Effective treatments for Shingles

November 12, 2012

Effective treatments for Shingles

Anyone who has ever had shingles will testify to the pain and itchiness the rash produces. But there are shingles treatments that are effective in calming down the symptoms. The shingles is originally caused by the virus that caused your chicken pox all those years ago when you were a child. It has lain dormant in your body all that time but now a trigger has reactivated it.

Shingles is generally seen on the stomach and upper torso but can present itself anywhere on the body. You may only see reddish patches of skin to begin with, but these then develop into itchy and painful blisters. It is when these blisters weep that they are contagious. After the moist phase the blisters become crusty and dry and then gradually go away. The whole process can be complete in about 10 days or it may take a month to fully recover.

Shingles treatments which are effective tend to start with a visit to your doctor. Corticosteroids may be prescribed in addition to antiviral medication. These two types of drugs when taken together are known to cut the pain and reduce the redness and itching caused by shingles. They can also cut the length of time someone is ill. Over the counter medicines can be an effective shingles treatment and will certainly help the patient to feel a bit more comfortable. Because the itching is such a problem then antihistamines are useful to bate down the itchiness. These can be applied as pills, cream or lotion. Because aspirin and ibuprofen are know anti inflammatories as well as pain killers they are also good at giving relief from the shingles symptoms.

Because the itching is sometimes overpowering, there is a shingles treatment designed to deal only with the itch. Add colloidal oatmeal to a cool bath. This keeps the shingles rash clean which in turn cuts back on the infection spreading and the oatmeal has the added effect that it stops the irritation so common with shingles, to a minimum. Colloidal oatmeal can be bought from most pharmacies and supermarkets. Applying cold compresses can also be an effective method of giving respite from inflamed and painful blisters temporarily.

When you are stressed because you are sore and itchy and can’t quite get comfortable the last thing you need is someone telling you to calm down and relax. However as part of a successful shingles treatment your health professional will say exactly that. Research has shown that having ample rest and lowering your stress levels helps the immune system fight off the virus.

Remember that shingles can be a highly contagious illness so when your blisters are moist stay away from everyone if at all possible. And do forget to keep all of your clothes and washing items such as sponges, cloths and towels away from everyone else in your household too.

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