FAQs on Prescription Pain Creams for Shingles
What is Shingles?
The painful skin rash known as Shingles is caused by the virus called varicella zoster. Individuals who have had chicken pox have this virus in their body. Once the chicken pox is gone, this virus lies dormant in nerve roots.
Aging, disease, and stress can cause this virus to become active. It is believed that individuals whose immune system is compromised or weak, are most susceptible. This is the reason it generally presents itself in the elderly.
The rash may appear on the body or face and usually does so in the form of a strip of itchy rash. People do not get chicken pox again from the virus becoming active; however, the rash can be extremely painful.
Why is it debilitating?
Shingles are not contagious, but medical treatment is absolutely necessary. There is currently no cure; however, there are treatments to alleviate symptoms as well as prevent it from developing into another, more debilitating disease. This may include topical cream for shingles.
Postherpetic neuralgia or PHN is a disorder so painful that it can prevent individuals from performing daily functions of life. This has the ability to disrupt those activities for weeks or years. While PHN is a rare result, the possibilities and consequences are serious.
How do topical pain creams help Shingles?
There are topical treatments to relieve the pain of Shingles, as well as topical antibiotics to prevent the resulting blisters from becoming infected. These blisters are one of the main causes of pain associated with Shingles and once infected, the pain is compounded.
Topical treatments bring relief quicker than those taken orally. The individuals may also avoid many of the complications of oral medications such as nausea, stomach ulcers, and decreased appetite.
What are the types of pain cream available for Shingles?
NSAID creams are available in name brand or generic forms and contain powerful anti-inflammatories. Some include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. These medications not only relieve pain, but reduce painful inflammation of the local area. It is important for individuals who are already on a regimen of NSAIDs to contact their physician before increasing the dose, whether topically or orally.
Creams containing antihistamines, hydrocortisone, and anti-itching medications can help relieve the pain. In many cases, these are not direct pain reducers, but alleviate symptoms that left untreated can increase pain dramatically. Antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams act directly on inflammation. Anti-itch creams reduce the uncomfortable itching and therefore relieve the need to scratch. Scratching not only makes Shingles more painful, it increases the susceptibility of infection by breaking the skin and exposing it to harmful agents.