5 Home Remedies To Treat Shingles

By Alley Benton
Updated November 10, 2016
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5 Home Remedies To Treat ShinglesAfter suffering from chicken pox as a kid, most adults hope that they'll never have to deal with anything quite so uncomfortable again in their lives. Unfortunately, the varicella zoster virus, which causes chicken pox, can later on become active again and cause shingles .

In shingles, this virus causes a nasty and painful rash to appear, first across the torso and then spreading onto other regions. The sores are red and may be itchy or they can sting. The first thing that comes to mind when having these bumps is to scratch or rub them for relief, but this can only make things worse. Instead of enduring the discomfort in silence, try one of these 5 home remedies for shingles.

1. Cold Compress

You know how refreshing a cold compress feels on your hot skin during a fever? Well, you can create a cold compress at home, to lay along the area where the rash is spreading. Simply dampen a clean cloth in cold water, place the cloth in a zip lock bag, and stick it in the freezer for a minute. Before the cloth has time to freeze, but has reached a cold temperature, place the cloth against your skin where it itches the most. This will help to take out some of the sting.

2. Calamine

Often used on mosquito bites and itchy chicken pox, calamine lotion can also provide instant relief from itching and pain caused by shingles. This topical treatment is made primarily of zinc oxide, giving you a natural boost of anti-inflammatory and antiseptic protection.

3. Colloidal Oatmeal

It's not just for breakfast, you can use oatmeal as an additive in bathtub water to provide some serious relief from the itching of the rash. One of the well-known home remedies for shingles, a colloidal oatmeal bath can be used as a treatment once a day until the rash subsides and you are feeling back to your healthy self again.

4. Don't Skimp on the Citrus

Vitamin C is known to help in the fight against the stinging bite of shingles. Among the 5 home remedies for shingles it is relatively slow acting but it works well to shorten the time which you and the virus have to spend together. Most people are aware that vitamin C strengthens the immune system, but what you might not realize, is that it can help in a multitude of situations where your body has become ill or you are suffering from an infection.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

The acidity in apple cider vinegar can be very useful in easing the itch of shingles. It also works to help dry the bumps out more quickly. Mix a solution of vinegar and water and pour it over the rash while in the tub or shower. Rinse off, and enjoy the sudden relief. If the vinegar causes the sting to worsen, or creates discomfort, simply rinse the area until clean. If the stinging persists, call a doctor immediately.

It is important to speak to a medical professional before using any home remedy or treatment for shingles. Shingles is rarely ever fatal in healthy adults, but it can be dangerous if left untreated.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.