Dealing with shingles

Shingles is a painful rash on skin due to the varicella zoster virus. They usually happen in a strip, a band or small area on one side of the face or body. Shingles are common in people with a weak immune system due to stress, certain medications and injuries.

The rash of shingles is characterized by burning, tingling and itching or stinging sensations in the affected area. Over a few days, the rash looks has a stripe pattern that forms along a nerve path known as a dermatome which affects one side of the body. The rash will erupt as clusters of small red patches that develop into blisters.

Causes of shingles

shingles

Avoid picking or scratching the blisters to prevent further damage and worsening of the condition.

  • Suffering from diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS
  • Aging
  • Psychological and emotional stress or trauma
  • Can affect children whose mother had chickenpox late during pregnancy or suffered chickenpox during infancy.

Symptoms

  • Pain and burning sensations which happens on one side of the body.
  • Development of a red rash
  • Blisters that are filled with fluid that easily burst
  • Formation of rashes on the face and ears
  • Itchiness
  • Formation of rashes around the spine up to the torso
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness and fatigue

Shingles that is not properly treated can cause complications that include pain or rashes that involve the eye. This should be treated immediatey to prevent permanent damage to the eye.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest
  • Apply a cold compress on the rashes to lessen the pain and itching.
  • Apply an over-the-counter calamine lotion to lessen the itchiness of the area.
  • Apply baking soda or cornstarch to allow the sores to dry and for fast healing of the condition.
  • In a bathtub filled with water, mix colloidal oatmeal until totally dissolved. Soak in the mixture to lessen the pain and itchiness of the area.
  • Avoid picking or scratching the blisters to prevent further damage and worsening of the condition. Let the blisters crust over and fall naturally.
  • Soak the affected sores in tap water or even in Burow’s solution to eliminate crusting, lessen the drainage and alleviate the skin. Burow’s solution is a solution of aluminum acetate in water which relieves the inflammation of the skin. It has antibacterial properties and prevents the growth of bacteria in skin infections.
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lessen the pain due to shingles

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