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Shingles causes an itchy, painful, and blistering rash that typically affects one side of the body. Several creams are available that can reduce itching and discomfort from these rashes.

Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles. Following chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus remains in the person’s nerves. Shingles occurs when the virus finds its way back to the skin.

Most people only have one instance of shingles in their lifetime, but some may develop it more than once. A person who develops a shingles rash cannot spread shingles to another person. However, they can spread chickenpox to anyone who is unvaccinated or has never had chickenpox.

A doctor may recommend antiviral medications, pain relievers, and over-the-counter (OTC) self-care creams to help ease the symptoms on the skin.

Several creams and ointments are available in local drug stores or online for managing shingles. This article reviews the best shingles creams and offers a few options.

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Many OTC creams contain natural ingredients. Though this may be appealing to some, it is important to keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate these products. Studies on the effectiveness and safety of natural ingredients may also be lacking.

However, some creams contain ingredients that may help reduce shingles symptoms, such as lidocaine.

Shingles creams could provide temporary relief from symptoms such as pain and itchiness.

Before starting self-care for shingles at home, a person should talk with their doctor and get a formal diagnosis. In some cases, untreated shingles can lead to permanent nerve damage or vision loss, so a person should always seek medical treatment from a doctor before trying self-care creams.

When looking for topical, OTC shingles creams, a person may want to consider the following:

  • Active ingredients: Some products only use natural ingredients, while others use low doses of medication.
  • Effectiveness: Not all ingredients have strong, empirical evidence backing them up. A person may need to look at the experiences of other users.
  • Cost: Some creams are more expensive than others. A person should pay attention to the total cost and the amount of cream each product contains to estimate its value.

Medical News Today chooses skin care products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: Products list all ingredients clearly.
  • Skin concerns: Products target a specific skin concern.
  • Safety: Products contain ingredients that are safe for topical use.
  • Reputable: Products are from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

DermaChange Natural Shingles Treatment and Relief Cream

DermaChange offers a cream that claims to contain only natural ingredients, including:

The product claims to provide instant cooling relief and states that manuka honey has several studies supporting its use. However, no study looks directly at its effect on shingles rashes and pain.

Aloe vera may help with reducing inflammation from a shingles rash. According to a 2019 study, aloe vera has several potential healing effects, including reducing inflammation.

The product claims to be safe for everyone, but a person should talk with their doctor before using it.

Users on Amazon give an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, with over 4,500 reviews.

Shingbase Shingles Cream

Shingbase uses lidocaine and menthol to help with shingles pain and itchiness.

Evidence suggests that lidocaine can be part of an effective treatment for shingles-related pain. This product contains 4% lidocaine, which could contribute to pain relief.

In addition, it also contains aloe vera and other natural ingredients that may help with inflammation and itchiness.

The product has an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars from over 300 users on Amazon.

Terrasil Shingles Treatment Cream

Terrasil shingles cream may provide relief from itchy and painful shingles rashes.

It contains all-natural ingredients that may appeal to people looking to avoid putting synthetic chemicals on their skin. In addition to cottonseed oil and beeswax, it contains activated minerals.

There are claims the minerals can help clear the skin, but there is no evidence of this. Of nearly 1,700 users on Amazon, the product earns a 4.3 out of 5 star rating, with many users indicating that the product works well for them.

Humco Calamine Lotion

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends using calamine lotion for shingles. Calamine lotion can create a cooling sensation to help with itching from conditions such as chickenpox.

In addition, it contains zinc oxide. This active ingredient may reduce inflammation, which can help relieve itching and pain from shingles.

A person can find calamine lotion on Amazon, where it has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 2,000 reviews.

Aloderma Organic Pure Aloe Vera Gel

This gel claims only to contain aloe vera.

The company also claims to be eco-friendly and does not test on animals.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association notes that aloe vera can relieve pain from shingles.

Aveeno Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion

Aveeno Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion contains a combination of calamine and oatmeal. The two ingredients can soothe itchy skin from shingles.

The product specifically mentions chickenpox rashes and claims to be safe for most people to use.

The product has a 4.8 out of 5 star rating from over 10,000 users on Amazon.

A person can take other steps aside from applying medication to feel more comfortable while dealing with shingles. Steps include:

  • seeing a doctor within 72 hours of developing a rash
  • cleaning the rash daily
  • protecting the rash with a thin layer of petroleum jelly
  • covering the rash with a sterile bandage
  • easing discomfort by applying a cool washcloth several times per day
  • soaking in an oatmeal bath
  • using calamine lotion after the blisters scab over
  • wearing loose-fitting clothes

Not only should a person with shingles try to keep the skin rash as comfortable as possible, they should also take steps to fight the virus itself, including:

  • getting plenty of rest
  • eating a nutrient-rich diet
  • drinking plenty of water
  • avoiding stress

Shingles can cause an uncomfortable, itchy rash. Applying shingles cream can temporarily reduce the itching and pain from the disease. Some creams contain all-natural products, but others include medications.

Some shingles creams will work better than others. It is best to talk with a doctor for treatment and advice on the best shingles creams.