shingles rash

Best Ways to Get Rid of Shingles Rash

Shingles is an ailment caused by the virus called varicella-zoster, which can result in a rash. Chickenpox is caused by the very same virus. It can affect people who already had or are currently getting over a case of chickenpox. 

This is because the virus never leaves the body. Instead it just remains dormant in nerve tissues around your brain and spinal cord after a person has had chickenpox. After many years, when your immunity decreases,  the virus may reactivate as shingles.

The rash is typically on one side of the body and is made up of blisters. While shingles is not a serious condition, it can be very painful. In some cases, shingles can lead to long-term nerve pain. 

What Do Shingles Rash Look Like

The rash is typically on one side of the body and is made up of blisters. While shingles is not a serious condition, it can be very painful. In some cases, shingles can lead to long-term nerve pain.

Because shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, shingles can affect people who have already had  chickenpox. If you have shingles, there are several things that you can do to get rid of shingles rash symptoms and prevent shingles in the future.

Shingles often occurs in older adults but young children who have not had chickenpox can also develop shingles so proper hygiene care including washing hands regularly, avoiding touching eyes and nose, getting enough sleep , drinking plenty of fluids, and eating a healthy diet is important.

For some, shingles rash appears as an area on their skin that looks like small blisters filled with fluid. However, for most people these areas will not be raised above the surface of your skin and may appear redder than surrounding healthy cells. Some can also experience pain in this region which lasts longer than shingle symptoms tend to last (up to 30 days). 

There are several effective medications available for treating shingles once it has developed, although prevention vaccination is always preferred if you are eligible for vaccination against shingles. Typically only  shingles patients over 60 years old are eligible for shingle vaccinations.

How to prevent shingles

Shingles vaccine is available  to help prevent shingles. If you are over 60 years old, or if you have a condition that weakens your immune system, it is recommended for people to receive shingles vaccine as soon as possible .

For shingles prevention, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as this can help reduce your risk of contracting shingles. Having a healthy body can also help speed up the recovery process after you’ve contracted shingles.

Another key shingles rash prevention step is to practice good hygiene . This includes washing your hands often, especially before you eat, and avoid touching your face unnecessarily. If you do happen to scratch the shingles rash, make sure that you clean your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Best ways to get rid of shingles rash

otc antihistamines

There is no cure for shingles. Most of the time, you simply have to let it run its own course.  However, there are shingles treatments available to help ease the symptoms and speed up the healing process.

There are several ways that people have found success with ridding themselves of their discomfort from shingles rash including: 

  • applying dry heat (such as from a heating pad)
  • taking antihistamines
  • applying hydrocortisone cream or other types
  •  topical anesthetics/antipruritics such as benzocaine etc.
  •  drinking plenty of fluids 
  • getting restful sleep 

Soothing hot baths to get rid of shingles

One of the best ways to get rid of shingles rash is by taking a hot bath and adding colloidal oatmeal to the water. The oats will help soothe your skin. You can also add baking soda, Epsom salts, or oatmeal powder directly to a bathtub if you don’t have colloidal oatmeal on hand. 

Plenty of fluids and lots of rest

It is important that you drink plenty of fluids while you are experiencing shingles rash symptoms as this will help flush the virus out of your system and promote healing. 

In addition, make sure that you get plenty of restful sleep during this time – shingles can be quite exhausting. Along with getting enough sleep, make sure to take breaks during the day if you are feeling overwhelmed by shingles symptoms.

Eat healthy to ease symptoms of shingles

Shingles is a painful condition in which the virus that causes varicella-zoster causes small, itchy blisters on your skin. To give your body the support it needs to fight this viral infection, you might consider eating a healthy and balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

Avoiding complications from shingles

If you are currently experiencing shingles rash symptoms, avoid  scratching the area as this can cause the blisters to break open and increase your risk of getting an infection. You can also try applying a cold compress to the area or taking antihistamines to help reduce itching.

If your rash persists or becomes more severe seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor may prescribe medication that can help speed up the healing process. 

Long term nerve pain, also known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common known shingles complication.  It is a type of nerve pain that can persist for months or even years after the shingles rash has healed. Other potential shingles complications include:

  • Eye problems, such as conjunctivitis and uveitis
  • Skin infections, such as cellulitis
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological problems, including Bell’s palsy and meningitis


If you are experiencing any shingles complications seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will be able to prescribe treatment that can help alleviate your symptoms.


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