Shingles is a viral infection that typically affects adults with weak immune systems and causes a painful rash. Although there is no definitive cure for shingles, there are treatment options that can speed up your recovery and decrease uncomfortable rash symptoms. If left untreated, shingles usually takes between two and four weeks to run its course. Don't suffer for up to a month with this irritating illness. Quicken your recovery and treat shingles symptoms with anti-viral medication, skin lotion and a rigorous cleaning regimen.
Because shingles is a virus, there are a number of easily administered anti-viral medications your doctor can prescribe. Zovirax (drugs.com/zovirax.html), Famvir (famvir.com) and Valtrex (valtrex.com) are effective anti-viral medicines that can be taken to prevent the shingles rash from spreading and that shorten the duration of the rash. Your doctor will recommend that you take one of these medications orally once or twice per day to alleviate shingles symptoms.
Some cases of shingles result in extremely severe and painful rashes that require topical care as well as oral medication. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe a nerve-deadening cream or local anesthetic in lotion form. Lidocaine is the most commonly prescribed cream for shingles and is easy to apply. You need to rub only a little bit of lidocaine on the rash for pain relief.
Keeping yourself clean may seem like an overly basic treatment option for shingles, but staying sanitary is actually the most effective means of combating this virus. As the shingles rash begins to heal, the bumps will blister and easily can spread the virus to other parts of your skin. By washing the rash- and blister-affected area several times a day with soap and water, you can contain the outbreak and rid yourself of shingles more quickly.