How to Bathe With Shingles


Shingles, or herpes zooster, is a painful viral infection of the nerves. It commonly affects older adults or people with weakened immune systems. Often a rash will appear on one side of the body as a strip, band or small patch. The rashes will often blister and crust over, and may take 2 to 4 weeks for the blisters to heal. A bath of oatmeal or cornstarch will often alleviate some of the pain and itching associated with rashes that appear in shingles.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch, baking soda or colloidal oatmeal
  • Warm water
  • Bath tub
  • Fill up your bathtub with warm water. To avoid irritation, do not use hot water. Place a drop of water on your wrist. You should not be able to feel the heat of the water on your wrist if it is at the correct temperature.

  • Mix in a handful of cornstarch or oatmeal (like Aveno) into the water.

  • Completely submerge the area of your neck and below into the tub. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • To help soothe and relax, take a bath 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
  • Use a bathmat to avoid slipping in the tub.
  • Do not pick or scratch rash or blisters. You should clean blisters daily with soap and water.
  • Do not get water with baking soda, cornstarch or oatmeal into your eyes. Doing so is not dangerous, but it may cause discomfort. If your eye gets inflamed and irritated, rinse them with lukewarm water under a sink for 20 minutes.

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