00:03:38 – Reading Time. 3 quick facts about Shingles:
- Did you know that the same virus that causes Chickenpox is responsible for Shingles? (1)
- Did you know that 1 in 4 people will experience shingles at least once in their lifetime? (2)
- Did you know that after having Chickenpox, the virus may hide in your cells for decades and later emerge as shingles? (3)
Shingles are a viral nerve and skin infection. It typically appears in the upper torso region. They are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The virus can inflict severe pain but isn’t life-threatening in most cases. It’s usually people who’ve had Chickenpox in the past that are most likely to develop shingles—the reason why is the virus’s ability to lie inactive within your nervous system. People who were vaccinated against Chickenpox are less likely to develop shingles. (3) Shingles’ symptoms include headaches, fever, itching, light sensitivity, fatigue, numbness, to name a few. While there’s no direct no cure for shingles, prescription drugs are given to accelerate the healing and lessen the symptoms until your body takes over. Shingles roughly last 2-4 weeks. (4)
It’s essential to start treatment as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours of the first signs of Shingles. Here are 8 Effective Tips for Treating Shingles:
1. Cool Showers
Cool showers have been attributed to be a simple method to combat Shingles Symptoms. The calm waters “massage” your skin in a way that alleviates the pain and answers your itching. Additionally, it’ll help reduce blisters by keeping your body fresh and clean. Just make sure it’s not too cold; otherwise, it could increase your pain sensitivity.
2. Wet compresses
Placing an ice pack, a wet cloth, or a frozen vegetable bag wrapped in a towel can ease the discomfort. Simply apply it to the inflicted areas. It will numb the pain and relieve the itching, at least temporarily. Avoid extreme temperatures. The truth is somewhere in the middle, closer to cold.
3. Avoid inflammatory food
Inflammatory foods exert further stress on your body. If you have any sort of condition or disorder that’s causing you inflammation, it may help to decrease the number of inflammatory foods and increase the intake of anti-inflammatory foods. (5) To learn more about foods to eat and avoid, check out our 3 mins read You are what you eat: Anti-inflammatory foods to enjoy, Inflammatory foods to avoid.
4. Wearing Loose-fitting clothing
The rubbing against the harmed skin can increase the pain. You must avoid friction by wearing loose-fitting clothing. Go for natural fibers such as linen or cotton as they allow your body to “breathe.” Vehemently stay away from tight clothing such as jeans or fit shirts.
5. Abstaining from Tobacco
Shingles may cause you stress, which, in turn, can motivate you to smoke cigarettes as a coping mechanism. Smoking will only harm your body and deteriorate your condition. It lowers your body’s threshold to fight infections. To help you quit smoking, check out our 8 Scientifically-backed Habits for quitting smoking for good.
6. Reducing Stress – Meditation
Daily, chronic stress causes many diseases and disorders. Some doctors even attribute stress to be an activating factor for a episode. Several studies point out that meditation is linked with a long, prosperous life. It can help to provide relief and boost the production of serotonin, the happiness hormone. Find out more about how The Connection Between Meditation and Happiness.
Some swear by Homeopathic Medication as a natural alternative to healing your body. It’s necessary to consult with your doctor before trying any herbs. But essential oils such as lavender may help you get a better night’s rest, thus, indirectly boost your immune system. An oil such as the Tea Tree can induce wound healing.
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field. It’s a non-invasive, effective technology that releases safe frequencies onto your brain, which tune it to achieve the desired state, such as relaxation. PEMF is effective for relieving pain from postoperative surgery, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, to name a few. PEMF may be reducing the discomforts of Shingles.
Even though there’s no direct cure for Shingles, these tips will prove invaluable to accompany Shingles patients throughout their recovery. With a relaxed state, less stress, healthy nutrition, and sufficient sleep, Shingles will only become a matter of time before it is healed.
(1). WebMD (2016). What Meds Treat and Prevent Shingles? [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/understanding-shingles-treatment#1 [Accessed 20 Oct. 2020].
(2). Nhsinform.scot. (2020). Shingles. [online] Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/shingles [Accessed 20 Oct. 2020].
(3). Mayo Clinic. (2020). Shingles – Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/symptoms-causes/syc-20353054#:~:text=Shingles%20is%20a%20viral%20infection,same%20virus%20that%20causes%20chickenpox [Accessed 20 Oct. 2020].
(4). Mayoclinic.org. (2020). Shingles – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353060 [Accessed 20 Oct. 2020].
(5). Brody, B. (2017). Natural Anti-Inflammatory Diet. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/diet/anti-inflammatory-diet-road-to-good-health#1 [Accessed 20 Oct. 2020]