Everything You Need to Know About Shingles: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention Tips


Often regarded as herpes zoster, shingles is a type of infection caused the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Confused, right? Well, this is the virus that remains in your body even years later your chickenpox has vanished. The virus lives in the nervous system and can come back as shingles. So, what exactly happens? Well, when you have shingles, you witness red rashes over your torso, neck, or face. The rashes vanish in about 2-3 weeks. Though the virus can last up to 2-6 weeks inside your body.

Shingles can be identified, but there is no cure. Yes, there are certain things that you can do get out of the condition. Anyone who suffers from shingles can feel pain constantly on one side of the body.

What exactly happens? The noticeable symptoms of the disease include red patches, fluid-filled blisters, wraps around from the spine to the torso, constant itching on the face and ears. But, these are not the only symptoms. Things can be worse for some people. Many people have reported weakness, fever, chills, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness in muscles as the part and parcel of shingles. Sometimes, things can get out of hand, like having rashes near or involving eyes, loss of hearing and even deadly bacterial infections.

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Causes of Shingles:

As mentioned earlier, people who have suffered from chickenpox are most likely to develop shingles. Although, it must be cleared that all people who have had chickenpox in the past are not the risk of having shingles. Some factors include:
– People who have crossed the age of 50.
– People who suffer from HIV/AIDS and cancer are more at risk.
– People who take medications like steroids.

As I mentioned earlier, this disease doesn’t have a full-proof medical treatment. Yes, you can ask for some help to get relief from the pain caused due to rashes and their visibility on the body. So, here are some natural remedies that can help you deal with shingles.

# Cold/Hot Press

This is something that most people prefer when they are suffering from cold or fever, but it can be really effective in rashes and provide comfort. For a cold/hot press, you need to take a thick cloth and dip it in the preferred temperature. Now, press the affected for 15-20 minutes and remove. After removing the pack, you can wash or dispose the cloth or pack. As we all know, the press help in reducing the swelling and inflammation of the skin, which are caused due to the rashes.

# Oatmeal baths

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An oatmeal bath may sound a little weird, but it is quite effective. Just add two cups of oatmeal to your bathing water. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes before taking the bath. This can be done once a day. An oatmeal bath will help as oatmeal possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help in reducing itchiness in the affected area.

# Baking soda and cornstarch paste

Another one of those well-known treatments for injuries. Just make a paste using cornstarch or baking soda by mixing water and apply it to the infected area. This will again help in reduce itching caused by rashes. After applying the paste, keep it for 15-20 minutes before washing off.

# Lotions and creams

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One of the things about shingles is that it can be quite frustrating and painful. So during this, all you need is comfort and that’s exactly what lotions and creams provide. Keep in mind that they will not help in the healing process. You can apply lotions and creams on the affected area, though in limited quantity. If you can choose creams or lotions containing capsaicin, then it would be more effective as it has an anti-inflammatory effect which helps in reducing inflammation.

# Diet

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Well, most of the things in our lives can be treated with healthy food items, and the case is similar in shingles. It is advised to eat orange and yellow-coloured fruits, green leafy veggies, eggs, red meat, chicken, fish, whole grains, legumes, beans, spinach and tomatoes.

Other than these natural remedies for shingles, vaccines are also available to prevent them from happening. Even adults who never suffered from chickenpox should also get the vaccination done to protect from any issues.

Do visit a doctor for better advice. Take care. 😉