What is Shingles?
Shingles is a very painful condition caused by the virus varicella-zoster. This virus first infected you as Chicken Pox (probably when
you were a child).
Shingles is a painful inflammation that generates on one side of the face or body.
The rash consists of blisters that typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and fully clears up within 2 to 4 weeks.
Before the rash materializes, people often have pain, itching, or tingling in the area where it will evolve. This may happen several days before the rash appears.
Most commonly, the rash occurs in a single band around either the left or the right side of the body. In other cases, the rash occurs on one side of the face. Shingles on the face can affect the eye and cause vision loss.
In rare cases (usually in people with weakened immune systems), the rash may be more contagious on the body and look similar to a chickenpox rash.
Other symptoms of shingles can include
- Upset stomach
Natural remedies/ treatment for Shingles
Some of these treatments may alleviate pain and itchiness and improve healing:
1. Essential oils
Essential oils can alleviate skin resentment and healing.
People have utilized essential oils as herbal remedies for many years, often for skin conditions.
Some essential oils have properties that may help with skin irritation and healing These oils include:
- Chamomile oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and can improve ulcers and pressure sores by aiding skin-cell regeneration.
- Eucalyptus oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can increase the speed at which cancer patients’ sores heal.
- Tea tree oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and can promote wound healing.
In some cases, pure essential oils can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, people should always do a patch test before trying them.
It is best to dilute oils with a carrier oil or to visit a pharmacy to purchase them pre-mixed as a safe topical ointment.
The FDA has not approved many essential oils for use, so it is important to talk to a pharmacist or doctor before using any of them.
2. Cold compresses
Holding cool cloths or compresses against the rash site may help in alleviating itchiness and curtailing inflammation.
People can lightly soak a natural cotton cloth or towel with cool water and wring it out before placing it on sore, itchy areas. They can then repeat this as necessary.
It is also best not to expose the skin to extreme temperatures, so people should avoid using ice baths or very hot water. Hot water will increase blood flow and potentially slow down the healing of sores, whereas ice will increase skin sensitivity.
3. Witch hazel
Researchers believe that witch hazel is more effective than chamomile for reducing inflammation and itchiness in some individuals.
It is possible to purchase witch hazel in a variety of forms, the most common of which are creams or witch hazel water. Many witch hazel creams are available online.
People can apply witch hazel topically to areas of irritation and inflammation to achieve relief.
4. Cool baths
Taking cool baths or showers every day, with minimal scrubbing, will help to keep sores and blisters clean and reduce the risk of infection.
Cool water should also relieve sore and itchy spots, helping to prevent scratching, which could cause scarring.
5. Oat baths
People can add colloidal oatmeal to a cool bath to relieve pain and itchiness.
Some studies suggest that oat extract may moisten dry skin and soothe sensitive and inflamed skin.
The FDA has approved colloidal oatmeal as a safe and effective treatment. Colloidal oat products usually exclude oat protein to prevent allergic reactions.
The active ingredients that help reduce inflammation include flavonoids and saponins. People can use oat products in a cool bath to help relieve pain and itchiness.
A healthy diet is vital for staving off and combatting illnesses.
It is recommended to eating a varied diet comprising many vegetables, fruits, and whole-grains as well as legumes, nuts
Peoplee should aim to include orange, red, and green foods that contain the carotenoids lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and provitamin A in their diet. Carotenoids are very important for immune function, and occur in the following foods:
orange foods: carrot, pumpkin, and apricot
red foods: watermelon, red pepper, grapefruit, and cherry
green foods: kale, parsley, spinach, melon, lettuce, and endive
Limiting trans and saturated fats, and avoiding added sugar and salt where possible can also reduce inflammation and improve immune function.
7. Vitamin supplements
Vitamins may help people who are immune-compromised.
Healthy individuals should not need to take supplements. However, individuals who are immune-compromised and over the age of 50 should consider supplementation to maintain good health and strong immunity.
There is a link between vitamin D and immune function. Many older people are at risk of low vitamin D levels, so they must ensure that they get sufficient sun exposure or take supplements to protect their immunity.
Taking vitamin C, zinc, and selenium supplements can also improve immunity in older adults.
However, taking high doses of vitamins and minerals can do more harm than good. Multivitamins, which contain lower and safer levels of many vitamins and minerals, are usually a better option.
8. Quit smoking
Smoking offers no health benefits and is always harmful. It is vital to quit smoking as it increases the risk of many cancers and diseases.
Smoking lowers immunity against infection, especially in older people, and can delay recovery and healing.
9. Reduce stress
Using meditation to relax and trying to rest when possible may help to reduce the symptoms of stress.