Treatment Shingles Pain

treatment shingles pain

Shingles is a viral infection that is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Shingles creates a painful rash, and may also cause fever, sensitivity to light, and fatigue. Having chickenpox as a child means that the shingles virus is dormant in your system but can be reactivated later in life as a shingles rash. Shingles consists of fluid-filled blisters that are extremely painful and can occur on any part of the body.

Shingles has no cure, but there are antiviral medications that can work to shorten the duration of the virus and reduce its symptoms. Along with these medications, there are also several natural home remedies you could try to help reduce the pain and discomfort caused by shingles.

Healing Baths

If you cleanse shingles blisters daily, it helps to reduce the spread of the infection. Taking a cool bath or shower helps to soothe the skin by calming the itchiness and easing the pain.

There are specific healing baths that can help reduce shingles symptoms. A healing bath consists of 1-2 cups of colloidal oatmeal or cornstarch poured into lukewarm water. Soak in this for 15-20 minutes. The water should not be hot, as hot water can make the shingles blisters worse due to increased blood flow.

After you get out of the bath, dry off completely. Wash your towel to avoid spreading the shingles virus to others.

Wet, Cool Compress

Applying a wet, cool compress to shingles rash also helps to soothe pain and itchiness. A compress can be applied several times a day when needed.

The compress is made by soaking a cloth in cool water, wringing the water out, and applying the cloth directly to the rash and/or blisters.

Do not use an ice pack, as the coldness might increase the skin’s sensitivity and make the pain worse.

Baking Soda or Corn Starch Paste

Applying a paste with water and cornstarch or baking soda to the rash helps to relieve itching. The paste should be two parts cornstarch or baking soda in a cup to one part water until you have the desired consistency. Apply the paste to the affected areas and rinse off after 10-15 minutes. This can be repeated several times a day as needed.

Soothing Lotions and Creams

While lotions and creams will not speed up the healing process of shingles rash, they can help make you more comfortable. However, do not use scented or perfumed lotions, as these may cause further irritation.

Applying topical ointments with the natural ingredient capsaicin 3-4 times a day may also help to soothe the skin. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, is anti-inflammatory. Topical ointments that contain this ingredient may make the pain worse after initially applying, but the pain should lessen with time. It works by reducing pain signals sent to your brain.

Calamine lotion also helps. Apply after bathing or showering.

Dietary Remedies

Dietary changes may be able to help strengthen your immune system, preventing the shingles virus from spreading to other parts of your body.

A shingles diet should consist of foods with vitamins A, B-12, C, and E, and also the amino acid lysine.

These foods include:

  • orange and yellow fruits
  • leafy green vegetables
  • eggs
  • red meat
  • wild-caught fish
  • chicken
  • whole grains
  • dairy
  • beans
  • legumes
  • spinach
  • tomatoes

Foods to avoid include:

  • food and juices with high amounts of sugar
  • refined carbohydrates
  • arginine-rich foods, such as chocolate, gelatin, and nuts
  • foods high in saturated fat

Homeopathic and Herbal Remedies

Discuss any homeopathic remedies with a doctor first before trying them.

Supplements and herbal medicines that may help your body fight the shingles virus include:

  • melatonin
  • oregano oil
  • St. John’s Wort
  • green tea
  • echinacea
  • essential fatty acids
  • lemon balm

Consult your doctor before consuming any supplements.

Featured image: mybaitshop via DepositPhotos

Posted on May 5, 2023