Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you get rid of chickenpox, the remaining virus may result in shingles.
In fact, there’s no cure for shingles, but you may take some measures to ease symptoms and shorten the length of the infection under the guidance of your doctor.
- anti-viral medications, including acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir
- anti-inflammation drugs, including ibuprofen
- narcotic medications or analgesics
- anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants
- antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine
- numbing creams, gels, or patches, such as lidocaine
- cold, wet compresses to the rash to reduce pain and itching
- calamine lotion to reduce itching
- colloidal oatmeal baths to ease pain and itching
If your symptoms haven’t relieved within 10 days, call your doctor for advice.
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