How To Help With Shingles

Shingles Virus

Medical Definition of shingles

Shingles is an acute viral inflammation of the sensory ganglia of spinal and cranial nerves associated with a vesicular eruption and neuralgic pain and caused by reactivation of the herpes virus causing chicken pox—called also herpes zoster, zona, zoster.

Shingle is a viral disease

 
Over the past 25 years, I have had lots of experience with shingles. If you have ever had to have the chicken pox vaccine, you have the potential for the virus. Characterized by the development of painful rashes. It is a common condition and strikes individuals with a low immune system. It is an infection of the nerves along with the skin around it.  The rash forms blisters that typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and clear up within 2 to 4 weeks. Most commonly, the rash occurs in a single stripe around either the left or the right side of the body. In other cases, the rash occurs on one side of the face.
 

Shingles can strike individuals at any age

 
Anyone can get it, but your loved ones between the age of 50–60 years are at an increased risk of developing this condition.  After an episode of chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in many nerve cells. However, as age advances, the virus gets active and causes painful red rashes and blisters. With advancing age, the immune system weakens. Reducing the body’s capacity to fight off infections. As a result, the virus gets activated, giving rise to the shingles virus.

Symptoms of shingles

  • Burning sensation accompanied by tingling sensation in the skin
  • you may become nauseous and experience a persistently upset stomach
  • Numbness in the skin
  • The skin is very sensitive to touch
  • Development of fluid-filled blisters
  • Fever along with chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • The rashes may itch and also cause severe pain
  • Muscle pain is often an early warning sign of shingles
  • Vision complications can occur if the shingles virus spreads to nerves that connect to the eyes

Shingles Virus Diagram

After effects of shingles

 
These symptoms will make life miserable for your loved one. And in many cases, they may suffer from depression as well as anxiety. In many instances, your loved one may continue to experience pain. In the same area that the rashes had developed. The pain is throbbing or stabbing and may cause postherpetic neuralgia.
 

Postherpetic neuralgia

 
Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles that affects nerve fibers and skin. The risk of postherpetic neuralgia increases with age, primarily affecting people older than 60. There’s no cure, but treatments can ease symptoms. For most people, postherpetic neuralgia improves over time. Your loved one might even feel the effects after the blisters are gone. This a kind of pain makes life a total mess for our loved ones. Living with such type of pain isn’t easy. It will restrict their mobility. And also prevents them from carrying out their daily activities. Simple tasks such as cooking, gardening, dressing, and eating become difficult.  The signs and symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia are generally limited to the area of your skin where the shingles outbreak first occurred — most commonly in a band around your trunk, usually on one side of your body. However postherpetic neuralgia is also common in people whose shingles occurred on the face.  
 

Tips to help your loved one with shingles

Taking care of our loved ones with shingles is a challenging task that will require lots of patience and love. The agony of itchy blisters and pain makes life difficult for our loved ones. Yet, these tips can help the family caregiver take better care of our loved ones with shingles.
 

The moment rashes appear

Take your loved one to the doctor office immediately and put them on antiviral medication. By doing so, you can shorten the time of the disease and the severity also reduces to a great extent.  You can get a prescription for steroids for pain management.

Care for red rashes and blisters that develop during shingles

 
  • They are painful and taking care of it becomes necessary. To avoid secondary bacterial infection. Cover the affected area immediately with gauze or bandages. And do not let your loved ones touch or scratch, even if it itches.
  • After touching the rash to avoid the spread of the infection.  Caregivers should wash their hands very often. 
  • Shingles can make our loved one very tired. So, rest becomes very important. Lots of rest will ensure complete recovery from the disease.
  • Caregivers are to watch for any signs of complications in our loved ones. Because they are older and more prone to complications during the shingles attack. caregivers should report small changes to the doctor.
  • Document everything to report to the doctor.

Shingles Vaccination

  • Since prevention is better than any cure. Protection against shingles is one of the best gifts one can give their loved one.
  • The shingles vaccine is available for individuals between the ages of 50-60 years.
  • Talk to your doctor about the vaccine and ask them whether your parents can have the vaccine or not.

Caregivers can also consider giving alternative treatments for the shingles virus

 
  • A cool bath with oatmeal will ease the pain and itching.
  • Giving your loved ones licorice tea, mint tea or lemon balm can help relieve the variety of symptoms. Furthermore, clean eating will improve the immune system can offer a quick recovery from shingles. For this, Tai chi, which is a herbal supplement has proven to be beneficial as well.
  • Create a thick paste using cornstarch or baking soda and water to naturally relieve itching caused by a shingles rash.
  • Practice meditation to get relief from depression and anxiety. Which are common during the shingles attack.
  •  Apply a cool, moist compress. Do this several times throughout the day to relieve symptoms.

We can overcome shingles

 

Shingle is a painful and annoying condition for our loved ones. But we can help alleviate some of the effects with patiencs and tender loving care. Following all the above-mentioned tips will help the caregiver and your loved one to deal with the shingle virus much easier while helping our loved ones recover quickly and easily.  For more information on shingles, check out this site on shingles.  Also, I recommend the following products for shingles.

Shingles Treatment Cream – Best Nerve Pain Relief – Formulated for Shingles Recovery – Manuka Honey – Organic and Fast Acting – Great for Itchy or Burning Skin – Non-Greasy – Risk-Free Guarantee

Milk Honey Bath Soak – Real Honey, Oatmeal Bath ~ Nourishing Milk Bath Powder Made Fresh Using REAL Ingredients

Shingles|How to help with shingles

 

One comment on “How To Help With Shingles

  1. Naglaa Salim MD

    at

    A very good feeding, care of the skin to avoid secondary infection with bacteria or monilia, and providing pain killers to suppress the pain are the main aspects of caregiving here.

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