What Is Shingles, How Is It Treated, And What Can You Do About It

Shingles is a rash that occurs on one side of the body. It can affect those that have had chicken pox and is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. It can lay dormant in the body and appear when you're older or are under a large amount of stress, and sometimes it can occur in pregnant women. It can be a painful condition, as it irritates the nerves in the body where the rash occurs. Read on for further information about shingles.

Symptoms Of Shingles

Shingles appears as a rash or as blisters. The telltale difference in shingles over a different type of rash is that it only appears on one side of the body and can wrap around the body. It can be on any part of your body, but usually appears on the legs, chest or abdomen. It can also appear on the face. If it's near the eye, there is a risk of vision loss. A trip to the doctor can tell you what type of rash you have and give you a definite answer if it is shingles. At the first appearance of the rash, you should see your physician, as putting off treatment may result in more blisters and more pain for you.

Treatment Of Shingles

If you are diagnosed with shingles, your physician will most likely give you an oral medication to take to help clear up the rash. Your physician may also suggest using a cream such as Calamine lotion to dry up the blisters and to ease any itchiness. An over-the-counter pain reliever may also be recommended by your physician to ease the pain associated with shingles and to help with any headaches or fever that may also occur.

What You Can Do

Once you spot a rash of any type, especially if you are experiencing any pain from the rash, you should visit your physician. If you are pregnant, you can visit your physician or your obstetrician for a diagnosis and for treatments that are safe for your baby.

Since stress can be a factor in shingles making an appearance, do things to ease your stress. Try exercising or reading a book to de-stress. Avoid caffeine, which can cause further stress on the body.

Applying a cold compress on the rash areas can help with the burning sensation you may feel. Wear loose-fitting clothing or soft clothing to prevent your clothes from rubbing on the rash areas and causing you further pain.

Shingles can be extremely painful. Get treatment right away if you suspect you have shingles. If you've never had shingles, but you have had chicken pox, talk to your physician about getting the shingles vaccine to prevent going through the pain caused by shingles. For more information, contact a local family medicine clinic.