Taking Care during Shingles Treatment

Shingles is a virus that is caused by a reactivation of the virus which causes childhood chickenpox; it affects the nerves and can lead to intense pain and a rash along the route of the affected nerve. The herpes varicella-zoster virus reactivating in the body often occurs in later life and two thirds of all shingles cases are found in people aged over 50 with the remaining third made up by younger adults and children.

No matter what age, taking care during shingles treatment is important in recovery, reducing how severe the virus it and preventing the spread of infection. Treatments for shingles are usually provided by a GP in the form of painkilling and antiviral medication, there is also a range of natural remedies and techniques that can be applied at home to help fight off the virus.

Resting during shingles

Taking care during shingles treatment is an important part of the recovery process, the best way to do this is with plenty of rest. Whilst taking painkilling and antiviral medications, rest will help the body carry out its work naturally be fighting off the virus. Whilst you are sleeping, the body’s natural defence will get hard at work and begin to fight off the infection; this will lead to a quicker recovery.

Irritation and itchiness caused by the shingles rash are common problems while resting; it is important to take care of the rash and resist the temptation to scratch at spots and blisters. This can be helped by applying wet dressings to the affected area. A wet dressing will soothe the skin and help to dry out blisters; it will ease the itchiness and irritation. Applying a cold compress at various times of the day will also work in the same way.

Calamine lotion can also be used to soothe the skin and remove the itchy sensation; it is available over the counter at most pharmacies and supermarkets and can be applied to the rash as and when required.

Taking care of the rash during shingles

A big part of taking care during shingles is to ensure the rash is properly treated. Whilst rest is recommended, once a person is feeling well in themselves, there is no reason not to leave the house or even return to work; however, this will require the covering up of the rash. Covering the rash will help to prevent it spreading to other parts of the body and also lower the risk of anyone catching chickenpox as a result of shingles (it is not possible to catch shingles from another person). It is important that only non-adhesive dressings are used as adhesive coverings such as plasters can slow down recovery and increase irritation. Wearing loose clothes is also recommended to provide comfort.

Keeping the rash as dry and as clean as possible will also help with taking care during shingles as the rash will be unable to spread and cause any kind of bacterial infection.




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