Q:

What are some home remedies for treating shingles?

A:

Quick Answer

Home remedies for shingles such as cool compresses and baking soda focus on reducing the discomfort of the rash and drying out the sores as quickly as possible. The better care the patient takes of his skin sores, the faster they go away, as stated by WebMD.

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Full Answer

Scratching and picking at blisters only cause longer-lasting skin problems. Cool, moist compresses often ease the discomfort from the rash associated with shingles. Applying calamine or other types of lotion after the compress can provide additional relief. Afterward, baking soda or cornstarch helps the sores dry up and heal more quickly, notes WebMD.

If sores have crusted over, Burow's solution or tap water can wash the crust away and cut down on oozing from the sores, soothing the discomfort. In some cases, the rash can become infected. In this case, a prescription antibiotic is necessary in addition to home remedies, according to WebMD.

Nonprescription pain medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen can alleviate pain from shingles or related neuralgia. Managing pain is important for reducing long-term damage from shingles. If pain management is unsuccessful, shingles can cause nerve damage that continues to cause discomfort for months or even years after the virus that causes shingles has resolved, reports WebMD.

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