Shingles - Cause, Symptoms & Natural Treatments

What is Shingles?

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles.

 

What is Shingles

The symptoms of shingles include a painful, blistering rash that typically appears on one side of the body, often in a band or cluster. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and fatigue. The rash usually lasts for two to four weeks, and the pain can persist for weeks or months after the rash has healed.

 

Shingles is most common in people over the age of 50, and those with weakened immune systems. While there is no cure for shingles, antiviral medications can help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. It's important to see a healthcare provider if you suspect you have shingles, as early treatment can help prevent complications and reduce the risk of long-term pain.

 

What Caused Shingles?

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain for many years. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles.

 

The reasons why the virus reactivates are not entirely clear, but it is thought to be related to a weakened immune system due to aging, stress, illness, or certain medications. The risk of developing shingles increases with age, and it is more common in people over the age of 50. Additionally, people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or those who have undergone an organ transplant, are at a higher risk of developing shingles.

 

Symptoms

Shingles symptoms usually affect only a small section on one side of your body. These symptoms may include:

  • Pain, burning or tingling
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
  • Itching


Shingles - Cause, Symptoms & Natural Treatments

Some people also experience:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fatigue


Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. For some people, the pain can be intense. Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes be mistaken for problems with the heart, lungs or kidneys. Some people experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash.

Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of the torso. Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.

 

Natural Treatments for Shingles?


Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Shingles can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but there are several natural treatments that may help alleviate symptoms. Here are some natural treatments for shingles:

 

Cool compresses: Applying cool compresses to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. Use a clean, damp cloth and apply it to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day.

 

Oatmeal baths: Adding colloidal oatmeal to a lukewarm bath can help soothe the skin and reduce itching. You can find colloidal oatmeal at your local drugstore or online.

 

Essential oils: Some essential oils, such as tea tree oil and lavender oil, may help reduce pain and inflammation associated with shingles. Dilute a few drops of the essential oil in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply it to the affected area.

 

Calendula cream: Calendula cream has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce pain and itching associated with shingles. Apply the cream to the affected area several times a day.

 

Vitamin E oil: Vitamin E oil may help reduce scarring and promote healing of the skin. Apply a few drops of vitamin E oil to the affected area several times a day.

 

L-lysine: L-lysine is an amino acid that may help reduce the severity and duration of shingles outbreaks. You can take L-lysine supplements or eat foods that are high in lysine, such as fish, chicken, and legumes.

 

Stress reduction: Stress can trigger shingles outbreaks, so finding ways to reduce stress, such as meditation or yoga, may help prevent future outbreaks.

 

It's important to note that natural treatments should not replace medical treatment for shingles. If you suspect you have shingles, it's important to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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