smooth paste. Apply the paste for 10 to 15 minutes to the shingles rash. Each day, you can reapply this soothing paste as needed.
Creams and Lotions
Witch hazel is a plant made into medicine, applied directly to the skin. It is said to help relieve itching, pain, and swelling (inflammation). Witch Hazel is available in a cream or salve and can be applied directly to the shingles rash to help relieve symptoms. One double-blind study found that witch hazel was more effective for reducing skin inflammation than other natural creams, such as chamomile cream.
Using calamine lotion helps reduce the itchiness of blisters once they have completely scabbed over.
If the herpes rash becomes infected, antibiotic salve or ointment can help. Talk to your doctor before applying antibiotic ointment or any other cream or ointment to open blisters.
Many medicated lotions and creams can help alleviate discomfort. One such medicated cream is capsaicin cream (such as Zostrix), containing an extract of cayenne pepper called capsaicin. Capsaicin is derived from Chili peppers which provides a warm, penetrating relief as it blocks your body’s pain messenger. Note, do not use capsaicin until the shingles rash crusts over. The cream may have side effects such as stinging or burning.
Most medicated creams and lotions should not be applied to open blisters. Be sure to consult with your doctor before using any creams or lotion to the skin for the treatment of shingles.
Diet To Promote Shingles Healing
Shingles is associated with a weakened immune system. Therefore, it’s essential to eat a healthy diet to help boost the immune system and fight off the virus. Eating a healthy diet may help prevent recurrent outbreaks (called PHN).
Foods that help boost the immune system include lean meat, bright-colored fruits and green leafy vegetables, orange foods like pumpkin, carrots, apricots, and whole grains. Other immune system boosting foods include:
- Fermented foods (such as kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and miso, with probiotics that improve the gut flora)
- Healthy fatty acids (such as olive oil, wild-caught salmon, and avocados)
- Foods to avoid that may inhibit healing include refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, saturated fats, and salt.
- Processed and packaged foods should be replaced with fresh, whole foods, preferably those in season.
A Word From Black Doctor.org
If you have shingles, you can try some home remedies to help alleviate the symptoms. Still, it is best to see a healthcare professional and receive antiviral medication for the best results. If the severity of your pain and other symptoms has not subsided after two to three weeks, or if the pain is not well controlled, contact your healthcare provider.