For most people, the symptoms of shingles usually fade away along with the rash that may have appeared along one side of their body or face. But for some people, pain persists long after their skin has cleared. It’s called post-herpetic neuralgia, and it’s a complication of shingles. You might feel intense sensations of tingling, burning, and shooting pain that don’t let up. This could last for 3 months or longer, and you could be sensitive to touch and have trouble wearing clothes.

Simple steps of self-care for less pain and less itching:

  1. Oatmeal baths: Dip into a cool tub of water.
  2. Cold compresses: Run a washcloth under cool water and place it on your blisters for about 20 minutes at a time. Not only can this relieve itching, it also keeps your blisters clean. That helps you avoid a skin infection. A couple of important notes:
    • If your blisters aren’t oozing anymore, stop using cold compresses
    • If you are using any creams or patches on your rash, don’t use compresses at the same time
  3. Loose clothing:You’ll likely find that relaxed fits made from natural fibers, such as cotton or linen, give you more comfort.
  4. Calamine lotion:Treat your skin with this smooth, cool, and soothing balm.
  5. Good rest and good sleep and healthy meals!

Studies show that various treatments, from acupuncture to herbal formulas and supplements, can offer significant relief. Western and Eastern approaches can work well together. The VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) scores show that acupuncture plus medications have the best results. The addition of acupuncture to drug therapy decreases pain levels, patients require less painkillers, and herpetic lesions heal faster. The researchers conclude that the combination of acupuncture plus drug therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of acute herpes zoster (shingles).

This is a diagnosis we see with some frequency and almost always have significant results to reduce symptoms and resolve the flare-up.

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