Shingles Home Remedies: Oatmeal Baths and Oatmeal Soap

The viral illness known as shingles can be extremely painful and unpleasant, and lots of people who are dealing with this condition are looking at shingles home remedies to alleviate some of the symptoms. Oatmeal baths and soaps are a traditional method of dealing with the itching and pain associated with this illness, and they represent a natural and inexpensive way to treat something that the medical community regards as a very serious health issue.

Shingles is actually a viral affection of the nerves. As such, it causes extreme pain and other nerve sensations. The virus responsible for shingles, the varicella-zoster virus, is the same one that gives children chickenpox. That means that individuals who have never had chickenpox are at a higher risk for shingles. Even if you have had chickenpox as a child, the virus can stay dormant for many years before returning as shingles, often in elderly people or individuals with compromised immune systems. Pregnant women and children can also be at high risk for shingles. Shingles can happen any time your body is in a low immune state, such as under times of extreme stress and poor nutrition.

Oatmeal and Shingles

Because shingles affects the nerves, pain is a major part of this illness. Shingles will often manifest on just one side of the body. As the nerves become infected, patients may get blisters on affected areas of the body. At the same time, they will have flu-like symptoms that last for several weeks. Over a period of several days, the blisters may break open and ooze before healing.

One way to help with the external effects of shingles is with an oatmeal bath. Colloidal (crushed) oatmeal has a texture that can help soothe the skin, as well as antihistamine properties, according to some scientists. All of this means that oatmeal can be effective in treating the exterior of the skin for those who are suffering from shingles. For effective treatment, just grind up several handfuls of oatmeal and add it to bath water, or use an oatmeal soap on the skin.

Other Treatments

Some other home remedies for shingles include the use of garlic oil and essences of other plants. In some cases, doctors might prescribe or recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. In the most intense shingles cases, a doctor might prescribe powerful prescription painkillers and narcotics for the pain.

If you have any of the symptoms of shingles, talk to your doctor to determine whether this is the condition that you are experiencing (and how far it has developed) to find the best treatments for your particular illness. Seek qualified medical advice as soon as possible, and you may avoid some of the worst symptoms of this viral condition, rather than letting your shingles get out of control, requiring even more drugs and treatments.