Shingles or Herpes Zoster is a skin infection caused by Varicella Zoster virus. The infection is very painful, leads to the formation of rashes and blisters on the skin surface. Inflammation of the ganglia of cranial or spinal nerves is triggered by the virus which may remain dormant within the body of the nerve cell. Once the ganglia are inflamed due to the reactivation of virus, it takes the shape of shingles. Though shingle is short- lived, lasting for two to three weeks, the nerve pain or post herpetic neuralgia may continue for months.
Shingle often breaks out as an aftermath of chicken pox or other such viral disease. The shingle rashes develop in patterns resembling strips, and affect one side of the body. Shingle is common in people over the age of 60 and people with a weakened immune system.
1. Extreme pain on one side of the body.
2. Sensations like burning, itching, tingling and even numbness along a strip like pattern on one side of the body.
5. Upset stomach
7. Eruption on the skin in the form of rashes and pus filled bumps and blisters.
8. Redness of skin
9. After 10-12 days blisters turn in to scabs.
10. After a week, the scabs would fall off leaving scars on the skin.
11. The last stage is residual nerve pain that may last for months or a year.
1. Capsaicin, an ingredient in chili peppers, relieves the patient from post herpetic neuralgia. Thus capsaicin creams are much in use.
2. Proteolytic enzymes found in papaya, pineapple bring pain relief and improvement of skin.
3. Peppermint oil, Geranium oil can help in reducing the redness and itching.
4. Wet, cool compress may be soothing for the patient.
5. The area should be kept clean.
6. Lysine checks the growth of shingle virus, and can thereby show immediate improvement on the skin.
7. Aloe Vera gel acts as a soothing, cool balm on the itchy skin.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar helps to heal the blisters and relieves pain.
9. Intake of Vitamin C rich food items strengthens our immune system.
10. Calamine lotions may be applied on bumps to get pain relief.
11. Rubbing the area very gently with ice cubes may give relief from the burning sensation.
12. Tight clothes and heat should be strictly avoided.
13. The gel from E capsules can directly be applied on the rashes to get relief from pain.
14. An oatmeal bath can reduce skin inflammation during shingle outbreaks.
15. A mixture of sea salt and water has antiseptic properties. Drinking such mixture would wash the body internally.
16. Intake of fluids should be raised during shingles.
17. Elderberry, golden seal, and honey have anti-infection properties.
18. Eating of chocolates should be avoided because it accelerates the rate of shingle outbreaks.