What is shingles?
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that affects individuals who have had chickenpox in their youth. Chickenpox is a contagious disease that causes itchy blisters and rashes all over the body. Shingles are the inactivated form of chickenpox. After a person develops chickenpox, the same virus lays dormant for many years. The exact cause of how shingles are activated is unknown, but a compromised immune system could play a part. When the immune system is weakened, the body is susceptible to more diseases. Other factors that may activate shingles are age, autoimmune diseases, and taking certain types of medications.
Those who are 50 years or older are prone to getting shingles. People with autoimmune diseases, like Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, are also vulnerable because they take immunosuppressant medications. Immunosuppressant medications reduce the immune system’s functions, and that can open the doors for different diseases to enter the body. Consequently, the body’s immune system is unable to fight off viruses and infections. It is believed that stress is another possible culprit of shingles. Experiencing chronic daily stress may lower a person’s immune system.
What are the symptoms of shingles?
Those who get shingles often develop blisters or a rash on the trunk of their body. It is usually found clustered on one side of the body. The rash can appear as a long strip and is often painful. The pain is characterized as shooting pain. The blisters are often filled with fluid and will break over time and form a crust. Early signs of shingles are fever, itching, stomach discomfort, headaches, and tingling sensations felt underneath the skin.
What are some ways to treat shingles?
There are various options for treating shingles. The options available include antiviral medications, nerve pain medications, home remedies, and natural treatments. Antiviral medicines, such as acyclovir and valacyclovir, are popular treatments prescribed by physicians. These antiviral medications help shorten the duration and severity of the infection. Typically, antivirals are taken as soon as possible once the diagnosis is made. Physicians may also prescribe a nerve pain medication, like lidocaine patches, pregabalin, or gabapentin, to alleviate shingle symptoms. Tylenol and ibuprofen are effective OTC medications to try if prescribed nerve pain medications are not preferred.
Utilizing natural treatments and home remedies are useful ways to treat shingles as well. Cool oatmeal baths are gentle on the skin and can provide some relief. Putting baking soda or cornstarch directly on the blisters can help the wounds heal faster. Wearing loose clothing helps irritated skin breathe and stay dry. Cold compresses can refresh itchy, inflamed skin.
Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins (like lutein and carotenoids lycopene) helps strengthen the immune system, which allows it to fight off the shingles infection. If an insufficient amount of vitamins are not being consumed, it might be a good idea to add some vitamin supplements to your diet. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, and selenium supplements are helpful in the recovery process. Avoid foods loaded with arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that is known to aggravate viruses and allow for rapid replication to occur.
Refrain from eating too many dairy products, nuts, legumes, chocolate, chicken, grains, and fish while you have shingles. These types of foods have significant amounts of arginine in them. Furthermore, skip fast food meals and choose a home-cooked meal instead. Pick healthy snacks to consume, like fresh fruit and salads, instead of junk food, like potato chips and cupcakes.
In addition, high-quality homeopathic ointments and creams containing effective natural ingredients can provide shingle relief because it is a soothing shingles cream. These products are medical-grade strength and gentle on the skin. These first-aid ointments are made with natural ingredients that promote lightning-fast healing. Some of the ingredients included in this soothing shingles cream are Tea Tree Oil and Emu Oil.
By using high-quality ointments, you do not have to worry about them containing harsh ingredients, such as alcohol, parabens, artificial preservatives, fragrance, and steroids. These mentioned ingredients may further irritate your already distressed skin. The formula of a good ointment is pure and safe that even babies can benefit from the ointment. Don’t let itchy, painful skin caused by shingles get you down. For fast relief, apply some ointment on the affected area and see for yourself just how fast it works. A natural cure for shingles may be the best cure there is.