Tuesday, February 20, 2024

What To Do About Shingles Pain

This Technique Can Give Your Overall Health A Boost Too

How to treat shingles

A healthy diet rich in these nutrients can help you with more than shingles discomfort . This diet can also boost your immune system long term, meaning your overall health can improve. In turn, that means you feel better overall.

In the meantime though, chilling outliterallycan be another easy home remedy for this condition

Does Shingles Nerve Pain Ever Go Away

If you have shingles symptoms, get treatment now and you may avoid permanent nerve pain. Shingles, a viral infection of the nerve roots, affects 1 million people in the U.S each year. Most people recover from their bout, but for as many as 50% of those over age 60 who have not been treated, the pain doesn’t go away.

When To Seek Care

Early shingles symptoms, such as pain or flu-like feelings, are not obvious signs of a shingles outbreak.

Once a rash appears, you should see your primary care physician or a dermatologist. A trained eye can often diagnose shingles by visually inspecting the rash.

If you have shingles, you may never experience the extreme pain that can often come with it. You may only feel itching and some minor discomfort.

Even without the painful symptoms of shingles, its recommended that you see a healthcare professional and start antiviral treatment within 72 hours of a rashs appearance.

Its especially important to seek prompt medical care if a rash forms near one or both eyes. Shingles in the eye may cause permanent vision loss.

Also Check: Where Can I Get My Shingles Shot

Management Of Herpes Zoster And Postherpetic Neuralgia

SETH JOHN STANKUS, MAJ, MC, USA, MICHAEL DLUGOPOLSKI, MAJ, MC, USA, and DEBORAH PACKER, MAJ, MC, USA, Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia

Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 15 61:2437-2444.

Patient information: See related handout on shingles, written by the authors of this article.

Herpes zoster results from reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. Unlike varicella , herpes zoster is a sporadic disease with an estimated lifetime incidence of 10 to 20 percent. The incidence of herpes zoster increases sharply with advancing age, roughly doubling in each decade past the age of 50 years. Herpes zoster is uncommon in persons less than 15 years old. In a recent study,1 patients more than 55 years of age accounted for more than 30 percent of herpes zoster cases despite representing only 8 percent of the study population. In this same study, children less than 14 years old represented only 5 percent of herpes zoster cases.

The normal age-related decrease in cell-mediated immunity is thought to account for the increased incidence of varicella-zoster virus reactivation. Patients with disease states that affect cell-mediated immunity, such as human immunodeficiency virus infection and certain malignancies, are also at increased risk. Chronic corticosteroid use, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may increase the risk of developing herpes zoster.

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Treating Shingles Organically Treating Shingles Naturally For Pain

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Also Check: How Long Can Shingles Last

Natural Remedies For Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. The varicella zoster virus causes this viral infection. Its the same virus that causes chickenpox.

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

Knowing What To Watch For And Getting Vaccinated May Prevent This Painful Condition From Recurring

Shingles is a painful condition caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes the chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus stays in the nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. For reasons that are not fully understood, years later, the virus may reactivate and cause shingles.

Shingles often causes a rash, which usually develops on one side of the body. The rash forms blisters that scab over in a 7 to 10 days. However, some people dont develop these telltale symptoms. It doesnt always have a rash. And it isnt always on one side of the body. Those are two reasons shingles can be delayed in its diagnosis and treatment, says Houman Danesh, MD, director of Integrative Pain Management for Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Shingles pain can feel like burning or tingling. Some people describe it as being like ants crawling on their skin, Dr. Danesh says. The pain can last for up to four months.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , almost one out of every three people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. There are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles each year in the United States.

Not everyone who had chickenpox will develop shingles. Those individuals with lowered immunity to infections are at increased risk. Shingles is also more common in older adultsabout half of all cases occur in men and women age 60 or over.

Early Treatment Is Key

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Best Treatments For Lasting Shingles Pain

Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain: What Works, What Doesn’t

Doctors call it postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. It’s caused by nerve damage left behind by a case of shingles. Shingles itself comes from reactivation of a chickenpox virus, varicella zoster. The virus travels down nerve fibers to cause a painful skin rash.

When the rash goes away, the pain usually goes with it. But for 12% to 15% of people the pain remains. If your shingles pain lasts eight to 12 weeks after the rash goes away, you’re part of an “unfortunate minority,” says pain researcher Andrew S.C. Rice, MD, of Imperial College, London.

“Among people with PHN, some have their pain resolve in the first year to 18 months after the shingles rash goes away,” Rice tells WebMD. “But if they have pain longer than that, it is not going to go away on its own. In either case, a person must deal with the pain.”

Can Postherpetic Neuralgia Be Prevented

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

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a shingles vaccine, which can reduce your chance of getting shingles and PHN. The recombinant herpes-zoster vaccine is recommended to prevent shingles in adults ages 50 and older. The vaccination is given in two doses, two to six months apart. The two-dose vaccine is 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Protection lasts at least for four years after you get vaccinated.

If you have never had chickenpox or have children who have never had chickenpox, getting the chickenpox vaccine can help prevent getting this infection in the first place. If you never get chickenpox, you will not have the varicella-zoster virus in your body and will not get shingles or PHN.

Also Check: Is It Safe To Be Around Someone With Shingles

How To Find A High Quality Effective Shingles Product

Shingles is well known for causing extreme discomfort and long-term pain, leaving many sufferers desperate to find a swift solution. There are many products on the market but it can often be confusing for consumers to know which one is going to provide fast and effective relief.

Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk of developing Shingles which is caused by the same virus known as Varicella Zoster. Once inside your body, the virus remains inactive in your nerve cells and can be triggered by a variety of stimuli and reactivated in the form of Shingles. Unfortunately Shingles is a very common occurrence, particularly in older adults, with one out of every three people developing Shingles at some point during their life. The symptoms can be extremely painful and cause major discomfort with many individuals experiencing pain for weeks or months afterwards, even after the blisters have disappeared.

However, it can be beyond confusing for consumers, not knowing which products are worth buying and which are worthless fakes. We carefully examined which products are backed up with scientific support and real explanations as to why they have formulated their version of a Shingles supplement in the way that they have or how exactly they work to help relieve the challenging symptoms of Shingles and prevent any future occurrence.

Not A Fan Of Compresses Try This

If pain is too intense to apply a compress, dont worry. You can still use cool methods to help.

One further option in the vein of a cold compress is to take a cold bath. Then, apply some lotion or ointment to the afflicted area. This strategy will help in two ways. Firstly, the cold bath will cool down the skin. Then, the lotion will help to keep the skin nice and moist, helping to prevent irritation.

Dont like cold baths or compresses? Keep reading. The next home remedy is a tasty solution to shingles discomfort

Also Check: Google What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

Are There Alternative Treatments

Some studies show that various alternative treatments, from acupuncture to supplements, can offer relief. The research isnât complete, but some shows promise. Check with your doctor before you try any of these:

TENS . This therapy uses tiny electrical pulses to relieve pain. A TENS unit is about the size of a smartphone and comes with small patches called electrodes. You put them over the painful area and turn the unit on and off as your pain comes and goes.

Traditional Chinese medicine: These treatments aim to restore balance in your body. They include acupuncture, the ancient practice of inserting very thin needles into your skin at specific points. Also, moxibustion and cupping, two types of heat therapy, are supposed to draw out toxins. These treatments may be done in combination.

Creams and other skin treatments: A mixture of liquid dimethyl sulfoxide and idoxuridine, an antiviral drug, may reduce swelling and the number of blisters you have when you put it on your rash. And chlorophyll, the chemical that gives plants their green color, is also used directly on the rash as a cream or saline solution.

Supplements: Youâll find a long list of herbs, pills, and oils that claim to relieve shingles. Most have no research to back them up, but there are a couple of exceptions. Papain, a protein found in papayas, is sold in capsules. And manuka and clover honeys can be put directly on your skin. Very early studies on both show they may be helpful.

How Is Postherpetic Neuralgia Diagnosed

Natural Shingles Treatment and Relief Cream

Postherpetic neuralgia is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms, history of having shingles and physical exam. If youve had a recent case of shingles and have pain in the area where the shingles rash once was, you likely have PHN. Your provider may want to make sure your pain is not caused by something else, but in most cases, no other tests are needed.

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When To Contact A Doctor

Its important to visit your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have shingles, especially if youre somebody at an increased risk of developing it.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends visiting a dermatologist or other healthcare professional within 3 days to prevent long-term complications.

Shingles typically clears up within a few weeks and does not commonly recur. If your symptoms have not lessened within 10 days, contact a doctor for a follow-up and reevaluation.

Also Check: Are Herpes And Shingles The Same

What Is The Science Behind Shingles

Even though full recovery from chickenpox is the norm, once the Varicella Zoster virus is in your body, it settles in your nervous system and can lay dormant until triggered where it then develops as Shingles. Albeit Shingles is very contagious, it is usually triggered by a compromised immune system. Its important to note that not everyone who has had chickenpox will get Shingles .

The Varicella Zoster virus mainly affects the nervous system, as the particles from chickenpox settle into the nerve cells. When the virus is reactivated, the particles spread along the nerve fibers resulting in more severe pain and discomfort felt than during a bout of chickenpox. Thus, it is imperative to supplement your body with a formula that helps both repair and protect the nerve cells that are damaged by offering a multi-faceted approach to fast, effective healing and prevention.

How Is Shingles Diagnosed And Treated

New treatment for the pain of shingles

If you think you might have shingles, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Its important to see your doctor no later than three days after the rash starts. The doctor will confirm whether you have shingles and can make a treatment plan. Most cases can be diagnosed from a visual examination. If you have a condition that weakens the immune system, your doctor may order a shingles test. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment with antiviral medications can help the blisters clear up faster and limit severe pain. Shingles can often be treated at home.

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Treatment Of Pain After Shingles

Treatment for people with PHN may include:

  • Nerve blocks: Local anesthetic or alcohol injected directly into the nerve affected
  • Thoracic epidural injections: Local injection in the space around the spinal cord
  • Antidepressant medications: Such as amitriptyline
  • Membrane stabilizers: Such as gabapentin
  • Capsaicinapplication: Topical cream applied to the affected area

Make Your Own Healing Paste From Baking Soda And Cornstarch

Many people usually have cornstarch and baking soda at home, making them an ideal item to heal shingles symptoms without going back out to the store. So what makes this different than using oatmeal or other ingredients? Two things really stand out about baking soda when it comes to treating infection its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to protect against further bacterial invasion of the wounded area by killing off bacteria which could cause infections such as gangrene or tetanus. Meanwhile, the benefits of cornstarch include being able to soothe skin irritations while providing comfort through its fluffy consistency. Combining these two ingredients will create a recipe with soothing benefits both internally and externally.

Heres how you can make up your own relief paste using just baking soda and cornstarch:

  • Mix two parts baking soda with two parts cornstarch
  • Add an additional one part water
  • Stir into a creamy-looking paste
  • Apply the paste
  • Leave it on the affected area to dry
  • While baking soda and cornstarch seem harmless enough, the following recipe may have some people initially balk

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