Herpes zoster is one of the most prevalent neurological diseases, which affects about 1 million people in the United States annually.1 The incidence is higher with aging and in people who take medicines that affect immunity. The treatment includes antiviral therapy and analgesics to reduce acute pain. Knowing about the home remedies for shingles can help in dealing with the symptoms effectively.
6 Amazing Home Remedies for Shingles
Treatment and home remedies for shingles are aimed at reducing pain, and relieving itching or irritation of the skin, and other symptoms. Some patients may find it difficult to perform their daily activities, and experience fatigue, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances. Hence, prompt treatment and home remedies that offer relief and provide strength can help.
Cool compresses are considered to be the most effective home remedies for shingles. They can help to relieve pain and itching, the burning sensation of the skin, and reduce inflammation. Experts believe in treating severe, debilitating, and chronic pain of postherpetic neuralgia can be treated with cold compresses.2
The easiest way to do this is to soak a clean, soft cloth in cool water. Wring it well and gently place it on the skin lesions or itchy areas. It may not be a good idea to use ice as it can expose the skin lesions to extreme temperatures, hence cool cloth works well.
Healing baths are one of the best home remedies for shingles. You can choose to soak yourself in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to have a cool water bath. Avoid using any chemicals or soaps while you let the cool water relieve the itchy, sore areas.
Cool baths are also preferred by many and can be very effective as a home remedy for shingles. Cool showers can help relieve itchy lesions, and soothe the inflamed area. It can also keep the sores clean and also reduce the risk of further infection.
Make sure you pat dry yourself, with a clean soft towel and avoid scrubbing.
Essential oils are popular alternative therapies and one of the best home remedies for shingles. As some essential oils can help reduce skin irritation, they work well to soothe the skin.
Eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and hence can be effective as a complementary therapy in treating viral infections.5 It is particularly useful as a home remedy for shingles and respiratory infections.
Chamomile oil and Tea Tree oil have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the sores and promote healing of the skin lesions.
Oat is known for its antioxidant properties and the way it can heal the skin. Experts believe that oats can provide moisture to the skin, and help to relieve, soothe and calm the inflamed skin. For ages, oats have been used as a topical treatment for many skin conditions like skin rashes burns, itching, and eczema. Owing to the anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal, it is one of the best home remedies for shingles.
A 2015 study reported that the use of extracts of colloidal oatmeal reduced inflammation and the use of a colloidal oat skin protectant lotion showed great improvement in skin dryness, scaling, roughness, and itch intensity.6 Thus, an oatmeal bath or a topical application prepared from oats can help in relieving skin itching, and burning and soothe the inflamed skin.
Lotions and creams can be easily applied over the skin to relieve pain, itching, and inflammation. These home remedies for shingles are often applied after having a bath and the skin is dried.
Petroleum jelly can be applied over skin lesions. It can be gently covered with a sterile, non-stick bandage.
Lidocaine cream is also used to relieve pain and control symptoms of post herpetic neuralgia, making it an essential home remedy for shingles.3
Calamine lotion is popularly used to relieve the burning sensation and also helps to reduce itching.
Capsaicin used as a cream is one of the effective home remedies for shingles. Topical capsaicin is considered beneficial for the treatment of neuropathic pain.3
Combining baking soda and cornstarch with water can make a paste that can be applied over the skin lesions. This soothing paste can work as a great home remedy for shingles.
Witch Hazel is one of the effective home remedies for shingles and is available in various forms. Witch hazel cream can be applied to skin lesions to reduce pain, itching, and inflammation.
Other Home Remedies For Shingles Include:
- Increase Fluids – Increase your fluid intake. Drink plenty of water, and fruit juices, and stay hydrated.
- Include Fruits And Veggies – Fruits can not only help improve your taste but will also offer essential nutrients to fight viral infections. Include citrus fruits that help build a strong immune system. Fruits and veggies rich in vitamin A, C, and B complex can help in faster recovery.
- Balanced Diet – Have a balanced diet with proteins, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds to promote healing and recovery.
- Foods to Avoid – Avoid food that is high in sugar, fatty food, and refined and processed food as they increase inflammation.
Consume freshly prepared foods and take plenty of rest. Consider using these home remedies for shingles and consult your doctor if needed.