Shingles is an infection of a nerve area which is characterized by painful rashes. Apart from taking medications, you must follow the precautions to promote healing while minimizing the risks.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a blistering rash caused by varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.
According to CDC, 1 out of 3 people in the US have shingles during their lifetime. Seniors (60 or above) are vulnerable to shingles than other age group.
The signs of the shingles are blisters, rashes and red spots developing after the few days of pain and itching. Besides taking medications, you must follow the precautions to promote your healing.
Cold Water Bath:
Cold water is an efficient way to ease pain and discomfort occurring during shingles. All you need to soak the affected part in cold water for 15-20 minutes. However, the water should not be too cold as it can aggravate your problem. Use gentle soaps (free from alcohol and fragrances) to keep your skin moisturized.
You can take oatmeal bath which is considered as the healing bath for many skin conditions. After taking the bath, pat dry with the clean towel.
If you can’t manage to take cold water bath somehow, you can use wet compresses instead. Like cold water bath, it soothes your irritation with its cooling effect. It is very simple to use. Take a clean towel and soak it with cool water. Squeeze the water and apply the compress on your shingle for 15-20 minutes. Repeat it several times a day or when you feel intense pain.
You can add one part of vinegar to 32 parts of water for you compressing. Don’t use ice packs as they can give you a burning sensation. Make sure to wash the towel or cloth after use to minimize the infection chances to others. Dry your area followed by an application of antiviral lotion.
Take Right Diet:
Stay away from the arginine rich foods like chocolate, peanuts and almonds as their amino acid can strengthen the virus of shingles. Similarly, don’t take dairy products and yeast till you recover from shingles.
You must take Vitamin C food to support your immune system. Besides, it also protects your cells from damage. Taking garlic rich diet is beneficial due to its antiviral properties that ease the shingles’ signs. You should keep your body hydrated by drinking 8-10 glass of water in day for better healing.
You can use calamine lotions on the affected area which is available at drug store. Always wash your hands before and after an application of lotion.
You can make the mixture of calamine, rubbing alcohol, menthol and phenol to apply on the affected parts (please consult your doctor for that). Take painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen if you are feeling pain (Please consult your doctor for that).
Keep These Things Also in Your Mind:
Don’t pick at the blisters or scratch your skin as it can trigger the secondary infection.
Be relaxed. Do meditation and breathing exercise to reduce your stress, which is essential for healing. Besides, it diverts you from the itching and pain.
Come back for treatment as prescribed in your follow-up.