Home Remedies For Shingles
Anyone who had chickenpox as a kid remembers the red, painfully itchy blister-like rash, and perhaps the fever and fatigue that came along with it. But even though its true youre now inoculated against chickenpox for life, theres one pox-related complication you may not have considered: Shingles. Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus , and causes a painful, itchy rash in one place on the body. Shingles is most common in adults over 50 years of age in fact, about half of people over age 80 may experience it.
Shingles often begins as pain and itching in the skin before a red rash appears one to two days later, with small, water-filled blisters. These blisters soon rupture and scar over, healing and fading over the course of a few weeks. This process can be extremely uncomfortable and painful, making even the littlest actions difficult. There is a vaccine available to prevent shingles, and it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for healthy adults over age 50. For those who are over age 65 and eligible for Medicare, your Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D plan may cover this vaccine. Luckily, there are also home remedies for shingles that can make you feel better while you heal. Watch this video to learn how to soothe pain and discomfort at home.
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.
How To Cure Shingles In 3 Days: Relieve Pain & Get Rid Of Rash Fast
Shingles is a rash that usually appears on the back, chest, or face and sometimes around the eyes. The condition in many cases is very painful, and if proper care is not taken, it can cause a secondary infection or have adverse long-term side-effects.
In this article, learn how to relieve pain and get rid of the shingle rash fast in 3 days.
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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
Prevent Shingles Or Another Shingles Outbreak:
A vaccine may be given to help prevent shingles. You can get the vaccine even if you already had shingles. The vaccine can help prevent a future outbreak. If you do get shingles again, the vaccine can keep it from becoming severe. The vaccine comes in 2 forms. Your healthcare provider will tell you which form is right for you. The decision is based on your age and any medical conditions you have. A 2-dose vaccine is usually given to adults 50 years or older. A 1-dose vaccine may be given to adults 60 years or older.
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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.
Can You Catch Shingles
Shingles is not contagious. You cant catch it from someone. But, you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles. So, if youve never had chickenpox, try to stay away from anyone who has shingles.
If you have shingles, try to stay away from anyone who has not had chickenpox or who might have a weak immune system.
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How To Use Valtrex
This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment. For shingles or chickenpox, start taking valacyclovir at the first symptom or as soon as possible after the rash appears. For cold sores or genital herpes, start taking this medication at the first sign or as soon as you feel tingling, itching, or burning.
Valacyclovir works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctorâs approval.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
How Long Does It Take For Shingles To Progress
Shingles progresses into blisters over three to five days and begins to crust over after seven to ten days. The rash is preceded by a prodromal phase lasting 48-72 hours or longer, consisting of throbbing pain and numbness in the area affecting the nerve. Once the rash blisters, it can last another three to five days before the lesions scab over.
After the lesions crust over, it may take two to four weeks to heal completely. At this time, pain may still be present. The most painful stage of shingles is when you have fluid-filled blisters. This usually occurs three to five days after the rash first appears.
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What Does Early Stages Of Shingles Look Like
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.
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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How To Treat Shingles
This article was co-authored by Lydia Shedlofsky, DO. Dr. Lydia Shedlofsky is a Resident Dermatologist who joined Affiliated Dermatology in July of 2019 after completing a traditional rotating internship at Larkin Community Hospital in Miami, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. After graduation, she moved to Beira, Mozambique, and worked as a research assistant and intern at a free clinic. She completed a Post-Baccalaureate program and subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in Medical Education and a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 16 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 611,298 times.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a distressing skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus . This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, VZV stays in the body. Usually the virus causes no problems. However, now and again the virus reappears, causing nasty blisters called shingles. The following article will describe the treatments for shingles.
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.
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How To Know If You Have Shinglesand The Best Ways To Treat It
While theres no cure for shingles, a common viral infection, early treatment can prevent complications and help you recover more quickly.
Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a disease that triggers a painful skin rash, which develops into fluid-filled blisters. It typically develops on just one side of the body or face, and in a small area. The most common place for shingles to occur is in a band around one side of the waistline.
Shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus , the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in their body but can reactivate later, causing shingles.
Most people with shingles have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tingling, itching, or numbness of the skin
- Chills, fever, headache, or upset stomach
Anyone who thinks they have shingles should see a doctor within three days of getting the rash. They 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. There is a test to confirm shingles, but it is not normally needed.
These medicines are most effective if you start taking them as soon as possible after the rash appears, which is why its critical to see a doctor as soon as you suspect shingles.
Here are a few more ways to manage symptoms of shingles:
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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What Do Shingles Look Like On The Skin
The shingles rash appears as red 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. The blotches become itchy blisters that ooze fluid. A few days later, the blisters dry out and scab.
Regarding this, what are the very first signs of shingles?
These signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain, burning, numbness or tingling.
- Sensitivity to touch.
- A red rash that begins a few days after the pain.
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over.
Also, what do shingles look like on your back? Typically, this occurs along your chest, abdomen, back, or face, but it may also affect your neck, limbs, or lower back. The area can be very painful, itchy, and tender. The blisters are contagious with skin to skin contact, After one to two weeks, the blisters heal and form scabs, although the pain may continue.
Keeping this in view, what does shingles look like?
The shingles rash can be a distinctive cluster of fluid-filled blisters often in a band around one side of the waist. This explains the term shingles, which comes from the Latin word for belt. The next most common location is on one side of the forehead or around one eye.
What can be mistaken for shingles?
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Get Medical Care For Shingles Immediately
If you have a blistering rash, you want to see a doctor as soon as possible. Should you have shingles, starting prescription medication within 2 to 3 days of developing the rash can dramatically:
Reduce your symptoms, such as pain
Lessen the amount of time you have shingles
Lower your risk of developing other health problems, such as a condition called postherpetic neuralgia, which is pain that can linger for months or years after the rash clears
If youve had the rash for longer than 2 or 3 days, its still important to see a doctor. Shingles can lead to other health problems aside from long-lasting pain. For example, when the shingles rash develops on your face, it can affect your eyesight. Treatment can save your eyesight.
A few people who get shingles develop pneumonia, hearing loss, or a disease that causes the brain to swell . Its important to find signs of these early, so that you can receive treatment.
When you see your doctor, you may hear the medical term herpes zoster. This is the medical name for shingles.
Get medical care immediately
Getting medical treatment within 3 days of developing the shingles rash can greatly reduce your risk of developing long-lasting pain.
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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.