Using calamine lotion in the bath may help relieve the itching associated with shingles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colloidal oatmeal baths and wet compresses may also help. Pain medications are recommended to relieve the discomfort caused by the shingles rash.
To decrease the infection's severity and duration, doctors typically prescribe antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir, explains the CDC. Because these medications are most effective when they are started directly after the shingles rash appears, it's important for patients to contact a doctor immediately if they believe they have shingles. Patients can reduce their risk of getting shingles by receiving shingles vaccines.