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5 Proven Shingles Treatment Methods

Shingles is a painful condition that many people aged 60 years old and over experience. The good news is there are several treatment methods available to help ease the pain and reduce symptoms. What’s more, most of these treatments are relatively inexpensive. In this blog post, we’ll go over 5 proven shingles treatment methods that you can use at home to get relief from your symptoms.

Shingles symptoms

Shingles symptoms can last for several weeks, even with treatment. Early signs could include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • A rash on one side of the body that starts as red, itchy patches and then blisters
  • Tiredness
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, or stabbing pain

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment.

Shingles treatment methods

cold compress

1. Apply a cool compress

Applying a cold compress to the rash can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. You can use a cold pack, ice cubes wrapped in a towel, or even refrigerated gel packs.

2. Take over-the-counter pain medications

If you’re experiencing significant pain from shingles, over-the-counter pain medications can help. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are typically the best choice.

3. Anti viral drugs for shingles treatment

Antiviral drugs are one of the most common shingles treatments. These drugs help to reduce the severity of the shingles virus and can shorten the length of an outbreak. Antiviral drugs are available in both prescription and over-the-counter form, so you should be able to find something that works for you.

4. Topical creams, ointments, or patches

Another popular shingles treatment is topical creams or ointments. These products help to relieve pain and itching, and some also contain antiviral agents that can further reduce symptoms. Topical treatments come in a variety of forms, including lotions, gels, patches, and creams, so it’s easy to find one that fits your needs. Shingles patch adhesive bandages placed directly on affected area relieves pain and itch while keeping skin clean and free from irritants and bacteria.

If you’re looking a non-drug based shingles treatment, consider shingles patches. These adhesive bandages can be placed over the affected area to help relieve pain and itching while helping to keep your skin clean from additional irritants or bacteria that may make shingles symptoms worse.

5. Eating regular, healthy meals

Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as these are a good source of vitamins and minerals that can help boost your immune system. Foods that are high in zinc, such as red meat and poultry, can also be helpful for shingles recovery.

Drinking plenty of fluids is an easy way to maintain good health during this time. This simple step helps prevent dehydration which can lead shingles complications such as pneumonia.

Shingles diagnosis

Shingles is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which is also the same virus that brings about chickenpox. If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you’re at risk for shingles. Shingles usually appears as a single stripe of blisters on one side of the body, but it can also show up as multiple stripes or in other locations.

If you think you may have shingles, see your doctor right away. There’s no cure for shingles, but the treatments discussed above can help ease your symptoms.

Shingles prevention

There is no surefire way to prevent shingles, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

The best way to protect yourself from shingles is to get vaccinated. The shingles vaccine is available as a shot, and it’s recommended for adults over 60 years old and anyone who has ever had chickenpox. The shingles vaccine is most effective when given within three months of exposure to the virus.

What can shingles be mistaken for?

Shingles can sometimes be mistaken as psoriasis, hives, or eczema. These conditions can look similar to shingles and may cause someone with shingles to seek treatment for one of these diseases.

Moreover, tiny blisters that only appear around the mouth or lips are cold sores, also known as fever blisters. They’re actually not shingles, but are blisters caused by herpes simplex. Poison oak, sumac, or ivy might can also cause itchy blisters to appear after walking outdoors or doing yard work.

It’s important not to self-diagnose, so if you think you have shingles, see your doctor right away.

How do you confirm shingles?

Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose shingles by looking at your rash. In some cases, they may order a blood test or other diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis.

The shingles rash may be a group of blisters filled with fluid that appear to radiate around one side of the waist. Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, varicella zoster. The Latin word for belt, “cingulus,” is what gave this illness’s name. The next most frequent rash site is around one eye or on one side of the forehead. However, shingles blisters can appear on any part of the body.

Find out more about how to properly spot shingles. Learn what does shingles look like.

What are shingles complications?

Shingles can cause a variety of complications, such as pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain ), and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a long-lasting pain condition.

PHN is the most common shingles complication, affecting up to one-third of shingles patients. The pain from PHN can be severe and long-lasting, and there is no cure. However, treatments are available to help lessen symptoms.

Anyone who has shingles should be alert for these potential complications and seek medical help if they occur.

Will shingles go away if left untreated?

If shingles isn’t treated, the symptoms will taper off on their own. However, shingles can lead to long-term pain or scarring if it’s not diagnosed and managed through treatment options like those discussed above.

 

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