Shingles - Treatment

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Dr. Reeja Tharu
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Apr 19, 2013
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How is shingles treated?

The main treatment goals of shingles are to reduce the pain and to prevent the spread of the disease.

Shingles, usually, disappears on its own within a few weeks of its initial appearance. However, timely treatment will help to avoid complications, such as Post Herpetic Neuralgia, besides speeding up the healing process and easing the pain.

The following medicines are administered while treating shingles-

  • Anti-viral drugs such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir are administered to reduce the intensity of the symptoms. These drugs must be administered within 72hrs of the appearance of the rash
  • Pain relievers, such as opioids, are given to ease the pain
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids, are administered to minimize inflammation and to reduce the risk of post herpatic neuralgia
  • Antibiotics - maybe required in case of bacterial infection appearing with rash

A person affected with herpes zoster in the forehead area would need an emergency consultation from an ophthalmologist as the infection can, at times, cause severe eye problems. In the event of ophthalmic herpes (when the eye is infected with the herpes virus), the treatment would usually involve anti-viral eye drops along with oral drugs.

A patient with herpes should be kept away from anyone who is immune-compromised or has low immunity until the blisters have dried up (usually 7-10 days). The following belong to the high -risk group, who should avoid coming in contact with shingles-affected individuals -

  • Newborn,
  • Old people
  • Organ or bone marrow transplant patients

Two to three weeks time off from work maybe needed after an attack of shingles.

Post-herpetic Neuralgia - This can be a difficult condition to treat and sometimes medications like Tricyclic anti-depressants, gabapentin, and opioid analgesics maybe required.

A type of treatment, called TENS ( or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), can be carried out. In this treatment, electrodes are attached to the skin and low amount of electricity is sent to the affected nerves to block the pain sensation.

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Hi Friends, I have been afected with herpes Zoster, started with pain in left hand and left underarms 3 weeks back. Nearly 1 week back got rashes in left hand and near chest. Now I am taking antiviral tablets and other medictines prescribed my the doctor. Now my rashes has become balck but still have pain in and arround underarms and near left breast. I would like to know whether this can be completely cured? I am 30 years old and I am trying for a baby. Wether herpes would aftec the chance of getting pregnant? Whether this wud aftect the baby during prepgnacy? whether is thr any chance of speading to my parter and 4 year old daughter? I am realy confused with this. I kidly request you people to help me to get my answers....Thanks in advance

I've had phn for 7yrs.I've taken lots of meds inc. natural such as neuropathy. even so if it wasn't for the med I CURRENT TAKE GIVE ME SOME QUALTY OF LIFE.But as far aS i can see I will never be pain free. So what the use of livin. thanks linda gibson hou tx so tried of fighting these pain

The visible symptom of shingles is a very blistery rash that looks like a fever blister. This shingles symptom only occurs on the one side of the body and runs in the distribution of the nerve. The distribution of the nerve is not something that the patient would recognize, that's something that the dermatologist would recognize. The symptom of shingles are in the oral health category. http://www.simplehealthguide.com/

Barbo

I am 75 and have been battling Shingles for about 8 weeks....I took Valtrex and am on Lyrica....The spots are pretty well healed but the pain under my left rib cage, diaphram, and back is unreal....it is almost like it has gone inside and under. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciataed....Thanx, Barbo

carmen475

The medicines for shingles are Acyclovir, Famciclovir and Valtrex. The doctor prescribed Valtrex. He asked me to apply it topically with cotton and oxygen peroxide twice daily and leave it for 2 hours.

I have also got an anti-inflammatory plant (Yerva mora) Solanum nigrum ?Black nightshade which proved effective. First place the leaves in a cotton role and powder it. Then mix it with peroxide and apply it on the affected area for 2 hours twice a day. I supported the cotton with a little bag made of rolled gauze. I put a plastic piece above it to avoid stain to my clothes. In 3 days I got rid of the marks.
Basil leaves with peroxide can also prove to be a cheap and wonderful medicine. It helps to bring down the pain and stops shingles from advancing. Apple cider vinegar can also be used similarly to get rid of shingles in less than a month.

Take Vitamins E sometimes, and B complex liquid or sub lingual for a week. Shingles will soon get cured. However just be careful to avoid contamination by allowing anyone to touch the affected area. The Internet would give you all information regarding the contamination period. In addition be careful while handling food. However do not use the fruits of Black nightshade, but only use it topically.

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