Shingles is a viral infection that can lead to a painful rash. A virus known as varicella zoster (VZV) spreads this rash. It is the same virus that leads to chickenpox. As a child, if you had chickenpox then the shingle virus lies latent in the body. The virus reactivates after few years and can cause shingles. The skin problem can spread to any body part but only affect small areas.
The first symptom of shingles is pain. The rash and pus-filled blisters flare up after few days after the pain onset. Some people also suffer from fever, fatigue, and light sensitivity during this period. The shingles virus remains active between two to seven weeks. There is no cure for this rash but doctors may prescribe antibiotic medication to speed up healing process. Although an antiviral treatment is an effect remedy for shingles, it is not the lone option.
There are several natural remedies to treat shingles. We have mentioned some of them below.
Natural Solutions for Shingles:
Here are the answers:
1. Baking Soda:
Make a paste using baking soda and water to relieve from blister itching caused by shingles. Add two parts baking soda into a bowl and one part of water to get desired consistency. Apply the paste to your blisters. Rinse off after 10 minutes. Repeat few times a day or as desired.
2. Oatmeal Baths:
Cleaning the blisters daily can lessen the spread of infection. Take a cool oatmeal bath or shower to soothe the affected area. The water can ease off the pain from the shingles and itchiness. You may also try another oatmeal bath to reduce the symptoms. Pour one to two cups colloidal oatmeal into lukewarm water and soak for 15 minutes. Do not use hot water as the heat can worsen the problem. Dry off your body well and then wipe using a clean towel to prevent the spread of virus.
3. Cold Compresses:
Apart from taking a cold water or shower, apply a cool, wet compress to the shingles to relieve from pain. Try this remedy few times a day to ease the symptoms. Soak a cloth in cold water, wring out the excess water, and press the cloth to the affected area. The coolness of the cloth can lessen the pain. Repeat the steps several times. But do not apply ice pack or cubes to the rash. The coldness can worsen the blister pain.
4. Soothing Lotions:
Scratching shingles can cause prolonged blisters. If itching does not improve after all the above three natural remedies, use soothing lotions like calamine. Lotions may not speed up in healing the blisters but can greatly soothe skin. But avoid using perfumed or scented creams or lotions as they can lead to further irritation. Use the lotion sparingly and avoid thick application as it may slow down the healing process.
Also, you may look out for creams containing natural ingredient like capsaicin. This active ingredient has anti-inflammatory agents which can ease off pain.
In addition, you can also apply calamine lotion after a bath to soothe inflamed skin and dry out shingles.
5. Essential Oils:
Essential oils are a popular herbal choice used for healing skin conditions and ease off irritation. It is also an effective remedy for treating shingles. Some of the popular essential oils used are chamomile oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil. The chamomile oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents that can improve ulcers, eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory agents to increase the sores of cancer patients, and tea tree oil has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties to promote wound healing.
6. Witch Hazel:
Studies have revealed that witch hazel is an effective remedy for treating itchiness and inflammation coming from shingles. Witch hazel is available widely at stores and online. They come in a variety of forms, including creams or watery form. People can apply the remedy topically in affected area to relieve from pain.
7. Correct your Diet:
A healthy diet is essential for preventing and fighting off illnesses. It can also strengthen the immune system. A weakened immune system can lead to frequent cold, flu, fever, and also spread skin problems like shingles. You may also change your diet plan to improve the immune system by consuming certain foods like orange, yellow fruits, leafy green veggies, dairy products, eggs, chicken, and whole grains.
8. Gentiana Scabra:
This is a purple or blue flower found throughout North America which can greatly relieve from pain associated with shingles. It can minimize pain and speed up healing process. Chinese medical doctors prepare this herbal remedy by boiling the pain in boiling water. The infused water is then taken orally for best results.
Cleanse the affected area and apply a thin layer of Vaseline. Cover it using a cloth or bandage to protect from further irritation. You may also avoid using other medicated creams or lotions that contains scents or fragrance. This can lead to further skin irritation.
10. Loose Clothing:
To fight the itch coming from shingles, wear loose fitting clothes in natural fibers. They can be more comfortable than wearing tight woolen clothes.
These are the top 10 natural remedies to treat shingles. It can greatly decrease your irritation, discomfort, and speed up the healing process. So do try it out!