What are shingles?
Also known as herpes zoster, shingles is a condition that is triggered by the varicella zoster virus. It is the virus that is responsible for causing chickenpox. After chickenpox is treated, it remains in a dormant state inside the nervous system. Usually, shingles is characterized by a blistering rash on the skin. It is mostly a common condition in elderly individuals, who have a fragile immune system. However, any person can contract shingles. In most cases, after patients have recovered from shingles they will not get affected by it again. Although, it is possible for it to occur more than once.
Shingles is not a contagious condition, but there is a small possibility of the virus spreading to someone who has never had chickenpox and isn’t vaccinated either.
Symptoms of shingles
The most common symptom that is witnessed is a persistent form of pain that can be dull, sharp or might even burn. However, for some patients, the discomfort could be intermittent. The other signs indicating the onset of shingles are –
A rash that instantly progresses into blisters containing secretions. Apart from being painful, these can be immensely itchy, although they might not spread to the other parts of the body. They usually appear on the face and upper body, but on rare occasions, these can affect the lower areas of the body too.
Severe inflammation might be noticed around the area affected by shingles.
In some cases, the shingles might target the eyes, damaging the ophthalmic nerve which can lead to pain, swelling and in extreme circumstances temporary or irreversible loss of vision.
Patients may also experience heightened sensitivity, i.e., even the slightest touch can cause distress.
At times, blisters can form a band which may come across as a skin damage resulting from severe burns.
Some of the other symptoms of shingles include headaches, nausea, tiredness, muscle pain, fever, joint pain. etc.
Which are the best creams for shingles pain?
Shingles is often accompanied by painful and itchy blisters, which at times can become intolerable. Scratching them can often aggravate them and prolong the healing process. To prevent this, apart from prescribed medications, you can use creams for shingles pain and itching. You just need to make sure that you utilize over-the-counter (OTC) topical creams. However, consult your general practitioner before starting any home treatment.
To help you buy better, here are some of the best creams for shingles pain and itching.
Hydrocortisone creams – When you are buying OTC creams for alleviating shingles pain and itching, ensure that the product has at least 1% of hydrocortisone in it. Hydrocortisone can offer quick relief from the common symptoms.
MagniLife Pain & Itch Gel Relief – This gel contains natural ingredients such as aloe vera and witch hazel which can soothe pain, tingling, itching, and inflammation caused by shingles. It has astringent qualities which also aid in drying out the fluid-filled blisters.
Terrasil Shingles Skincare Ointment – This particular cream is specially designed to relieve shingles symptoms. The formulation includes elements such as peppermint oil, organic beeswax, jojoba seed oil, zinc oxide, magnesium oxide and silver oxide. These ingredients together cool down the skin, easing the pain and itching caused by shingles. Terrasil is ideal for patients who have an extremely sensitive skin as well.
Peaceful Mountain Shingles Rescue Plus – A homeopathic gel, Shingles Rescue Plus is loaded with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, lavender buds, lemon balm leaf, arnica flower, poke berry, chaparral leaf, comfrey leaf, yarrow flower and white willow bark. This cream for shingles helps control the pain, soreness, and tingling on the skin.
Before picking the best cream for shingles pain ensure that you are not allergic to it. One of the ways to do this is by conducting a patch test, i.e., by using the cream on a small part of the body. This will help you gauge its efficiency or any possible side-effects. For women who a pregnant or breastfeeding, it is advised to seek your doctor’s advice before use.
Apart from using the best cream for shingles pain, you can also implement some home remedies to get rid of the bothersome symptoms. These could be useful if a person is sensitive to OTC creams for shingles. Some of these include –
Cold compress – Using a cold compress on the affected area several times a day can help calm the pain and irritation caused by shingles.
Aloe vera extract – You can use the extract from aloe vera to soothe the itchy blisters on your skin. Aloe vera has antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties which can offer you quick relief in the safest way.
Baking soda – You can make a simple paste of water and baking powder and apply it topically on the blisters. This solution will help in drying out the blisters and also reduce the tenderness.