Shingles Symptoms and Treatments
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts, Hobbies & Gifts Department Stores Electronics & Wearables Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services & Software Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

Shingles Symptoms and Treatments

Shingles comprises a rash and pain along the route of a nerve as it leaves the brain or spinal cord on its way to the body area it serves. It is caused by infection of the sensory nerve root by the herpes zoster or chickenpox virus. This can lie dormant for decades before breaking out as shingles - often when the immune system is already overtaxed by stress, cancer or by another infectious illness.
                     shingles causes and treatments

Image Credit

Shingles comprises a rash and pain along the route of a nerve as it leaves the brain or spinal cord on its way to the body area it serves. It is caused by infection of the sensory nerve root by the herpes zoster or chickenpox virus. This can lie dormant for decades before breaking out as shingles - often when the immune system is already overtaxed by stress, cancer or by another infectious illness.

Symptoms

  • Feverish for a few days before rash starts
  • Pain around the side of the face and eye, the waist, chest or buttocks and genitals
  • Small, red spots turn into itchy blisters
  • Pain may last for weeks after the rash has disappeared

                               common sites of shingles

Image Credit

Cures

Naturopathy

Besides a whole food diet, rest and freedom from unnecessary stress would be recommended and possibly cool showers and compresses to soothe the prickling discomfort and pain of the rash. Gentle exercise would be reintroduced as an aid to immune system recovery, when the patient is well enough.

Vitamins and Minerals

Small, regular whole food meals and snacks, with plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and their juices for their antioxidant, immune boosting content, will be recommended. Although the person's appetite may be poor, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices offer most of the required antioxidants in a digestible form. A juice combination recommended for shingles sufferers consists of 2 cups of carrot juice to 1 cup of celery, mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) parsley juice. Drink three cups of this daily.

Specific dietary supplements include stress-fighting vitamin B-complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E and selenium, zinc, plus beta-carotene, vitamin D, calcium and magnesium.

Herbal Medicine

An old country remedy prescribes a compress made by heating a handful each of poppy flowers and their seed capsules, meadowsweet and lime flowers in 3 1/2 pint (2 liters) of water, then allowing to stand until cool. A herbal infusion of chervil, rose, lime flowers or rosemary applied cool to the rash brings relief. In a trial carried out in Yugoslavia in 1978, a 5 percent solution of propolis tincture was applied daily to a shingles rash in 21 patients. It relieved the pain within 48 hours, and itching persisted in only 3 of the patients.

Aromatherapy

Make an oily preparation to be applied three times daily to the rash: 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of soya oil, 2 drops of wheat germ oil (rich in vitamin E, which aids skin healing), and 2 drops each of rosemary, lavender, oregano and/or coriander. If you don't have the last two, just add three drops of the first two - or 6 drops of just one of these - to the carrier oil.

Homeopathy

Take every 2 hours for up to 10 doses: Rhus tox. 6c for red, blistered, itchy skin, especially if affecting the scalp, and if the person is young and finds movement improves symptoms; Arsenicum 6c for burning pain that is worse between midnight and 2 am, with a few blisters that increase in number and merge, when the person is restless, exhausted and chilly, and heat relieves symptoms; Merzereum 6c for severe pain, burning, itching skin, brown scabs and when the person is middle-aged or elderly; Ranunculus 6c for nerve pain and itching, when eating and the slightest touch irritate symptoms; and Lachesis 6c when the left side of the body is affected, aggravated by warmth and relieved by cold.

Other Therapies

Acupuncture may help by boosting immunity; it can also relieve post-herpetic pain that persists after the rash has disappeared. Relaxation, meditation and yoga may improve the lifestyle of, and speed recovery in, tense, anxious, workaholic individuals who claim to have little time to rest.

Medical Treatment

Bed-rest, together with some mild pain killers, perhaps calamine lotion to soothe the rash, and the specific antiviral agent acyclovir (Zovirax), a virtually non-toxic medication that should be taken orally for 5-7 days after the rash appears.

Prevention

  • There is little you can do apart from keeping the immune system as healthy as possible.

Caution

  • Do not panic if rash breaking out on both sides of the spine threatens to meet round the front (there is no truth to the old wives' tale that this could prove fatal).
  • Shingles is not infectious - there is no need to stay away from babies, the elderly or other susceptible people.
  • Do not ignore shingles - it is not dangerous unless it affects the ophthalmic nerve supplying the front of the eye, but you need to rest and recover.

     

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
experts
in Dermatology & Skin Health on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Dermatology & Skin Health?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (1)

excellent article, I have never seen shingles before

ARTICLE DETAILS
RELATED ARTICLES
RELATED CATEGORIES
ARTICLE KEYWORDS
RECENT SEARCHES ON KNOJI SHOPPING