The chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster, VZV) may remain in a dormant state in the body after an individual has chickenpox, usually in the roots of nerves that control sensation. In about one out of five people previously infected with chickenpox, the virus "wakes up," or reactivates, often many years or decades after a childhood chickenpox infection. When the virus is reactivated and causes shingles, the resulting virus is usually referred to as herpes zoster virus. Researchers do not know what causes this reactivation. What is known is that after reactivation, the virus travels along a sensory nerve into the skin and causes shingles. Cirrhosis Ebola Virus Infection Emergency Publications for Consumers Childhood Immunizations are Important Home  You and Your Family   >   Illness and Disease   >   Shingles National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Contact UsWork with usAdvertiseYour Ad ChoicesPrivacyTerms of ServiceTerms of SaleSite MapHelpSubscriptions Suicide Prevention Plan In their article, Drs. Kanazi, Johnson and Dworkin reported recent studies have shown NMDA receptor antagonists provide some pain relief, but some may have adverse effects. 1,17,18,19,20 Your doctor might also have you take a steroid medicine to reduce your pain and swelling. This medicine along with the antiviral medicines may reduce your risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia. Preteens and Teens Who gets herpes zoster? Shingles Vaccine for Adults: Side Effects, When to Get the Shot, and More National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Shingles Information Golf Challenge Home Analgesics (pain medicine) may help relieve the pain caused by shingles. Wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching. Apply for PrEP DAP Older Adult Falls Fish Parietal Cell Antibody Stem Cell Part 1: Structure What Meningitis Does to Your Body Choose a language Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides. Brain Games Pleural Fluid Analysis FSMB Interstate Compact View Article Sources CANCEL   CONTINUE Although an antiviral is an effective treatment for shingles, it’s not the only option. Several natural remedies may also reduce pain and discomfort. Patient Instructions Home Medicine taken to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ Sign up Professional Practice Toolkits Living Well CONTACT US SEARCH Shingles Risk Factors Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. Healing Shingles (herpes zoster) is a condition involving an outbreak of a rash or blisters on the skin. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. The rash may stay in one area of the body (localized zoster) or it may spread to many areas of the body (disseminated zoster). MedlinePlus | Subscribe | Magazine Information | Contact Us | Viewers & Players Visit our other Verywell sites: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and opioids are generally unhelpful. Antiviral drugs, if started before blisters appear, can help relieve symptoms and help them resolve sooner, but pain relievers, including opioids, are often needed. Salud oral Messages {{userinfo.msgcount}} Tell your doctor if you live with children who have not had chickenpox. They may need to be vaccinated. General Information Symptoms and Complications Basic Derm Curriculum View Professional Directions in Residency Mind & body Get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced meals. Corporate Wellness Home Mario Sousa Healing Garden Accountable Care Organization Infants and Toddlers World Congress of Dermatology LIVING Volunteer Anticonvulsants, which were originally designed to prevent seizures in patients with epilepsy, include gabapentin (Neurontin). Drs. Kanazi, Johnson and Dworkin make reference, in their article, to a study that found gabapentin "significantly reduced (PHN) pain" and resulted in "improvements in sleep, mood and quality of life." 1,12 Community Fundraising Preguntas frecuentes acerca del VPH y la vacuna contra el VPH The research trials, which took place in a number of countries, involved more than 16,000 patients aged 50 and older, with some well into their 80s. The results are promising, with no evidence so far of the vaccine’s efficacy diminishing over time. What kinds of treatments have been effective for your shingles? Dried Beans/Peas/Lentils The Mayo Clinic Diet Book Work Essentials Health and Safety You Are Here: Sexual health Food & Recipes Childhood Immunizations are Important High School, Undergraduate, & Post-Baccalaureate You have a weak immune system, either because of a condition or due to certain medicines. 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