Home Remedies for Shingles

home remedies to stop shingles

Mostly striking older adults and people with compromised immune systems, shingles erupts when individuals battle stress, injury, certain drugs, and other factors. The infection is actually associated with chickenpox, and produces some of the same symptoms. To treat blisters and other annoyance associated with the condition, it’s suggested to become familiar with home remedies for shingles.

What are Shingles?

Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is a viral infection that affects the nerve roots. Bringing pain and rashes to one side of the body, the infection is caused by the varicella-zoster virus [1]. The majority of people who develop shingles will get better in time and not have to deal with it again. However, an individual with singles can pass on the virus to anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of battling chickenpox as a child. The virus typically travels when a person comes in direct contact with the open sores associated with the shingles rash.

Infected people will develop chickenpox – not shingles. A rash appears in the shape of a strip or band, and sometimes takes up a small area. After the symptoms of chickenpox have passed on, the virus can hide in the nervous system for years. For some people, the virus reactivates itself and makes it way along the nerve pathways of your skin. Shingles is the result.

While shingles is a form of herpes, it is important not to confuse the virus with the same kind that causes sexually transmitted diseases. They are not the same.


The symptoms of shingles occur in stages [2]. The first sign of the infection is pain, which can strike with high intensity in some cases. The pain can become so strong, some patients mistaken the symptoms for heart, lung, and kidney problems. Others will fight shingles pain without ever dealing with a rash. Interestingly, shingles symptoms only affect a small section of just one side of the body. A patient may encounter:

• Tingling sensations, burning, or numbness
• Blisters filled with fluid that break open and form crusts
• Itching
• Aches and pains
• Fever and chills
• Headaches

Shingles Home Remedies

While shingles isn’t a life-threatening condition, the symptoms and presence of the viral infection can cause a great deal of pain. To soothe symptoms and maintain your normal routine, consider the following home remedies for shingles:

a) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Treat infected blisters with a dose of undiluted hydrogen peroxide applied directly to your wounds.

b) Vitamin E:

Break open a vitamin E capsule and rub on affected areas. Taking four 400 IU capsules daily will also help treat symptoms externally.

c) Garlic:

Eating three cloves of garlic per day can help treat the viral infection causing your shingles.

d) Vitamin C:

Lift your immune system’s spirits, as well as treat nerves with extra doses of vitamin C by taking a supplement or increasing foods that contain the vitamin, such as citrus fruits.

e) Zinc:

Choose a multivitamin that offers zinc to treat symptoms of shingles and boost your immune system.

f) Ice:

Treat the pain left behind by healed shingles blisters with a plastic bag filled with ice cubes. Use a vigorous motion to stroke the skin. This method is actually used to ‘confuse’ the nerves.

g) Calamine Lotion:

Combating mosquito bites isn’t the only thing calamine lotion is good for. You can create a home remedy for shingles by adding 20% isopropyl alcohol and 1% each of phenol and menthol. If you find the phenol too strong or the menthol too cool, add equal parts of water to dilute. To enhance the healing process, apply this remedy to shingles blisters until they have dried out and formed a scab.

h) Cornmeal or Oatmeal:

Create a soothing bath by adding a handful of cornstarch or oatmeal to bathwater. This home remedy for shingles will help treat blisters and symptoms attacking below your neck. Settle into the bathtub and release your body to a relaxing soak. This remedy isn’t a long-term solution and only provides temporary relief – it’s a good way to prepare for bed.

i) Nail Polish Remover:

Crush two aspirin tablets into a powder and add to two tablespoons of nail polish remover that contains acetone. Stir the solution and then use a clean cotton ball to apply to blisters. Within five minutes, many patients have experienced relief that has the potential to last for several hours. The nail polish remover works to eliminate dead skin cells, soap residue and oil. The aspirin desensitizes effected nerve endings.

j) Apple Cider Vinegar:

Create instant relief by mixing ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and two cups of water. Using a cotton cloth, dip into the solution and gently wipe affected body parts. Make sure to use an upward motion when applying the solution.

k) Baking Soda:

Create a cold compress of water and baking soda to treat shingles pain and blisters.

l) Cool Bath:

Soak in a cool bath to soothe the itch and discomfort of blisters.

m) Relaxation Techniques:

Stress can actually cause shingles pain to worsen, which is why it’s important to learn how to calm down and relax. Listening to music, meditating, watching movies, reading a book, or enjoying your favorite hobbies are just some ways to keep your mind off of your symptoms.


[1] http://mayoclinic.com/health/shingles/DS00098/DSECTION=causes

[2] http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/shingles-topic-overview