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Top 10 Ways to Naturally Heal Shingles
If you or someone you know has had an outbreak of shingles (herpes zoster) then you know how terribly painful those blisters can be. Shingles is a secondary outbreak of the chicken pox virus. Although it can occur in those who received the vaccine, most people who get shingles had chickenpox as a child. For some unknown reason, in some people, this virus lies dormant and returns to make a very unwanted second appearance known as shingles. If you never received the vaccine and you never had chickenpox, you can become infected and develop chickenpox if you are exposed to someone with shingles. This is why it is important for those who have not been vaccinated or have never had the chickenpox to avoid anyone with shingles. Adults who become infected with the chickenpox virus can become sterile, especially men, and can develop lung problems such as pneumonia.
Shingles generally occurs decades after the original infection. These raised blisters are very painful and itch like mad. This rash can occur anywhere on the body but it is most commonly found on the torso. Although the exact reason why this virus makes a second appearance is not fully understood, but scientists believe that it can be triggered by extreme stress, a severe illness, or a weakening of your immune system.
Many doctors will prescribe antiviral medications. These can help to shorten the duration of the rash and sometimes reduce symptoms but for many people these drugs are ineffective. Your doctor will most likely offer you these antiviral drugs and then suggest more natural means of easing the painful symptoms. If you choose, you can use the following 10 natural means of healing and easing the pain of shingles instead of, or in combination with, your doctor’s prescription medication.
1. Colloidal Silver
Many people believe that colloidal silver can help to relieve the symptoms of shingles as well as reduce the duration of the rash. Since bacteria and viruses cannot survive in the presence of silver, this makes sense, but since there are no actual studies regarding this, it’s an as of yet undiscovered area. If you or someone you love has shingles, you can try colloidal silver. It won’t hurt but it might help substantially and many people swear by it.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
In order to stimulate recovery as well as reduce pain and stop the itching, you can soak a wash rag in apple cider vinegar and place it over the affected area four or more times per day. This can help to dry up the blisters as well. Never pick at the scabs or pop the blisters, as this can spread the virus further. Although it would be difficult to catch this virus from the wash rag, it is possible. Always wash any clothing, bedding, rags, towels, or anything that touches the open sores in hot water to avoid spreading the virus.
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3. Cornstarch or Baking Soda
You can apply baking soda or cornstarch directly to the blisters to help dry them up and encourage faster healing. The drier you can keep the blisters, the faster they will heal. Try to keep the blisters exposed to the open air and uncovered as much as possible to help them dry. You can alternate soaking the blisters to help ease the pain and itching, then drying them with a towel then applying baking soda or corn starch to help dry them out and encourage healing.
4. A Cool Bath
Many people find that soaking in a cool bath can often help ease the pain of shingles. The trick is to make sure that the water isn’t too hot. Soaking for just 10 or 15 minutes often diminishes the pain for hours afterwards. Dry the area with a towel (be sure to wash it afterwards in hot water) then you can liberally apply some baking soda or cornstarch to help the blisters heal.
5. A Healing Bath
Many people find that starch baths or colloidal oatmeal baths can help to ease the pain of shingles as well as to help them heal more quickly. These types of treatments can be found in many drugstores or in your local health food or natural store. Add the product to a cool or lukewarm bath. If the bath is too hot it will only irritate the skin even more. Be sure to dry the area after the bath and wash any towel or wash cloth that came into contact with the blisters. Find out more about therapeutic baths.
6. Soothing Lotions
Not all types of lotion or creams will ease the pain of shingles and some can make them even worse. Most people find that any lotion that contains perfume or any type of scent only makes things worse. Try lotions that contain capsaicin, as these can not only calm the itching but can go a long way towards easing the pain, although they won’t help the blisters heal any faster.
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7. Ice Packs
Shingles blisters will eventually break, crust over, and fall off on their own in time, but it’s important to not pick at them no matter how badly they itch. You could spread the virus or get a secondary infection. Some people find that applying ice packs wrapped in a wash rags for 10 minutes at a time can help to stop the itching. If ice packs don’t feel good to you, then don’t use them, but if they help, you can use these on for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes as often as you like.
8. Calamine Lotion
Many people find that they get relief from the itching from using anti-itching lotions such as calamine lotion. Wash or rinse the area, then apply calamine lotion and allow it to dry. This is another treatment that won’t help the blisters to heal any faster, but it will stop that maddening itch.
9. Wet Compress
If getting into a cool bath sounds chilling, not soothing, then try a cool, wet compress on the area. Simply soak a towel or wash rag in cool water, wring it out, and apply the compress to the area for 5 minutes at a time. Rinse in cool water and repeat. When the pain or itching stops, dry the area well in order to help it heal more quickly. Always be certain that you wash the towel or rag before you use it anywhere or on anyone else to avoid spreading the virus.
SEE ALSO: Chaga Tea: It’s Good for What Ails You
Although taking large doses of lysine for long periods of time can cause other health problems, taking up to 2000mg each day for a short period of time will help shorten the duration of the shingles outbreak. Some studies have shown that taking this natural amino acid can help the body to naturally fight off the virus. You can buy this supplement in many drugstores and almost every health food store. Every person’s body reacts differently. Always consult with your doctor before consuming any herbal or natural product to avoid drug interactions or further health problems.