Shingles is caused by a virus and affects the skin. The main characteristic of shingles is a red skin rash with pain and burning sensation. Other symptoms include: headache, fever, body pain, fatigue and sensitivity to light. This rash can occur anywhere on the body, but it’s most commonly found on the torso. Seek medical care quickly in case there is a rash near the eyes, as it could lead to a permanent eye infection.
Anyone who had chickenpox can get shingles. The elderly and those who had chickenpox before one year of age are at higher risk. It may be on account of a weak immune system. The main causes of shingles in young adults include underlying medical conditions that weaken the immune system like cancer, lymphoma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and leukemia are at higher risk of shingles.
There are antiviral medications that are very effective for treating shingles. Most people who receive treatment soon after shingles blisters appear will experience relief from pain and also heal from the lesions within three to five weeks. Additionally, the blisters often leave no scars. You can also use some natural home remedies to help ease the discomfort of shingles and possibly speed up the healing process.
Here are the top 7 home remedies for shingles.
Covering Shingles with Honey
Honey is a good remedy to treat the blisters associated with shingles. It has been used widely until the discovery of penicillin to treat infections, and is still praised in wound care. While the curing action takes place, honey will also treat your skin gently, wiping away the damage caused on the skin and leaving it wonderfully moisturised and nourished. After applying honey in the affected area, you may place sterile or clean gauze to cover it up. Once the honey has dried, you may strip off the gauze gently. Look for raw, organic honey that is full of goodness and carries the health benefits and avoid fake honey.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera has been used to treat skin problems for many years. It can soothe the affected skin, reduce pain and itching, and speed up the healing process. Aloe Vera gel can be bought over the counter. But the best and most natural way of using it is to buy the plant itself. Get a fresh Aloe Vera leaf and get the gel from the leaf. Apply freshly extracted aloe vera gel to the affected area, rubbing gently in a circular motion and wait for it to dry for a few minutes. Rinse off after half an hour. Follow this remedy two or three times daily for about a week.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an anti microbial and helps in clearing the blisters caused by shingles. This is especially helpful for pregnant women who don’t want to take medications for shingles. Take about 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Now by using cotton ball apply the mixture directly to the affected areas. Along with its antibacterial properties, it also keeps the blister moisturized. For using apple cider vinegar as an internal cure as well, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar along with water or any fresh juice of your choice and consume it every day to accelerate the effect.
Tannins in the tea leave have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and hence can be used as a supplementary treatment for shingles. Wash the used tea bags and chill them in the fridge for a couple of hours. Use the tea bags as compresses and apply them on the affected skin. Continue with the application of tea bags for 15-20 minutes. You should repeat the process 2-3 times per day. If you do not use tea bags then boil some dried tea leaves and strain it. Apply the leaves for relief.
This herb is widely used in oriental medicine and considered to be the best to treat shingles. Several studies show that the antiviral action of the herb may suppress the return and progression of cold sores due to the herpes virus. Add a little water to one teaspoon of licorice powder to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area, allow it dry on its own, and then rinse it off with warm water. Follow this remedy two or three times a day for one or two weeks.
Sea salt has an antiseptic property and will help heal and dry up these rashes for faster recovery. All you need is to mix some sea salt in water and apply this mixture over the affected areas using a cotton ball. This would have to be done about 4 times a day for a certain period of time. You can also add one-half to one cup of sea salt to your bath water and soak in it for 30 minutes daily. Note: Don’t dry off your body with a towel as it can irritate the rashes and blisters.
Take a Cool Bath
To relieve the pain of shingles, you should take a shower with cool water. Cold water can help control the pain from blisters. It can also help ease itching and irritation. You can even add some colloidal oatmeal and starch to that water, oatmeal and starch can help heal irritated, painful skin. Many are available over-the-counter at a drugstore. Note: Do not use ice packs or water that is too cold, your skin will react to water if the temperature is too low, which could lead to more pain. Also, make sure to wash any used towels to prevent spreading the virus.
Keep the inflamed skin clean and dry.
Keep the blisters exposed to air as much as possible.
Don’t scratch the blisters as it will be more painful. They will fall off naturally.
Don’t use a harsh towel to wipe your body.
Don’t share any cloths, towels or flannels with others.