What can I do at home to ease pain of shingles?

3 answers | Last updated: Apr 13, 2014
Answers
Caring.com User - Leslie Kernisan, M.D.
Caring.com Expert
Send a Hug or Prayer
Send a Hug or Prayer
A
Dr. Leslie Kernisan is a senior medical editor at Caring.com and a clinical instructor in the University of California, San Francisco, Division of Geriatrics....
100% helpful
answered...

The best way to take care of shingles at home is to be vigilant about taking the medications ordered by a doctor, and to let the doctor know if you See also:
10 Ways to Help Your Parent Describe Pain

See all 21 questions about Shingles
frequently feel moderate or strong pain.

The pain from shingles can be severe, so often prescription-strength pain medicines are needed. Unfortunately, there's no single medication that reliably relieves shingles pain. You need to let your doctor know if you're feeling uncontrolled pain, work with him to figure out what medications work best for you, and monitor possible side-effects, such as confusion or constipation.

Shingles medications are likely to include one or more of the following:

  • Antivirals (such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir)
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Prescription skin creams that contain pain relievers
  • Prescription pain relief, such as lidocaine patches, certain antidepressants that also have an effect on nerve pain, and/or opiate medications (such as Vicodin, Percocet, or oxycodone)
  • Steroid medications for those who have severe pain

In addition, these may help:

  • Cool compresses on the painful site
  • Daily bathing to prevent bacterial infection
  • Keeping fingernails short to reduce scratching of irritating blisters

You may also need over-the-counter or prescription-strength laxatives to prevent constipation if you're taking opiate medications for pain.

 

More Answers
 
Ask a question Ask a question | Add an answer Add an answer