Saturday, March 2, 2024

What To Do For Shingles Itch

Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of Your Body

How To Treat Shingles Itching – How To Manage Pain With Shingles

The virus travels in specific nerves, so you will often see shingles occur in a band on one side of your body. This band corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash stays somewhat localized to an area. It doesnt spread over your whole body. Your torso is a common area, as is your face.

Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of The Body

The virus travels in specific nerves, so you will often see shingles occur in a band on one side of the body. This band corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash stays somewhat localized to an area it does not spread over your whole body. The torso is a common area, as is the face.

You Cannot Get Shingles From Someone With Chickenpox

You cannot get shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox.

But you can get chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have not had chickenpox before.

When people get chickenpox, the virus remains in the body. It can be reactivated later and cause shingles if someone’s immune system is lowered.

This can be because of stress, certain conditions, or treatments like chemotherapy.

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What Are The Complications Of Shingles

Symptoms of shingles usually dont last longer than 3 to 5 weeks. However, complications can happen. The main complications that can result from shingles include:

  • Postherpetic neuralgia . The most common complication of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia . This continuous, chronic pain lasts even after the skin lesions have healed. The pain may be severe in the area where the blisters were present. The affected skin may be very sensitive to heat and cold. If you had severe pain during the active rash or have impaired senses, you are at increased risk for PHN. The elderly are also at greater risk. Early treatment of shingles may prevent PHN. Pain relievers and steroid treatment may be used to treat the pain and inflammation. Other treatments include antiviral drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents.
  • Bacterial infection. A bacterial infection of the skin where the rash happens is another complication. Rarely, infections can lead to more problems, such as tissue death and scarring. When an infection happens near or on the eyes, a corneal infection can happen. This can lead to temporary or permanent blindness.

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Milk For Shingles Pain

Shingles Natural Treatment: Foods, Supplements &  Oils to Help

Need something to soothe the itch? Look no further than your refrigerator. Grab a soft wash cloth or clean sponge and saturate it in cold skim milk. Squeeze it out until its soaked but not dripping and place it gently over any problem areas. The milk should create a thin, film of protein to help protect and ease sensitive skin.

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How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
  • 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.

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    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.

    Burning Feeling And Red Rash

    How to prevent painful rash of Shingles

    Between 1 and 5 days after you start to feel the tingling or numb feeling, a red rash will develop on the same area of your skin. Most often, the rash appears on one side of your torso, but it can show up anywhere on your body.

    You may also have other symptoms along with the rash, such as:

    When the rash starts, you should see a doctor for treatment as soon as possible. Starting antiviral medication treatment within 3 days of the rash first appearing can lower your risk of developing complications, like long-term pain.

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    What Are The Symptoms

    The first sign of shingles is often burning, sharp pain, tingling, or numbness in your skin on one side of your body or face. The most common site is the back or upper abdomen. You may have severe itching or aching. You also may feel tired and ill with fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach or belly pain.

    One to 14 days after you start feeling pain, you will notice a rash of small blisters on reddened skin. Within a few days after they appear, the blisters will turn yellow, then dry and crust over. Over the next 2 weeks the crusts drop off, and the skin continues to heal over the next several days to weeks.

    Because shingles usually follows nerve paths, the blisters are usually found in a line, often extending from the back or side around to the belly. The blisters are almost always on just one side of the body. Shingles usually doesn’t cross the midline of the body. The rash also may appear on one side of your face or scalp. The painful rash may be in the area of your ear or eye. When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, symptoms can include headaches and weakness of one side of the face, which causes that side of the face to look droopy. The symptoms usually go away eventually, but it may take many months.

    In some cases the pain can last for weeks, months, or years, long after the rash heals. This is called postherpetic neuralgia.

    Key Points About Shingles

    • Shingles is a common viral infection of the nerves. It causes a painful rash or small blisters on an area of skin.
    • Shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus is reactivated.
    • It is more common in people with weakened immune systems, and in people over the age of 50.
    • Shingles starts with skin sensitivity, tingling, itching, and/or pain followed by rash that looks like small, red spots that turn into blisters.
    • The rash is typically affects just one area on one side of the body or face.
    • Treatment that is started as soon as possible helps reduce the severity of the disease.

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    How Do Dermatologists Treat Shingles

    An antiviral medication can:

    • Reduce the amount of time that you have a shingles rash

    • Lower your risk of developing long-lasting nerve pain and other health problems

    One of three antiviral medications is usually prescribedacyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir.

    To treat your symptoms, dermatologists typically recommend the following:

    Pain: Medication that you can buy without a prescription can help, such as:

    If you have severe pain, your dermatologist may prescribe a medication that reduces inflammation, such as a corticosteroid.

    When To Seek Care

    Pin on shingles treatment

    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.

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    What Increases The Risk Of Long

    The risk of developing post-herpetic neuralgia increases with age. Four weeks after getting shingles,

    • 27% of 55- to 59-year-olds and
    • 73% of over 70-year-olds had nerve pain.

    Women seem to be more likely to have longer-lasting nerve pain than men. Post-herpetic neuralgia is also more likely to develop if your eyes were affected by shingles.

    How Can I Take Care Of Myself

    • Take a pain-relief medicine such as acetaminophen. Take other medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
    • Put cool, moist washcloths on the rash.
    • Rest in bed during the early stages if you have fever and other symptoms.
    • Try not to let clothing or bed linens rub against the rash and irritate it.
    • You develop worsening pain or fever.
    • You develop a severe headache, stiff neck, hearing loss, or changes in your ability to think.
    • The blisters show signs of bacterial infection, such as increasing pain or redness, or milky yellow drainage from the blister sites.
    • The blisters are close to the eyes or you have pain in your eyes or trouble seeing.
    • You have trouble walking.

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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 anyone aged between 70 and 79 years who has 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.

    What Causes Skin To Itch

    How to treat shingles

    If youre experiencing itching, its most likely that something is causing your skin to itch. Skin itchiness is common in the summertime, when the weather gets hot and dry. It can also occur during other times of the year, but its more likely to happen in the fall and winter. There are a few things that can cause skin itchiness.

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    Do You Always Get The Typical Rash If You Have Shingles

    Occasionally, some people dont get a rash. If you have any of the other symptoms of shingles , see your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. There are effective treatments you can take early for shingles. Even if you dont have shingles, seeing your healthcare provider will help you get your condition diagnosed and treated.

    Assess Your Pain Levels

    In general, most people with active shingles infections can perform daily activities as tolerated, but rating your pain can help you decide when to do a specific exercise or activity and when to avoid it. Consider using a numerical pain rating scale, which has you rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst possible pain.

    Make a note of your pain level each day and if a particular activity worsened it. Consider writing it down in a journal or as a note in your phone. That way, you can track which activities affect your pain levels and adjust accordingly.

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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.

    Is A Vaccine Available To Prevent Shingles

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    Two vaccines are available in the United States to reduce your chance of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. One vaccine, Zostavax®, has been available since 2006. The second vaccine, Shingrix®, has been available since 2017. Shingrix is recommended as the preferred vaccine by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical and public health experts.

    Shingrix is given as a two-dose shot in your upper arm. You should receive the second dose two to six months after receiving the first. Shingrix has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. Its effectiveness remains above 85% for at least four years after receiving the vaccine.

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    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?

    How To Relieve Shingles Pain Fast

    Shingles is an infection that will naturally go away on its own. Still, health professionals may prescribe antiviral drugs and over-the-counter painkillers to get rid of the pain and soothe the affected area.

    Treatment of shingles can last from several weeks to a month, depending on the individuals immunity strength and age. In many cases, the elderly tend to take many weeks to heal. The commonly prescribed medication may include any combination of the following:

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    Articles On Shingles Treatment

    The virus that causes chickenpox is also what causes shingles. Itâs called varicella zoster. It can lie quietly in your nerves for decades after causing chickenpox but suddenly wake up and become active.

    The main symptom of shingles is a painful rash that comes up on one side of your body or face. See your doctor as soon as you can if you think you might have this condition.

    Your doctor may want to put you on medications to control your infection and speed up healing, cut inflammation, and ease your pain. They include:

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    What Not To Do

    Shingles Virus FAQs Answered | Shingles Causes, Symptoms + Treatment | Dr. Jen Caudle

    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.

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