Shingles are painful rashes caused by the chickenpox virus. The viral infection affects people who have suffered from chickenpox earlier in life. The varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox, remains in a dormant state in the nerve tissues around the brain and spinal cord after chickenpox heals. However, sometimes, after several years, the virus becomes active, leading to shingles.
Risk of shingles is higher in elderly people. Weakening of the immune system is usually blamed for the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. The goal of shingles treatment is to reduce the severity and duration of the viral infection. Along with antiviral drugs, antidepressant, anticonvulsants, numbing substances or narcotic drugs are prescribed for reducing the severe pain associated with shingles. The painful rashes also respond to certain home remedies.
Best Treatment Option For Shingles
By obstructing replication of the viruses, antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir help to reduce pain and duration of the viral infection. Moreover, posttherpetic neuralgia, a type of intense nerve pain that occurs when the varicella-zoster virus damages the nerve, can be prevented by taking antiviral drugs during the shingles flare-ups. Antivirals are best suited for older adults suffering from poor immunity.
They are also recommended for treating severe shingle rashes that appear on the forehead and near the eyes. For best result, these drugs should be taken within three days after the first symptoms of shingles develop. Antiviral drugs are considered safe and are well tolerated. Loss of appetite, headache and nausea are possible side effects of the drug. Only oral antivirals are used for treating shingles. The painful rashes do not respond to topical antivirals.
Wet cool compresses are recommended for reducing the pain, itching and discomfort caused by the painful blisters. Hold an ice pack against the rashes for about ten minutes, several times each day. Washing the affected areas with cool water or taking a cool bath also provides relief from pain and irritation. Washing the areas also helps to prevent secondary infection that may occur when the blisters are infected with microbes.
Apply Baking Soda
Applying baking soda to the rashes promotes healing. By drying the blisters, baking soda also helps to reduce discomfort and irritation. Instead of baking soda, you can even use cornstarch for drying the blisters.
The amino acid lysine is beneficial for people suffering from shingles. The antiviral property of lysine obstructs replication of the varicella-zoster virus by inhibiting the activities of the amino acid arginine. Lysine is an essential amino acid that can be obtained only from dietary sources. Increasing intake of lysine rich foods such as legumes, fish, meat, cheese, especially parmesan, soybean and spirulina helps to boost the lysine level in the body. Lysine can also be taken in the form of supplements.
Capsaicin, the active constituent of cayenne pepper, which is responsible for the hotness of the pepper, is a powerful natural pain relief agent.
Capsaicin ointments can be applied to the affected areas to block transmission of the pain signals. Cayenne pepper may also be added to foods to make shingles pain tolerable.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.