Shingles is a very painful disease that affects mainly the elderly. It is caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus, varicella zoster. When children get chickenpox, the virus never truly goes away. It hides in the nerves near the spinal column. When they get old or their immune system is compromised, the virus is able to reemerge and cause a painful rash on the skin. Often times your health practitioner will prescribe drugs to treat shingles, but these drugs may have adverse side effects like dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, and irregular heart rhythm. These side effects may be more pronounced in elderly patients. Fortunately, it is possible to treat shingles naturally and avoid these negative side effects.
There are many treatments that can be applied directly to the skin to help soothe the painful blisters caused by shingles. There are also many treatments that require the ingestion of remedies.
- Soothing lotions like calamine can help, and can be applied often without side effects.
- Cool compresses are helpful.
- French clay and tea tree oil
- Mix French clay with enough water to make a paste. Add one or two drops of tea tree oil. Apply this paste to the rash, wrap with gauze, and leave on for a few hours. Clean area with a warm cloth. This treatment can be used a few times each day.
- Cool or lukewarm baths. Try adding oatmeal to the water for extra relief.
- Some people get relief by using activated charcoal. Mix water, activated charcoal, and flaxseed to make a paste. Let it sit for twenty minutes, and then apply it to the blisters. This treatment should also be wrapped, but left on for twelve hours. After twelve hours, wipe off with a clean, warm washcloth.
- Hydrogen peroxide can also be periodically applied to the blisters. This helps them to dry quickly.
- Mash up two aspirin with Vaseline Intensive Care and apply it to the skin. This can help relieve pain.
- Capsaicin can be applied topically. Capsaicin is the chemical in hot peppers that makes the food seem spicy. It actually works by numbing nerve endings, so it is effective at reducing pain when applied to the skin.
- Make a paste out of cayenne pepper and lotion, apply to the skin.
- There are also many commercially-available capsaicin creams.
Internally Taken Remedies
- Vitamin E has also proven helpful in alleviating shingles. Take one vitamin E pill orally every day. Vitamin E can also be applied topically.
- Increase your intake of Vitamin C.
- Increase your intake of the amino acid lysine. Lysine can inhibit the virus. Lysine cream can also be applied topically.
- Pineapple and papaya contain beneficial enzymes that can work against shingles as effectively as anti-viral drugs, only without harmful side effects.