How to treat shingles
There are antiviral medications available to treat shingles and shorten the length of the illness. The drugs typically reduce the severity of the rash and pain, too, the CDC points out.
However, to be most effective, the medications must be started as soon as the tell-tale shingles rash develops. So if you think you have or are developing shingles, call your doctor as soon as possible to discuss how to treat shingles with antiviral prescription drugs, which include acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir,
Shingles can be mild or very painful. If you are uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about how to treat shingles with painrelievers and which ones are best for you. In addition, wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths can help relieve the itching.
Can shingles spread from person to person?
If you have shingles, don’t touch the rash, and keep it covered to help protect others. You can’t give someone shingles but, until the rash crusts over, the blisters can spread the varicella-zoster virus.
The virus is transmitted through direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters caused by shingles and cause chickenpox in susceptible people, including Children who have not received a chickenpox vaccination.
That’s why the CDC urges people with shingles to avoid pregnant women who aren’t protected against chickenpox, premature infants, and people with weakened immune systems.
How you can prevent getting shingles
If you haven’t been vaccinated against shingles, talk to your doctor about how the vaccine can protect you. The CDC recommends people age 60 or older get at least one dose of the shingles vaccine.
If you’ve already had shingles, be aware that doesn’t mean you can’t have it again. So to protect yourself, get vaccinated to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. Another important way to reduce the risk of shingles is to have youngsters in your family vaccinated against chickenpox.
March 26, 2020
Janet O'Dell, RN