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How do you treat shingles on the head?

A:

Quick Answer

Shingles outbreaks on the head are treated with antiviral medications to reduce the duration of the rash, pain medications to reduce itching and burning and topical antibiotics to stop infections of blisters that develop, according to WebMD. Severe cases of shingles may require corticosteroids coupled with antiviral medications.

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Full Answer

A cure does not yet exist for shingles as of 2015, according to WebMD. Treatment focuses on preventing complications and shortening the length of the illness. Antiviral medications work best to control blisters and rashes from shingles if taken within the first three days of an outbreak.

When pain from shingles persists for a month or longer after a rash has healed, patients may have developed complications from the disease, such as postherpetic neuralgia, which can cause chronic pain, according to WebMD. Treatment for complications stemming from shingles primarily focuses on treating the pain. Physicians often diagnose antidepressant medications to calm patients, topical anesthetics with benzocaine to provide pain relief directly on the skin and lidocaine patches that can be applied to the skin.

With extreme and chronic pain, treatment may include anticonvulsant medications, opioids and high-dose skin patches, according to WebMD. If rashes develop near the eye and eyesight is comprised, patients may need to seek treatment from an ophthalmologist and apply cool compresses while resting.

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