Are There Cures For Shingles?
Shingles isn’t a fun viral infection. The bad news is that there is no exact cure for the ailment. The good news is that you can remedy the pain.
What Is It?
Shingles, or herpes zoster, causes a painful rash. If you had chickenpox, the virus sits dormant in your body. For reasons unknown, it can come back to life, causing a rash. The rash can occur anywhere. It often pops up in small sections on your skin. Many people experience a lot of pain in the affected area. The virus can last between two and six weeks. It isn’t life-threatening, but it is a hassle for many people. Sometimes when the fibers in the nerves get damaged, the pain will last for months after the virus clears.
The usual outbreak of this virus starts with feeling tired or ill. You may notice a mild skin irritation along with burning, tingling, or itching. Some people have aches, fever, headache, chills, or gastrointestinal issues. Usually, an itchy, burning rash made of blisters forms within the first five days. These will last until the blisters scab over and dry up.
A healing bath will help your comfort levels. When you cleanse the blisters daily, you reduce the risk of spreading the rash. You can take a cold bath to soothe your skin. The coolness also eases the pain from the blisters. A healing bath includes a few cups of oatmeal or cornstarch in the water. Soak in this for about 20 minutes. Don’t use hot water. Hot water may worsen the blisters as it increases blood flow.
Creams And Lotions
A shingles cream will help alleviate the dryness and itching of your blisters and rash. It will not alleviate all of the pain, but it can help with comfort levels. The best cream for shingles doesn’t have any perfumed lotion or scents in them. This will only cause increased irritation of the skin. You can also put capsaicin on the rash. It is an anti-inflammatory compound that helps the pain and swelling of the rash. Calamine lotion can be applied after a bath to soothe the skin and help dry out the blisters. Your doctor can prescribe a cream with medication if needed.
Though there is no cure, medication can help with the symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe Anti-viral medication. Speak with them to determine if this is the best route for you. Viruses must clear out on their own, so the medicine will only do so much. Just like the chickenpox, there is nothing foolproof to “get rid” of this virus. When anti-viral drugs are prescribed within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms, they work best.
Baking Soda and Cornstarch Paste
You can create a special paste by mixing cornstarch or baking soda and water. This will help alleviate some of the itching. Apply this a few times a day, leaving on for at least 10 minutes.
When your immune system is weak, your body is susceptible to many illnesses. When you make dietary changes, you can strengthen this immune system and prevent the virus from spreading to other parts of your body. This includes eating a diet rich in vitamins A, B-12, C, and E. Eat a diet full of yellow and orange fruits, red meat, vegetables, eggs, chicken, and whole grains. Stay away from sugary foods, refined carbs, foods high in saturated fats, and arginine-rich foods.
There is a vaccination for this virus. The FDA licensed this vaccination for adults 50 years old and older in 2017. It has been proven to be over 90% effective in clinical trials. Shingles is painful and irritating for most people. Though there is no cure, you can work to handle the symptoms if you get this rash. Contact your doctor with any questions or for more information.