How To Treat Herpes Zoster Shingles
There are several ways to treat herpes zoster shingles. Herpes zoster is a virus that many people carry around for years. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles later in life. Usually, herpes zoster shingles afflicts those who are over age 60 and appears as a rash on one side of the body.
- Make an appointment with your doctor to treat herpes zoster shingles. Your doctor will examine you and determine whether you have shingles based on the appearance of the rash, your history and other symptoms, such as a fever.
- Take anti-viral drugs. You doctor will most likely prescribe a drug designed to treat herpes zoster shingles, such as acyclovir or famciclovir. You should begin treatment with the drugs no later than 3 days after the rash first appears. The anti-viral drugs will help prevent any complications, such as nerve pain and paralysis, that occasionally occur with shingles.
- Apply anti-itch cream to the rash. Usually, the herpes zoster shingles rash is very itchy and painful. You may wish to treat the itch with an anti-histamine cream or with a gel such as lidocaine, which will numb the area. Calamine lotion may also help treat the herpes zoster rash.
- Take a bath. Add a bit of starch or oatmeal to the bath water to provide extra relief from the pain and itching. Make sure the bath water is on the cool side. Hot water will irritate your rash.
- Take pain medicines. Sometimes, over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help sooth the pain of shingles. You may also need something stronger, such as oxycodone, which your doctor can prescribe.
- Rest and relax. In order to treat herpes zoster shingles effectively, you need to rest. Stress can make the pain of the rash worse. You should stay in bed if you have a fever until your body temperature goes down to normal.