying recovery and leading to serious complications like postherpetic neuralgia.
3. Improve Diet
4. Get Vaccinated
Check If You Have Shingles
The first signs of shingles can be:
- a tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin
- a headache or feeling generally unwell
A rash will appear a few days later.
Usually you get the shingles rash on your chest and tummy, but it can appear anywhere on your body including on your face, eyes and genitals.
The rash appears as blotches on your skin, on 1 side of your body only. A rash on both the left and right of your body is unlikely to be shingles.
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Shingles Scars On Face
I am also one of the lucky folks that get recurring shingles. They have always been on my lower body, once on my neck and just recently after a car accident on my face! They were on my left cheek and are not going away like the ones on my body. They are blood red and look terrible. Any ideas to deal with the scarring and to get the redness to fade faster? Thanks in advance!
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What Causes Shingles
Anyone who has had chickenpox in the past can develop shingles. The chickenpox virus stays in the nerve cells near the spine but is not active. Shingles occurs when the virus becomes active again.
Shingles can occur at any age, but it usually affects people over 40. About 1 in 3 people who have not been immunised against chicken pox or shingles will develop shingles at some stage during their lifetime. Shingles often occurs with no known trigger. It is more likely to occur if you:
- are aged 60 or older
- are experiencing physical and emotional stress
- have HIV and AIDS
- have had an organ transplant
- have recently had a bone marrow transplant
- have a condition which requires treatment that affects the immune system, such as chemotherapy for cancer
Usually, people only get shingles once in their lives. But sometimes, especially if you have a weakened immune system, you might get repeated infections. You cannot catch shingles from someone who has the condition. If you have not had chickenpox, you can catch chickenpox by coming into direct contact with fluid on the blisters of someone who has shingles.
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What Not To Do
As your shingles blisters start to scab, be sure not to:
- Touch or scratch your scabs. This can break the scabs and cause scarring. You might also introduce harmful bacteria into your skin that can cause an infection.
- Use thick ointments. Thick ointments will keep the scabs moist, which may increase the risk of infection. Try to keep your scabs dry instead.
- Wrap your scabs. Avoid bandages or dressings, which can stick to your scabs. Its best to keep them uncovered and dry.
- Wear tight clothes. Tight, restrictive clothing will rub against the scabs and further irritate your skin.
Even as your blisters start to scab, you might still develop new ones for about a week. Thats why its essential to keep protecting your skin as it heals.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Ive had chickenpox. Am I at risk of developing shingles?
- What is the best treatment for my shingles?
- The pain from shingles isnt going away. What can I do to make myself more comfortable?
- Im on treatment for shingles. When should I call my doctor if things dont get better?
- I have shingles and my children havent had the chickenpox vaccine. Should I get them vaccinated?
- Is the shingles vaccine right for me?
- Are there any risks associated with the shingles vaccine?
- Will my post-herpetic neuralgia ever go away?
- If Ive never had the chickenpox, should I still get the shingles vaccination?
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