What are the Best Treatments for Shingles?

Varicella-zoster, commonly known as “shingles,’ is a virus infection that causes a painful rash, usually on one side of the body. The varicella-zoster virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you have had chickenpox as a child, the virus may lie dormant in your body for many years, only to erupt into a skin infection many years afterward. The resulting rash can be excruciating or may cause numbness and tingling. Many medications are prescribed for the varicella-zoster virus, but some natural remedies or shingles cream can also help with the discomfort.

Cold Compresses

Often, the best way to relieve itching and pain from a varicella-zoster outbreak or other skin problems is simple cold compresses applied to the area. You can find several gel packs or other methods that make relieving skin discomfort easier and less messy. However, in a pinch, you can dampen a washcloth, fold in half, and then fold into thirds. Place the dampened cloth into a sealable bag and freeze for a few hours. Always wrap your frozen compress in a thin cloth to prevent burning the skin with excessive cold. Place on the affected area for 10 minutes, and then remove. Repeat several times each day.

Healing Baths

Another tried-and-true method for relieving skin upsets is healing baths, such as colloidal oatmeal or cornstarch, which soothes pain from blisters and calms itching. You can find colloidal oatmeal at your local pharmacy or in the pharmacy department of large stores. The cornstarch is the same compound you keep in your kitchen cabinet for thickening food items. Pour one to two cups into warm, not hot, water and soak your body for 20 minutes.

Lotions and Creams

A soothing lotion or cream can help reduce itching and irritation due to the varicella-zoster outbreak. Creams that are good for shingles include those that don’t have perfumes or fragrances because these components can be irritating to sensitive skin. You should also avoid applying a thick layer of shingles cream, impeding the natural healing process. Apply a thin layer of one of the creams that are good for shingles over the affected area a few times each day to reduce discomfort.

Cornstarch and Baking Soda Paste

Some of the oldest remedies for skin problems are still the best for conditions such as shingles. Simple ingredients found in your kitchen cabinets can be used to relieve the itch and discomfort of varicella-zoster skin eruptions. Make a paste of two parts cornstarch or baking soda and one part water. Apply to affected areas and allow to sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse with cool water.

A Healthy Diet

Eating well can help you weather a varicella-zoster outbreak more quickly, allowing your immune system to help fight the infection. Choose foods that are rich in vitamin A, C, E, and B-12. Foods containing the amino acid lysine are also strengthening. Colorful fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support the body’s immune system function. Eggs, chicken, fish, spinach, and legumes contain large amounts of these essential dietary components.


Individuals who don’t feel they are consuming the right foods for maximum health can boost their immune system function herbal supplements widely available. Green tea, oregano oil, Echinacea, and lemon balm can help boost your immune system. St. John’s wort can help to reduce stress, which diminishes uncomfortable symptoms.

Managing the uncomfortable symptoms associated with shingles can be challenging, but individuals can choose from many different natural compounds for this purpose. Each one of these remedies may be beneficial at various stages, so be prepared to try any one to help control the discomfort of a varicella-zoster outbreak.

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