Homeopathy is a type of alternative treatment. It involves treating health conditions using diluted doses of substances that would ordinarily cause those conditions. Homeopathic remedies are available for various conditions, including shingles.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a complication that
A vaccine is available to protect people from shingles. Some people may opt for homeopathic immunizations or remedies.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the safety and effectiveness of homeopathic remedies for any illness. As a result, a person may not know what they are getting when they buy a homeopathic product.
Shingles can be extremely painful. It is not life threatening, but prompt medical treatment can help reduce the risk of long lasting pain. Using homeopathic remedies in place of standard medical treatment may prolong symptoms.
This article outlines the existing research on the safety and effectiveness of homeopathic remedies and lists some homeopathic remedies that proponents of homeopathy may suggest for shingles. We also list some proven treatments for shingles and offer advice on when to see a doctor.
Homeopathy is based on two ideas, according to the
One is that substances that produce similar reactions to a disease in healthy people can cure that disease.
The other is that the dose must be as small as possible. This means some products are so diluted that they contain no molecules of the original substance.
The products come from plant, mineral, and animal sources.
A homeopathic doctor will create a tailored remedy for an individual. Before prescribing treatment, they will ask questions about the individual, their symptoms, their lifestyle, and more. They will base their prescription on the person’s answers to these questions. As a result, two people with the same condition may receive different remedies.
Some doctors may offer homeopathic immunizations, but the NCCIH warns that there is no evidence to suggest these immunizations can protect people from any disease.
Below are some solutions and ingredients found in homeopathic remedies that proponents of homeopathy may suggest for the treatment of shingles:
- Apis mellifica
- Arsenicum album
- Rhus toxicodendron
- Iris versicolor
- Ranunculus bulbosa
Below are some proven treatments for shingles.
The medications below can help in the treatment of shingles.
- shorten the duration of shingles
- reduce symptom severity
- reduce the risk of complications, such as long lasting pain
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends starting shingles treatment within 72 hours of developing a shingles rash. Treatment may be less effective if a person starts it after this time.
The AAD recommends the following home remedies for shingles:
- washing the rash with a fragrance-free cleanser
- applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the rash
- covering the rash with a sterile nonstick bandage
- applying a damp washcloth to the affected area for 5–10 minutes several times per day
- soaking in a bath of cool water mixed with oatmeal
- applying calamine lotion to scabs to reduce itching
- wearing loose-fitting cotton or linen clothing
A person should consider getting vaccinated to prevent shingles from developing again after their rash clears up.
Shingles is a rash that occurs as a complication of chickenpox. Chickenpox results from the varicella-zoster virus. Most people recover from chickenpox in
Later in life, the virus can reactivate as herpes zoster, or shingles. This
Symptoms of shingles often occur
- There is pain, itching, or tingling on one side of the face or body.
1 and 5 dayslater, a painful rash of blisters appears on the affected area.
- The blisters typically scab over in 7–10 days.
- Symptoms clear up in 2–4 weeks, but a painful condition known as postherpetic neuralgia
A person may also experience other symptoms,
- stomach upset
- a chickenpox-like rash that spreads across the body
- eye involvement, which can lead to vision loss
People who develop postherpetic neuralgia
- shock-like sensations
- dysesthesias, which includes skin sensations such as prickling, burning, and crawling
People who develop postherpetic neuralgia may have flares of pain that last more than
Some companies sell homeopathic remedies for a variety of ailments, marketing them as natural and safe alternatives to OTC and prescription medications.
Moreover, the FDA has encountered the following safety concerns when testing homeopathic products:
- products containing high levels of active ingredients that could cause significant harm
- products that had improper manufacturing procedures, which led to improper dilutions or contamination
- products marketed to treat serious diseases despite a lack of evidence for their effectiveness and despite the existence of scientifically proven treatments
However, the authors note that the quality of evidence was low and potentially biased and that higher quality randomized controlled trials are necessary to determine the effectiveness of homeopathy for specific symptoms and conditions.
According to the
If people develop a rash that they suspect is due to shingles, they should consult a doctor within
A doctor can provide antiviral medications that can help relieve symptoms, speed up recovery, and prevent complications. However, these medications are effective only if a person takes them within 3 days of the initial symptoms.
Individuals who may be interested in using a homeopathic remedy for any condition should consider seeking medical advice to evaluate a product’s safety before trying it.
Homeopathic products contain diluted amounts of substances that would ordinarily cause the condition they claim to treat. Proponents of homeopathy may recommend homeopathic remedies for the treatment of various conditions, including shingles.
However, the FDA does not regulate the safety or effectiveness of homeopathic products. Further, some scientific evidence suggests that homeopathic products can cause mild to severe adverse effects, including allergic reactions and intoxication.
People who develop symptoms of shingles should contact a doctor right away. Prompt treatment with antiviral medications can shorten the duration of symptoms, ease symptom severity, and reduce the risk of long-term pain.