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What are effective natural methods for treating shingles pain?

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Quick Answer

Capsaicin cream, tai chi and proteolytic enzymes are three natural treatments that are under study for treatment of shingles pain and outbreaks, according to About.com. In addition to seeking natural treatments, it is important to seek a doctor's aid because of the dangers associated with shingles.

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What are effective natural methods for treating shingles pain?
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Full Answer

Capsaicin cream contains the same active ingredients as chili peppers and also has applications in the treatment of neuralgia. On the skin, capsaicin has shown in studies that it removes substance P, a neurochemical that sends pain messages. As a result, capsaicin eases pain, and the cream is available online, at health food shops and in drug stores. Typical dosages involve a 0.025 percent capsaicin cream with applications two to four times per day. Burning and stinging are the most common side effects, and benefits may not show up for a few weeks, notes About.com.

Proteolytic enzymes appear naturally in the pancreas, and foods such as pineapple and papaya contain them as well. Studies have shown that these enzymes cause skin improvement and pain relief in people suffering from shingles, states About.com.

Some research shows that tai chi classes can improve immune function in older people who have elevated risk of shingles. One study that involved 36 people at least 60 years old placed them in a 15-week program of tai chi or on a wait list as a control. Those in the class showed a significant boost in immunity to the virus that causes shingles, according to About.com.

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