1 AnswerYour doctor may suggest that you treat the symptoms of shingles by placing wet compresses on the blistered skin and taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Your doctor can also prescribe antiviral medications, which relieve symptoms and lower the risk for long-term complications. Antiviral medications used to treat shingles include acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famcyclovir. Doctors sometimes prescribe other medications, such as steroids, to help manage the pain and other symptoms of shingles.
1 AnswerScientists are studying several critical aspects of shingles in hopes of helping to prevent the disease and manage its symptoms. One mystery researchers hope to solve is understanding the behavior of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which causes shingles. Why does VZV hide in the body for years, then suddenly reemerge and trigger an outbreak of shingles? Learning the answer could lead to better therapies for this disease.
Researchers are also trying to discover ways to help the body defend itself against shingles. Certain white blood cells help to keep VZV under control. Finding a way to make these blood cells more active could help treat the disease in people at high risk for severe shingles.
Talk with your doctor about treatment options for shingles.
1 AnswerShingles is a virus that causes pain, itching, skin blisters, and other unpleasant symptoms. If you suspect that you have shingles, see your doctor right away. It's best to receive medication within three days of the first appearance of a shingles-related rash on your skin. That will help to control symptoms and reduce how long you will suffer with a shingles outbreak. Prompt treatment also lowers your risk for something called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). PHN causes burning and itching that can last for months after a shingles rash has disappeared.
Talk with your doctor about the causes of and treatments for shingles.
1 AnswerHealthwise answered
You may reduce the duration and pain of shingles by:
- Taking good care of skin sores.
- Avoid picking at and scratching blisters. If left alone, blisters will crust over and fall off naturally.
- Use cool, moist compresses if they help ease discomfort. Lotions, such as calamine, may be applied after wet compresses.
- Apply cornstarch or baking soda to help dry the sores so that they heal more quickly.
- Soak crusted sores with tap water or Burow's solution to help clean away crusts, decrease oozing and dry and soothe the skin.
- Ask your doctor about using topical creams to help relieve the inflammation caused by shingles.
- If your skin becomes infected, ask your doctor about prescription antibiotic creams or ointments.
- Using medicines as prescribed to treat shingles or postherpetic neuralgia, which is pain that lasts for at least 30 days after the shingles rash heals.
- Using nonprescription pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain during an attack of shingles or pain caused by postherpetic neuralgia. If you are already taking a prescription pain medicine, talk to your doctor before using any over-the-counter pain medicine. Some prescription pain medicines have acetaminophen (Tylenol), and getting too much acetaminophen can be harmful.
If home treatment doesn't help with pain, talk to your doctor. Getting your pain under control right away may prevent nerve damage that may cause pain that lasts for months or years.
© Healthwise, Incorporated.
1 AnswerMaoshing Ni, Gerontology, answeredShingles is caused by an outbreak of the herpes zoster virus. It is often accompanied by postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a severe pain condition that radiates from the affected nerve root to the area it innervates. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, and herbal medicine cannot cure the herpes zoster virus. However, PHN has been successfully treated with internal herbal prescriptions and acupuncture. Depending on the condition and severity of the virus, it may take anywhere from 6 to 12 treatments at a rate of a treatment every other day. I suggest you consult a licensed practitioner to determine the proper course of action.
1 AnswerRobin Miller, Integrative Medicine, answeredThere are some good medications that can help with shingles pain if given within 72 hours of when the blisters appear. In addition there are some home remedies that may be helpful. Cool packs with ice water placed for 20 minutes at a time may be helpful (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off). Using cold milk packs may also be effective.
Once the blisters have healed, cayenne pepper cream that you can get over the counter may decrease the pain. It is called capsaicin or Zostrix. Regardless of how you choose to treat shingles it is very important that you consult with your doctor.
4 AnswersDoctors treat shingles with medications called antiviral drugs. These medications help to control the virus that causes shingles. There are three antiviral drugs available for treating shingles: acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famcyclovir. You can lower your risk for long-term complications of shingles if you begin taking antiviral medications soon after your symptoms start. In addition to antiviral medications, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers and other drugs to help you manage the symptoms of shingles.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
1 AnswerTopical lidocaine is an effective form of pain control for shingles and can be used either alone or in combination with oral agents which also help control pain.
1 AnswerAngela Lowery, DNP, Family Medicine, answered
The pain of associated with Shingles can be the most difficult aspect of dealing with Shingles. Treatment options for Shingles are prescription antiviral drugs to shorten the length of the infections. These medications are more effective if started within three days after the appearance of the rash. Prescription and over the counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications are used to decrease inflammation and help with the pain, antidepressants may also be used to assist with the pain. Other options used to promote healing and reduce pain are cool compresses on the lesions or cool baths twice a day. Calamine lotion can be used to relieve itching. Avoid heat and hot water as this increases itching. Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing and cover rash with loose gauze after cleansing. You may also want to trim your nails to prevent introducing bacteria when scratching.
While Shingles is not contagious, the rash that occurs with Shingles carries the same virus that causes chicken pox. It is a possibility a person that has not had chicken pox or has not been vaccinated against the virus, that causes chicken pox, can actually contract chicken pox from a shingles infected person.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
1 AnswerSheri Van Dijk, Psychiatry, answered
Any kind of pain we experience is made worse by our tendency to fight the pain. Acceptance of our experience - not saying we like it or approve of it, or that we don't want it to change, but simply acknowledging our reality - helps us to change our relationship to the pain and make it more bearable. For example, thinking about the pain of shingles and how awful it is and how it never seems to stop and wondering if it will ever get better...will only make the pain more unbearable. Saying to yourself "it is what it is" and then trying to distract yourself from the pain, will make it more tolerable.
And what do you distract yourself with? Preferably enjoyable activities. Call someone and ask them how their day is going rather than focusing on your pain and other problems; play with your dog; watch your favorite TV show or read a book that really engages you. And whenever you notice your attention wandering back to the pain you're experiencing, as best as you can, gently (without judgment), bring your attention back to the activity you're focusing on.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.