The rash that forms from the varicella-zoster virus that is responsible for shingles, affects the upper torso area and the face. Fluid-filled blisters may break open and crust over during an outbreak of shingles. The rash is itchy and can be very painful. Treatment is available to relieve the pain and reduce the spread of the virus.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the doctor may prescribe these oral medications and topical pain relievers to relieve the pain of shingles blisters. Tricyclic antidepressants are prescribed to treat mood disorders such as depression along with chronic pain. Fibromyalgia and shingles benefit from the use of these medications.
Narcotics such as oxycodone is sometimes prescribed for shingles and the blisters when the pain is severe.
Numbing agents like lidocaine is used in creams or gels to treat the blisters from shingles. This medication should not be used if the blisters are broken. Lidocaine can be dangerous if it is used without the guidance of a doctor. Overdose is possible if the medication is applied over a large area of the body or if too much is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
The Mayo Clinic also recommends antiviral medications in the treatment of shingles blisters to prevent the spread of the virus to other areas of the body. These medications can also prevent the occurrence of a condition called postherpetic neuralgia. This condition causes pain to continue after the blisters have healed. The pain may be chronic and long lasting.
Antiviral medications can also shorten the length of time that the virus is active in the body. These medications are effective if they are started early. Antivirals should begin within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash.
Topical Home Treatments
Calamine lotion provides a cooling and anti-itch remedy for shingles blisters. The blisters can be dried up quickly with an aluminum acetate medication. This relieves the oozing and itching that occurs with the blisters.
The blisters must be kept clean to avoid bacterial infections. A bacterial infection of the shingles blisters causes a condition called cellulitis. Watch for the skin to become warm to the touch and very tender. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice these symptoms with shingles blisters. Antibiotics are used to treat this bacterial infection.
Crushed aspirin in rubbing alcohol can help to dry the shingles blisters as well. Apply the paste to the area several times a day to relieve the itch and dry up the sores according to Holistic Online, a website dedicated to folk remedies and common sense approaches to conditions and treatment.