Treating the Symptoms: Self-Help for Shingles

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How do I manage and treat shingles pain?

Treating the Symptoms: Self-Help for Shingles

Herpes zoster, a.k.a. shingles, is a painful and mildly debilitating condition that runs its course in several weeks. With the burning, itching and nerve-related sensitivity, and the oozing, crusty rash, it's no fun at all.

Self treatment for shingles pain and management of symptoms is quite possible if you know what to do. Check this out:

  • When the blisters form, wash them several times a day with soap and water.
  • Leave blisters uncovered to help them crust over more quickly.
  • Apply cool, wet compresses to the blisters 1 to 3 times daily to help with the pain.
  • Soak in a tub of lukewarm water.
  • Use a soothing lotion, such as Calamine.
Getting medical help early will help shorten the duration of the infection and minimize the pain. Your doctor will most likely have you take antiviral medication, anti-inflammatories and/or pain relievers. Effective pain management for the symptoms of shingles will come from a combination of all these approaches. To find a clinician in your area, use the free search tool on



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