There are a “Big Three” of shingles treatment: antivirals, rest, and pain management. At a recent American Academy of Dermatology meeting treatment of shingles was discussed. The Big 3 will help halt the progression of the disease and decrease viral shedding.
- Rest is important and mandatory for treatment.
- Antiviral treatment will only work if it is started in the first 72 hours. There are a few antivirals that can be started. They are all in the same “family” but are dosed at different times and some are more expensive.
- Pain medicine may be prescribed by your physician.
Additional therapies may help…
- Steroids by mouth may help if the area looks inflamed.
- Lidocaine patches and capsaicin cream are both effective for topical pain and work best if used consistently.
- Gabapentin is also a pill that can help blunt the nerve pain that may occur with or after shingles outbreaks.