Shingles is a viral infection that causes a person to develop a painful rash with blisters and scabs. A person can care for their shingles scabs by using a combination of home remedies and medical treatments.
Shingles results from the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Home remedies can help to soothe a painful, itchy rash. A doctor may also recommend antiviral medications.
Read on to learn more about how a person can treat their shingles scabs. This article also discusses how to prevent shingles and how long shingles scabs can last.
Below are some of the home remedies that a person may wish to use to help treat their shingles scabs.
Colloidal oatmeal bath
Colloidal oat extracts
A person can pour oatmeal into a bath of warm water and soak their scabs for a period of time
If a person has shingles, they
Calamine lotion can be an effective treatment for skin rashes and itching. A person can help calm their itchy shingles scabs by applying calamine lotion.
- zinc oxide
Calamine lotion has a number of properties, including being:
Witch hazel is a plant that
This means that witch hazel may provide anti-inflammatory effects on shingles scabs and may reduce itchiness.
Certain antiviral therapies
Common antiviral medications that medical professionals use to help treat shingles include:
People take these medications orally. A person should take these medications
These medications can also help reduce a person’s pain and prevent postherpetic neuralgia (PHP), which is
A person can also make use of lidocaine plasters to help reduce shingles scab pain. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic.
The person places a lidocaine plaster
Shingles scabs typically take
Different factors can impact how long it takes for a person’s shingles scabs to heal. These factors include the severity of the rash and how soon a person received treatment.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), if a person takes the correct care of their shingles scabs, they can ease their discomfort and prevent another outbreak later.
The AAD suggests that a person avoids touching and scratching their shingles scabs.
Other things it is best for a person to avoid to help their single scabs heal include:
- washing with fragranced products, choosing a fragrance-free cleanser instead
- using sticky bandages, instead using a sterile nonstick bandage to cover the scabs
- wearing tight-fitting clothing, as wearing loose-fitting clothing may irritate the skin less
A person’s doctor can provide them with more advice on steps they can take and things they should avoid to help their shingles scabs heal.
A person should see a doctor within 2–3 days of developing a shingles rash. Ideally, a person would see a doctor within 72 hours of getting the rash so they can begin early treatment.
By starting treatment within 72 hours of developing a shingles rash, a person can:
- reduce symptoms of shingles
- shorten the duration of their shingles infection
- reduce their risk of developing complications of shingles, including PHP
A person can help prevent shingles by having the recombinant zoster vaccine. This is the vaccine to prevent shingles and other related complications.
The CDC also recommend the shingles vaccine for adults who are 19 years old and over and have a weakened immune system due to a medical condition or therapy.
Prevent others from catching shingles
To help prevent the spread of the virus, it is best to cover the rash with a dressing and avoid touching or scratching the rash.
A person’s doctor can provide them with more ways to reduce the risk of shingles.
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a person to develop a painful rash with blisters and scabs.
A person may wish to pour oatmeal into a bath of warm water and soak their scabs. This can help relieve pain and itchiness. They may also wish to use a cold compress or calamine lotion.
Medical treatments for shingles can help the scabs heal. They include antivirals such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. It is best for a person to take these medications within 72 hours of the shingles rash appearing to achieve the best results.