Shingles can happen to anyone that had chickenpox when they were a child or an adult. You recover from chickenpox, but it leaves behind a virus that stays in your system. This virus may rest forever, or it may decide to come out and cause shingles. Below are some symptoms you will have if you have shingles, as well as tips for managing it.
One of the first symptoms you will have is pain somewhere on your skin. This will be your face, scalp, legs, arms, chest, or back. You will ache for a few days and will likely think you pulled a muscle. After a few days, however, shingles will start to appear. Once this happens, small blisters will break out on your skin. These blisters are generally in groups and spread across your body or your scalp.
The shingles are filled with blood, and they will break open. After this, ulcers break out onto your skin. These ulcers are much more painful than the blisters. These blisters and ulcers will last a few weeks, and then they will leave. Once they start healing, they will crust over and dry out. If you had ulcers, you might have scars where the ulcers were located.
Because having shingles is very painful you need to learn different ways of managing it. The best thing to do is to go to your doctor. They will prescribe antiviral medications to you to help relieve the pain.
If you are in a lot of pain, the doctor will suggest that you take pain relievers. Depending on how much pain you have they may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers, or the doctor may prescribe something much stronger for you to take for a few days. The doctor may also prescribe an antiviral cream to help the blisters and ulcers dry up quicker. This cream can also relieve itching, as the sores will start itching as they are healing.
There are also natural treatments if you do not want to take any kind of medicine. For example, a cool shower or bath can help relieve pain and itching. You can also put approximately half a cup of cornstarch into the bathtub to help even more. Cornstarch is very soothing to nerve pain.
Cold and wet compresses can also help relieve pain and itchiness. You do have to be careful with this as you do not want o to have the compress too cold and leave it on your skin for too long.
Even though chickenpox is contagious shingles are not. This way you will not have to worry about other people in your family getting shingles also. For more information on the treatment of pain of shingles, contact your local medical office.