Shingles is a viral infection caused by the same virus as chickenpox. It causes a painful rash along the torso. Though shingles isn’t a serious or life-threatening condition, it does cause discomfort and pain.1
Anyone can get shingles if they’ve had the chickenpox. And shingles can also be recurrent, causing more than one outburst in a lifetime. An estimated 1 in 4 people will develop at least one bout of shingles in their lifetime.2
What Causes Shingles?
Shingles has one known cause and that’s the varicella-zoster virus infecting a person. Varicella-zoster virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once you’ve become infected with the chickenpox at a young age, the virus lies dormant in your nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. If the virus becomes triggered, even years later, you can develop shingles, as the virus will travel along your nerve pathway and into your skin.1,2
It’s unclear why the varicella-zoster virus activates again so many years after chickenpox. And because it affects certain people and not others, it still remains unclear why only some people develop it. However, researchers feel it may have something to do with a lowered immune system, as typically older adults develop shingles.1,2
People with a compromised immune system due to disorders, like HIV/AIDS, may also be at greater risk of developing shingles.2
The primary symptom of shingles is producing a painful rash along one side of the torso.1,2 Shingles can be quite painful, and produce symptoms like:
- Red, fluid-filled blister patches similar to chickenpox
- Tingling, burning or numb skin
- Sensitivity to touch
A few days after shingles blisters appear, they typically dry out and crust over as they heal. In more severe cases, you may also experience fever, headache and fatigue with a shingles infection.
Natural Remedies and Herbs for Shingles
Shingles natural remedies include:
- Astragalus - Astragalus is a natural immune-boosting natural remedy that can help clear away a shingles infection faster.
- Lemon - Lemon is full of vitamin C, which is a natural immune-boostingHoney - Applying natural honey to shingles blisters can help reduce inflammation and itchiness. vitamin for fighting a shingles infection.
- Honey - Applying natural honey to shingles blisters can help reduce inflammation and itchiness.
- Milk Thistle - Milk thistle is a natural anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting herbal remedy that can alleviate shingles symptoms and combat the infection.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - Applying apple cider vinegar to shingles blisters can help reduce pain and inflammation and clear way the skin infection.