Shingles is a disease caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It lies dormant after we recover from chickenpox and is sometimes triggered many years down the line, this time resurfacing in the form of a severe rash and fever. Shingles mainly occur in people over the age of 65. In this article, we discuss the treatment for shingles and the different ways you or your loved ones can alleviate the discomfort.
The best course of action is prevention. The vaccine is highly recommended for those over the age of 65. Given in two doses over the course of several months, the vaccine is meant to stop the virus from being triggered and from the related complications that may arise. This is especially necessary for those with weakened immune systems from underlying medical conditions or from receiving therapy. The vaccine is available for those who have had shingles in the past, as this prevents it from happening again in the future.
If you or your loved ones have contracted shingles, the most common first-line treatment is to be prescribed oral antiviral medicine. This will help kill the virus and is most effective when taken right after being diagnosed. Doctors will also prescribe medicated ointments to ease the burn and itch of the rashes and to help with scarring once the rashes start to scab. For those who need assistance with medication administration, we offer 24-hour nursing care that will be able to help.
A great way to combat the itch is to take a healing bath. An oatmeal bath is highly recommended as it helps soothe the rash and takes away the burn and itch. It also reduces inflammation. Bacteria can cause the blisters to get infected, so maintaining hygiene is essential during this period. Using one to two cups of colloidal oatmeal mixed in a lukewarm bath and soak for up to 20 minutes can help alleviate the pain. Remember not to use hot water as it can irritate the rash. For those who need bathing assistance, we offer Personal Care Assistance.
Shingles often cause a burning and itching sensation but it is paramount not to scratch as it would only worsen the pain. To stop the irritation, using a cold compress could ease the discomfort. Cool a wet cloth or use a cold compress and apply to the skin around the infected area. Do not apply directly as it can increase the sensitivity of the rash.
Like any viral infection, shingles can lower immunity. To get rid of it quicker, it’s important to boost your or your loved ones’ immunity so that the body can heal quickly. Take vitamins A, B-12, C, and E. Orange and yellow fruits and leafy greens work well too.
Shingles is completely treatable; however, it is not a pleasant feeling to have contracted it. Shingles spread when someone comes in contact with the open sores. It would not affect those who already have had chickenpox when younger. If people who haven’t had chickenpox come into contact with sores, they can be affected. So it’s important to cover the rash and to avoid interacting with people during this period.