While doctors do not know why the virus which causes chickenpox decides to come back to life years after a person has had this illness, they do recognize shingles when they see it. Shingles prevention has yet to be discovered, but shingles treatment can ease the pain and discomfort of this disease.
Medical experts offer various suggestions, many of them simple, gentle techniques that can be successful without taking medication. Cases produce anything from mild discomfort to terrible pain, so not all of these ideas will work for everyone. It is always good to start by visiting a doctor, however. He or she will not necessarily have to perform a test to recognize the signs of shingles.
One of the most common is a blistering rash across a particular part of the skin. This will typically be accompanied by pain in the local and surrounding area of the blisters. The first thing to do is to treat the blisters which should not be broken. Breaking them could cause infection. Instead, when they open, apply a cool cloth to the area to soothe the pain and itchiness. Keep the area clean with soap and water that is cool, not hot or cold.
Topical steroids might be prescribed, but only with caution. Someone with shingles might prefer to start with lotions used to treat mosquito bites or even a mixture of baking soda and water before trying steroid creams. Take an over-the-counter analgesic to mitigate pain as well as an antihistamine if the itchiness is really a problem. Petroleum jelly can also help. If the area has dried out, do not get it moist once more. Let it stay dry.
Wear loose clothes so that you are not feeling the pressure of fabrics against the sensitive area. If the weather is warm enough, take clothes off and gain an even greater level of relief. When pain is this great, doctors might prescribe stronger medicine to relieve the symptoms in the short term, or even antiviral medication to shorten the duration of shingles. In some cases this has to be given intravenously, but not necessarily.
There is the chance that an area will not be able to recover from this virus according to experts. In this case, there are extremely powerful narcotic painkillers available which can only be prescribed by a doctor.
If you have shingles, consider quarantining yourself for a little while, at least as long as the blisters are oozing their contagious contents. You could easily infect someone else. Also, keep in mind that doctors believe there could be an association between the virus and certain general factors. Stress can lead to illness. It will typically lower your immune defenses. Once your immunity is undermined, you are instantly more susceptible to this and other illnesses, so look after yourself. While the people at risk are usually senior citizens, anyone who has had chickenpox could develop shingles at any time after the illness has worn off, including individuals who are in good health.
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