Shingles is a viral disease caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox in children—varicella-zoster. The virus often causes a painful rash that breaks out anywhere on the body. It should be treated with antibotics to combat infections and pain medication to ease the pain. It goes away in a few weeks, but visiting a doctor is recommended. There is no way to kill the virus, but treating it will often eliminate symptoms and prevent further infections.
How to Treat the Shingles Virus
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have an outbreak of shingles. Write a detailed list of your pain history and when the outbreak occured. When meeting with the doctor, be prepared for some tests to determine what caused the outbreak.
Review with your doctor your history of pain and any other shingles outbreaks that have occurred. The doctor will most likely take a tissue sample for examination in the lab. This will determine the cause of the outbreak.
When the infection is diagnosed, the doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for the virus like Zovirax, Valtrex, or Famvir. Depending on your level of pain, pain medication in tablet or cream form may also be prescribed.
Put cold compresses on the area of the infections to help relive the pain. The Mayo Clinic recommends spending time reading, watching television or listening to the radio. This helps you relax and get your mind off the infection.
Ask your doctor about natural treatments for shingles. Natural products like aloe vera gel and lemon balm are used to ease pain and treat infections.