How to Treat Shingles

Shingles is a painful rash that tends to form a red, painful band on one side of the body. It requires a multi-pronged treatment approach. Goal: To heal the rash, reduce pain, and reduce the risk of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a stinging or burning pain that can last months or even years after the rash has subsided.

Home remedies such as cold compresses can help relieve symptoms. Your healthcare provider may also recommend antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and pain relievers.

Shingles often afflicts the trunk and chest area.but if you have ophthalmic herpes zoster– Shingles affecting the eye area – It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to reduce the risk of permanent vision damage.

This article describes prescription and over-the-counter medications used to treat shingles. Some home remedies and lifestyle habits can also ease the pain of shingles.

Chickenpox link

If you’ve already had chickenpox, you may have shingles. The two conditions have an uneasy relationship because they are both caused by the same virus: Chickenpox shingles Virus. A chickenpox infection never really goes away. Once subsided, the virus remains inactive—sometimes for decades, sometimes forever. But it can flare up again in some people, this time in the form of shingles.

Early treatment is key to controlling the severity of a shingles outbreak, and antiviral drugs are often the first choice. Antiviral medications can speed healing of skin lesions and reduce the severity and duration of pain. They are most effective when started within 72 hours of the first rash. Therefore, if you have signs of shingles, seek immediate medical attention.


Symptoms are usually obvious and usually follow a certain progression. expect:

  • feel tired if not running down
  • battling mild fever
  • Feeling of tingling under the skin in the affected area
  • experience severe burning or stinging pain
  • see red skin patches with small bumps
  • Watch the bumps turn into blisters that start to itch


Antiviral medications for shingles include:

  • Zovirax (Acyclovir)
  • Farmville (famciclovir)
  • Valtrax (Valacyclovir)
  • corticosteroids: Although they are not usually used for shingles or PHN, anti-inflammatory corticosteroids (such as prednisone) are used when the eyes or other facial nerves are affected.
  • Opioids: Certain transdermal opioids, such as morphine extended-release patches or fentanyl patches, and oral opioids (narcotics) are helpful in the short term for severe pain from shingles or PHN .

If you do not start antiviral treatment within 72 hours, taking one may still help.

Read the instructions carefully

Acyclovir tends to be the cheapest of the antiviral drugs, but must be taken more frequently than other options—sometimes multiple times a day.

postherpetic neuralgia

Pain in PHN is persistent and can easily reduce quality of life. Your doctor may prescribe medications for neuropathic pain that you can take every day for several months or longer:

  • Anticonvulsants: Some medications commonly used to control seizures are also effective in controlling many types of neuropathic pain, including pain in PHN. Examples include Neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica (pregabalin).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: Some antidepressants are effective in controlling neuropathic pain. Examples include amitriptyline. Aventyl (nortriptyline) and Norpramin (desipramine).

Watch out for side effects

Tricyclic antidepressants can cause side effects such as constipation, dizziness, and dry mouth, More common is dry mouth.

over-the-counter therapy

Over-the-counter pain treatments may be effective in managing pain. They can be taken alone or with prescription pain relievers:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Tylenol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) can relieve mild to moderate pain.
  • Antihistamines: Oral antihistamines such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can relieve itching. It can cause drowsiness, so don’t take it when you need to drive or stay highly focused. You can also try topical antihistamines. Benadryl is available in spray, cream and stick forms.
  • Calamine Lotion: Calamine lotion can relieve itching and pain. If you don’t like the classic thick pink lotion, you can also find a sheer version.
  • Lidocaine: This local anesthetic helps relieve pain by temporarily numbing the painful area.It’s found in various OTC skin-numbing creams, as well as in a patch called Lidoderm, which sticks to the skin and releases a small amount Lidocaine (Numbing Spray) Up to 12 hours a day. Use lidocaine (in any form) only on skin that is still intact – usually after blisters and ulcers have healed. Otherwise, it may be toxic if it is absorbed into your body through an open wound.
  • capsaicin: The active ingredient in chili pepper has a numbing effect on the skin as if it sets your mouth on fire. It transmits pain signals by consuming a neurochemical called substance P. Many studies have found that capsaicin is effective in relieving neuropathic pain, such as PHN. The study focused on a prescription-only patch (Qutenza) containing a high concentration (8%) of capsaicin. You can find creams with lower doses of capsaicin in drugstores, health food stores, and online. One of them, Zostrix, contains 0.1% capsaicin. Discuss with your healthcare provider the amount that is right for you.

Be careful with capsaicin

Capsaicin is hot stuff. Wear disposable gloves while using, taking care not to touch eyes or any areas of broken or sensitive skin.

Home Remedies and Lifestyle

In addition to causing an uncomfortable rash, shingles can cause symptoms similar to other viral infections.

While prescription and over-the-counter medicines can help, one of the most important things you can do when treating an illness is to take care of yourself. If you are caring for someone else with shingles, Biosoothing can be a great relief.

Integrate these basic strategies into your busiest daily routines:

  • Take care of your skin: If you’re not using a topical cream or patch, apply a cold compress as needed to help relieve pain. Try to keep the area as dry as possible so the sores and blisters dry out.
  • Take a good soak: An oatmeal bath can provide great relief from itching. Buy packaged oatmeal bath products at the store, or make your own by running regular oatmeal through a food processor until it becomes a fine powder. Add a cup of water per inch to a warm (not hot) tub.
  • Comfortable to wear: The friction of clothing can cause skin pain. If your rash appears on areas of your body that you need to cover when you go out, wear loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers.
  • Get enough rest: In addition to getting enough nighttime sleep (7 to 9 hours for most adults), if you’re tired, take a nap during the day.
  • Eat well: Choose nutritious foods whenever possible and minimize foods high in saturated fat, salt, and empty calories.
  • Move your body: Try simple but worthwhile exercises like stretching or walking.
  • Distract yourself: Find ways to free your mind from pain and discomfort, such as inviting friends over for a chat or indulging in a pleasurable hobby.
  • Stress reduction: Turn to activities or exercises that help you relax, such as meditation, reading, or listening to music.

Odds don’t like shingles

About 2 in 10 people who have chickenpox eventually develop shingles. Most of these people are 50 years old and older.

Complementary Medicine (CAM)

Consider discussing with your healthcare provider if you are willing to try non-traditional methods for managing shingles pain percutaneous Electrical nerve stimulation (10). This self-administered therapy involves applying a harmless level of electrical current to stimulate the skin, which can relieve pain by interfering with the transmission of pain signals.

Although other alternative treatments for shingles have been considered, none have been studied enough to be considered feasible.Including Proteolysis Enzymes, naturally produced by the pancreas, help digest protein in the diet. They are also found in certain foods, such as papaya and pineapple.

Studies have found that TENS is effective in relieving shingles pain and preventing PHN.

Supplements derived from papaya (called papain), pineapple (called bromelain), and animal pancreas can be found online, in health food stores, and in some grocery and drug stores. They are often marketed as digestive enzyme supplements.

In a 1995 German study of 192 patients with herpes zoster, half took proteolytic enzymes for 14 days and the other half took acyclovir. Both groups experienced similar pain relief and skin improvement, with the exception of skin redness, where acyclovir treatment showed greater improvement. The group taking proteolytic enzymes had significantly fewer side effects.

Caution is warranted considering that there is little evidence that proteolytic enzymes can relieve shingles symptoms and that they may have side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider before using them as a treatment for shingles.

Enzymes can stir the effect

Proteolytic enzymes may have some side effects, including indigestion and allergic reactions. If you are allergic to pineapple or papaya, avoid taking supplements from these fruits.


There are various ways to get rid of the painful, burning sensation of shingles. Doctors often prescribe Zovirax (acyclovir), Famvir (famciclovir), Valtrex (valacyclovir), corticosteroids, and opioids.Over-the-counter medications include Tylenol (acetaminophen), antihistamines, calamine
Lotion, lidocaine and capsaicin.

While these strategies can be effective, you’ll likely find the greatest relief in home remedies, including dressing comfortably, following a nutritious diet, stretching or walking, getting plenty of rest, taking an oatmeal bath, and cooling compresses. You can also try transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which is a non-invasive and inexpensive method of pain relief.

VigorTip words

You don’t know if you will get shingles, but you can do your part to prevent outbreaks by getting the shingles vaccine. It’s called Shingrix, and it’s 90 percent effective. Even if you do develop shingles, the vaccination should greatly reduce pain in the affected area. Go the extra mile by developing lifestyle habits like exercising and eating nutritious foods to manage shingles pain.