Medication Treatment for Shingles
Although shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, just the fact that you've had chickenpox doesn't mean that you'll never need treatment for shingles, too. Shingles can happen to anyone who has had chickenpox up until the age of 70. Unlike chickenpox which can affect most of the body, shingles tends to cause a large, painful rash on just one large region of the body, such as on the back or the torso. Shingles can also be contagious, as well, highlighting the need for people with shingles to find treatment for their symptoms.
Fortunately, there are several types of medications that can help people to get their shingles symptoms under control. Knowing the symptoms of shingles can alert people as to when they need to seek help. Although shingles rarely ever develops into a serious health complication, getting medication from your doctor as soon as possible will help to alleviate the severity of symptoms and will reduce the amount of time you're left dealing with the skin problem.
Antiviral shingle medication
Although there is no such thing as a shingles vaccine, there are antiviral medications that are effective in providing relief for people who are suffering from shingles. These antiviral medications work to stop the spread of the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles, which can prevent the rash from spreading to a larger portion of the body. Shingles skin rashes can be very damaging to healthy skin, and the use of antiviral medication can also speed up the healing of even the worst skin rash symptoms. Most doctors prefer to prescribe antiviral medications within the first four days of a shingles outbreak, which is another reason why recognizing the symptoms and getting early treatment is so important. When used early on, anti-viral medications can stop complications of shingles such as neuralgia, which is a painful condition that can linger long after the shingles skin rash fades. Some people who are injected with antiviral medications for shingles experience mild headaches, but otherwise, the medications are free of side effects. Remember that just because you had chickenpox as a child doesn't mean you are immune to getting shingles. In fact, it is the dormant traces of the virus that causes chickenpox which will cause your shingles symptoms to appear.
Corticosteroids are another type of medication often prescribed by doctors to help people who are suffering from shingles. The purpose of corticosteroids is to help enhance the healing process of people who are suffering from server skin rashes and inflammation. Unlike injected antiviral medications, corticosteroids are topical treatments that are applied directly to affected areas. When applied regularly, the use of corticosteroids not only reduces itching, pain and burning that typically accompanies shingles, but they can also help to reduce the size and severity of shingles skin rashes while also moisturizing and protecting the skin. The use of corticosteroids is especially recommended for people who are suffering from very intense symptoms. Some patients react negatively to the use of corticosteroids, showing side effects such as stomach sickness, headaches and excessive thirst. However, corticosteroids are an important and effective tool for people who need strong relief from shingles symptoms.
Other Shingles Medications and Home Remedies
In addition to the primary types of medications previously discussed, doctors may also prescribe patients with medicated ointments and powerful anti-inflammatory medications that could further reduce the symptoms of a shingles skin rash. However, the best form of shingles treatment is prevention. Without a vaccine, the only ways to prevent shingles are to avoid contact with people who are currently ill with the disease, and to practice healthy lifestyle habits that will help to keep your immune system strong. This means eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis will both help to reduce your risk of being diagnosed with shingles. Frequently cleaning your skin if you've been diagnosed with shingles can also help to keep the body clean and reduce the risk of infection, both of which are important if your body has already been overtaken by a sizeable skin rash.
"I went to the shingles resource and they gave my all the information I needed. To tell you the truth I didn't know much about shingles and I was worried it was something worse."
— Terrell Francis
"The Shingles resource gave me all the information i needed about shingles and what I could do to make it a pain free experience."
— Molly Bollinger
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