Don’t suffer through the pain of shingles. Try one of these 6+ home remedies
The old-wives’ tale that said if a person got chicken pox as a child, he or she wouldn’t get shingles later has been proven false. Once chicken pox is contracted, the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant in the body. It may be reactivated at some point in the future.
Doctors aren’t certain as to what causes some adults to develop shingles while other don’t, but a weakened immune system may have something to do with it. The result is a band of itchy, painful blister that appear on one side of the body. For those who suffer from shingles, here are 6+ remedies you can try at home to help alleviate your suffering.
1. Cool compress. When the blisters are weeping, emedicinehealth says to apply a cool water compress to them. Only leave the compress on for 20 minutes at a time and wash the cloth after one use. You can repeat compresses throughout the day. Once the blisters dry, stop using the compress.
2. Oatmeal bath. Just like an oatmeal bath is soothing to those suffering from chicken pox, Health says it may help with shingles. Add 1 to 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal to a tub of lukewarm water. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to dry thoroughly and wash your towel after one use so as not to spread the virus.
3. Baking soda paste. To help relieve the itch and discomfort, Healthline says to try a baking soda paste made from 2 parts baking soda and 1 part water. If you don’t have baking soda on hand, cornstarch can be used instead. Be sure to wash the paste off after 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Antihistamine cream. A topical antihistamine may help with itching. Emedicinehealth cautions against putting any type of ointment that has an antibiotic in it on the blisters.
5. Calamine lotion. Calamine lotion is an old topical treatment that helps with both the itching and the weeping, according to WebMD, and is worth trying.
6. Petroleum jelly. To help heal the blisters and rash, Health says to apply a thin layer of plain petroleum jelly.
7. Lidocaine cream. Another topical cream that may help relieve the pain from shingles is lidocaine, according to emedicinehealth. Apply a thin layer to the rash.
8. Capsaicin cream. Health cautions against using any cream that ends in -caine, but says to try capsaicin cream instead.
9. Diet. Because a weakened immune system may be why shingles are breaking out, Healthline says to be sure you’re eating in a healthy manner. Increase your intake of foods that are a source of vitamins A, B-12, C and E. Consuming yellow and orange fruits; tomatoes; green, leafy vegetables; whole grains; legumes; beans; red meat; chicken and eggs may help increase your body’s ability to fight back.
You can’t guarantee you’ll never get shingles, but you can give your body the upper hand when an outbreak occurs.