Which Groups To Avoid If You Have Shingles
Pregnant women who have not had chickenpox should avoid people with shingles. See the separate leaflet called Chickenpox Contact in Pregnancy for more details. Also, if you have a poor immune system , you should avoid people with shingles. These general rules are to be on the safe side, as it is direct contact with the rash that usually passes on the virus.
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If You Forget To Use It
If it is almost time for your next application of Hydrozole Cream, skip the application you missed and apply the cream when you are next meant to. Otherwise, use it as soon as you remember, and then go back to using your cream as you would normally.
Do not use a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have trouble remembering to use your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
Know The Bathing Dos And Donts
Using the right water temperature while bathing or showering can make a big difference in how your skin feels and heals. Ideally, you should bathe with cool or lukewarm water and avoid very hot water.
You can also apply a cool, wet compress to the rash and blisters. The AAD recommends you soak a clean washcloth in cold water and place the cloth on top of the affected area several times a day. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes.
You should avoid rubbing washcloths, sponges, or exfoliants on the area.
You can also add colloidal oatmeal or cornstarch to your baths to provide some much-needed itch relief. Just be sure to dry your skin gently after getting out of the bath. Then, follow up with a layer of calamine lotion to soothe your skin, or keep it dry and cover with a bandage if its still weeping.
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Is There A Shingles Vaccine
In the UK there is a shingles vaccine immunisation programme for people aged 70 years to protect against herpes zoster. There is also a catch-up programme which offers the vaccine to certain people aged between 70 and 79 years who may have previously missed out on immunisation. The vaccine is licensed for people aged over 50 years, and if you are not eligible for the vaccine on the NHS, your pharmacist may be able to provide the vaccine as a private service.
The chickenpox vaccine is not routinely given to children in the UK but is offered to people who are in close contact with someone who is particularly vulnerable to chickenpox or its complications eg, people with a weakened immune system.
To Use Acyclovir Ointment Follow These Steps:
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturers information for the patient. Read this information before you start using acyclovir and each time you refill your prescription.
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Can Shingles Be Prevented
There are 2 vaccines available to reduce the likelihood of developing shingles, Zostavax and Shingrix. If you are over 50, you can talk to your doctor about whether you need it. It is recommended for everyone over 60 and is given free of charge in Australia to people aged 70 to 79.
Vaccination will not guarantee that you will not get shingles, but it will reduce your chance of developing the condition. The vaccine used to protect against shingles is not the same as the vaccine used to protect against chickenpox. Read more about the chickenpox vaccine here.
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Topicals Are Not A Substitute For Medical Treatment
Topical products can help you manage your symptoms. But they arent a substitute for proper medical treatment.
Its important to visit your doctor if youre dealing with shingles. Your doctor can prescribe antiviral drugs and other medications that can shorten the duration of your infection and help you avoid severe complications.
The following creams may be able to help you manage shingles symptoms.
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Default To Dark Neutral If Unsure
If you get stuck in your deliberations, then dark neutrals browns and grays mostly work on a broad range of home styles and colors.
These Owens Corning Oakridge shingles are a good example of a dark neutral palette except perhaps for Chateau Green and the few light grays.
If you are still stymied, then consider going with the charcoal gray color. It works with everything.
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. They will crust over and fall off on their own if you leave them alone.
- Put cool, wet cloths on the area to relieve pain and itching. You can also use calamine lotion. Try not to use so much lotion that it cakes and is hard to get off.
- Put cornstarch or baking soda on the sores to help dry them out so they heal faster.
- Do not use thick ointment, such as petroleum jelly, on the sores. This will keep them from drying and healing.
- To help remove loose crusts, soak them in tap water. This can help decrease oozing, and dry and soothe the skin.
- 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. Pregnant women, young babies, and anyone else who has a hard time fighting infection is especially at risk.
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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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What Specialists Treat Shingles
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.
Tips For Coping With Shingles
If you have shingles, here are some tips that might help you feel better:
- Wear loose-fitting, natural-fiber clothing.
- Take an oatmeal bath or use calamine lotion to soothe your skin.
- Apply a cool washcloth to your blisters to ease the pain and help dry the blisters.
- Keep the area clean and try not to scratch the blisters so they dont become infected or leave a scar.
- Do things that take your mind off your pain. For example, watch TV, read, talk with friends, listen to relaxing music, or work on a hobby such as crafts or gardening.
- Get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced meals.
- Try simple exercises like stretching or walking. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
- Avoid stress. It can make the pain worse.
Also, you can limit spreading the virus to other people by:
- Staying away from anyone who has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, or who might have a weakened immune system
- Keeping the rash covered
Natural Remedies For Shingles
If you had chickenpox as a child, the shingles virus lies dormant in your body. The virus can reactivate later in life and cause a shingles rash. The rash can occur on any part of your body but typically only affects small sections.
Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. The rash and fluid-filled blisters form within a couple of days after the onset of pain. Some people with shingles also have a fever, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1 in 3 people in the United States will develop shingles at some point in their lifetime.
The shingles virus can last between two and six weeks. Shingles isnt life-threatening, but some people experience postherpetic neuralgia. This is when nerve fibers become damaged, causing shingles pain that lasts for weeks or months after the rash clears.
Theres no cure for shingles, but your doctor can prescribe antiviral medication to help shorten the duration of the virus and reduce symptoms.
Although an antiviral is an effective treatment for shingles, its not the only option. Several natural remedies may also reduce pain and discomfort.
Dry your body completely and then wash your towel to avoid spreading the virus to others.
- orange and yellow fruits
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Is Shingles Contagious
Yes, but the infection spread is chickenpox, not shingles. You can catch chickenpox from somebody who has shingles if you are not already immune. Shingles is the late result of chickenpox infection.
The shingles blisters contain a live virus. If you have never had chickenpox and make direct contact with an open blister or something with the fluid on it, you can contract the virus and develop chickenpox. A person with shingles is only infectious when the blisters appear, and until the blisters have all developed crusts. It is possible to get shingles more than once.Image: 123RF
Does The Pain Go Away
Usually, in about 5 in 10 people with postherpetic neuralgia, the pain goes away by about 3 months. However, without treatment, about 3 in 10 people with postherpetic neuralgia still have pain after a year. Some people have a slow improvement over a long period of time. A small number of people do not have any improvement over time without any treatment. If your pain is ongoing and not relieved with medicines or self care measures, you may be referred to a pain management specialist.Living with post-herpetic neuralgia can be very difficult because it can affect your ability to carry out simple daily activities, such as dressing and bathing. It can also lead to further problems, including extreme tiredness, sleeping difficulties and depression. Speak to a healthcare professional if you need support in are of those areas.
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New Treatment Impressive For Pain Following Shingles
Nov. 22, 2000 Once the unsightly, red blisters of shingles go away, the agony of the herpes zoster infection has only just begun for those patients who develop the excruciating complication called postherpetic neuralgia. Because the burning, stabbing pain lasts for months or even years, and can be triggered by even the lightest breeze or even the touch of clothing on the affected area, many patients are afraid to leave the house, and may even contemplate suicide.
Although there are currently no good treatments for postherpetic neuralgia, a new study reported in the Nov. 23, 2000 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine showed that injecting steroids into the spinal canal offered impressive pain relief. The steroid methylprednisolone relieves pain by decreasing inflammation around the source of the nerves, suggest authors Naoki Kotani, MD, and colleagues from the anesthesiology department at the University of Hirosaki School of Medicine in Japan.
You have to try the usual treatments first, C. Peter N. Watson, MD, tells WebMD. These include anesthetic skin patches, capsaicin cream, antidepressant and antiseizure medications, anti-inflammatory drugs that dont contain steroids, and even narcotics.
Watson applauds the authors for a well-done and well-designed study, but recommends repeating it with larger numbers of patients followed for longer periods.
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Teratogenic Effectspregnancy Category C
Corticosteroids are generally teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. The more potent corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic after dermal application in laboratory animals. There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women on teratogenic effects from topically applied corticosteroids. Therefore, topical corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Drugs of this class should not be used extensively on pregnant patients, in large amounts, or for prolonged periods of time.
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Keys Facts For Hydrocortisone Cream/ointment
It should not be used on the face, unless your doctor has prescribed it for you.
Hydrocortisone acetate 1% cream that can be brought from pharmacies, it is available either as a generic or a branded name such as Hc45 cream. These products should not be used for longer than a week.
Hydrocortisone butyrate cream/ointment is only available on prescription under the brand name of Locoid.
Hydrocortisone cream is more suitable for moist areas of skin, while the thicker, more greasy ointment is more suitable for dry or scaly areas of skin.
Do not use hydrocortisone cream or ointment as a moisturiser.
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
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Can I Prevent Shingles
Who should get it: The CDC recommends that you get this vaccine if youâre a healthy adult age 50 or older, whether or not you remember having had chickenpox, because most people have been exposed to the virus. If you have had the Zostavax vaccine, you can also have Shingrix.
How many shots do you need? You would need two shots for Shingrix: One at first, with a follow-up in 2 to 6 months.
What it does:Shingrix reduces your chance of getting shingles by more than 90%. Even if you still get shingles, the vaccine may help it be less painful.
I never had chickenpox. Do I still need the shingles vaccine? Yes, you do. Shingrix is recommended for everyone age 50 or older, whether or not you remember having had chickenpox.
If Iâve had shingles, can I still get the vaccine? Yes. It may help prevent you having another bout of shingles later on. If you have shingles right now, you should wait until the rash is gone before you get vaccinated.
Donât get the Shingrix vaccine if you:
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients
- Are pregnant or nursing
- Have tested negative for immunity to the chickenpox virus. Ask your doctor about the chickenpox vaccine instead.
- Have shingles now
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
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How Long Does Shingles Last
The majority of people who get shingles have signs and symptoms that last about three to five weeks. However, about 50% of those over 60 years of age who dont get treated may develop postherpetic neuralgia, a condition that can result in chronic mild to even excruciating pain. This occurs because shingles viruses can damage the nerves in the skin. Postherpetic neuralgia may last for months to years.
Avoid Scratching The Blisters
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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