Natural Remedies for Shingles

Shingles is caused by a dormant varicella-zoster virus, or chicken pox virus, becoming reactivated. Everyone who has had the chickenpox is at risk of getting shingles, especially those are have a weakened immune system. If you are over 50, have recently had surgery, are medications such as chemo, suffer from poor nutrition or a highly stressful lifestyle you are at an increased risk of suffering from the shingles.

How can I tell if I have shingles?

There are three stages of shingles, all with symptoms.
Prodromal (before the rash) Stage:

  • Pain, burning, tingling, tickling and numbness in a specific area.
  • Flu-like symptoms such as chills, stomach ache or diarrhea without a fever.
  • Swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes

Active (rash and blister) Stage:

  • A strip of rash will appear on one side of the body.
  • Blisters form on the rash
  • Pain will occur along the rask
  • Blisters break open, ooze and crust over.

Chronic Pain or Postherpetic neuralgia Stage:

  • Aching, burning, stabbing pain in the area of a no gone rash.
  • Persistent ache
  • Sensitivity to touch

If shingles appear on your face or groin area, contact a doctor immediately to avoid serious health complications such as loss of sight.

How can I prevent shingles?

  • People have had chickenpox have the virus lingering in their bodies and are at increased risk of getting shingles. Getting the shingles vaccine, Zostavax may eliminate your risk of getting shingles later in life.
  • If you have never had the chickenpox or shingles, avoid contact with anyone who has either.
  • If you have shingles, avoid contact with people during an outbreak, especially pregnant women, people currently sick, or those that are immunocompromised such as those with HIV or diabetes.

 

How can I treat shingles?

Always seek the advice of a medical professional before trying home treatments for shingles. Because it directly affects the nerves, a shingles outbreak can do serious damage to the body.

  • Get a cold compress on it and leave it for 20 minutes, then put it back on again 20 minutes later.
  • Rest. This will help your immune system fight the virus.
  • Leave the blisters alone. Opening them will only prolong healing and risk infection.
  • Try to relax and control your pain level naturally.
  • Avoid capsaicin. Though some people recommend it, it may worsen the pain of the rash.
  • Ask your pharmacist to make you a shingles lotion that is 78% calamine, 20% rubbing alcohol, 1% phenol, and 1% menthol.
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