Shingles is an unpleasant skin disease that affects about a third of people at some time in their lives, afflicting them with painful rashes, blisters, and other symptoms. If you had chicken pox when you were a kid, that means you’ve got the varicella-zoster virus hiding in your nerve tissue. It may lay dormant and never cause any trouble, but it can become active, even after many years, often as a result of stress or a weakened immune system. If that happens, shingles begins with itching, tingling, or pain in the affected area, followed a few days later by a rash. Next, clusters of blisters form which eventually break, leaving crusts that fall off after two or three weeks. Meanwhile, there are other symptoms that may appear: abdominal pain, fever, chills, headaches, joint pain, genital sores, swollen lymph nodes, or just a general sense of feeling unwell.
During an active case of shingles, the virus spreads easily to other people. Children are especially vulnerable and newborns most of all. If you have shingles, stay away from children and babies!
Shingles normally resolves on its own. However, if you get shingles on your face, you should see a doctor right away — typically they’ll prescribe anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs. For shingles elsewhere on your body, there are home remedies that can reduce the pain and discomfort: cool wet compresses, using lotions containing zinc, applying 3 or 4 drops of lemon balm several times a day, and taking baths with Epsom salt and baking soda. A lukewarm bath with some oatmeal thrown in, strange as that sounds, may also be beneficial. Also, be sure to wear loose-fitting cotton clothing. For more information, check out the video that’s posted below.
Have you ever had to deal with shingles? Do you have any home remedies of your own? Tell us all about it in the comments at Facebook. Don’t forget to like and share!