Shingles Pain Relief
The pain of shingles can be excruciating.
People with shingles are looking for immediate relief. Fortunately there are a few natural remedies that have proved helpful for many people. The first and most basic is to apply cool or cold wet dressings to the affected area. Wet a washcloth or towel, wring it out, and then gently press it to the lesions. Some people put the cloth into the freezer for a while after wetting it to make it colder. Just as coolness is soothing to the lesions, heat is irritating. Avoid heat as well as tight clothes and itchy fabrics like wool.
An excellent topical remedy for shingles is an ointment that you can make at home with aspirin and chloroform. (You can probably get chloroform at your pharmacy, but if you can't, use Vaseline Intensive Care lotion in its place.) Mash up two aspirins (do not use aspirin substitutes) and mix them with two tablespoons of chloroform. Apply this mixture with a clean cotton ball to the shingles lesions. The chloroform the dead skin and any residue, allowing the aspirin to penetrate and deaden the nerve endings that are causing the pain.
Some people find that calamine lotion can relieve the pain and help dry the lesictus.
Something else that can give relief is vitamin E, used both orally an on the lesions themselves. While no one is certain exactly why vitamin E is useful in treating shingles, there's ample evidence that it does wonders for many people. 1 suggest you take vitamin E daily. In addition, can take one or more vitamin E capsules, cut off the tip or stick a into one end, and squeeze it onto the lesions.
Vitamin C is another aid in treating shingles. There is speculation vitamin C increases the body's production of interferon, an infection fighting protein that promotes healing.
The amino acid lysine inhibits herpes activity and can help shorten an attack. You only need to take lysine supplements during the course an outbreak. In addition, avoid arginine-rich foods such as chocolate, peanuts, seeds, and cereal grains. Arginine is another amino acid, but its effect on the virus is the opposite of lysine's: It promotes herpes growth.
You can also use lysine cream to hasten healing. It's available in health food stores. I usually advise applying it topically, twice a day, but check: with the directions on the package label.
Once the shingles lesions have healed, an ointment called Zostrix may reduce any lingering postherpetic pain you may experience. It is available without prescription from a pharmacy. The important ingredient is capsaicin, which is a naturally occurring irritant found in hot peppers. Like hot peppers, it can sting your eyes or irritate a cut. It might well sting when you first apply it to painful areas on your skin, but it's supposed to. It works to deplete a substance manufactured by your skin that transmits messages of pain to the brain; by applying Zostrix regularly, this message can't get through.
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