Shingles Pain: 7 Home Remedies That Work Wonders

Shingles pain can be excruciating, but fortunately, there are several natural remedies that can help reduce the pain, itching and burning sensations associated with the condition. Shingles are caused by the herpes zoster virus, and can appear anywhere on your body where there was an active case of chickenpox in your past.

Here’s how you can make your own home remedies to help you cope with the pain and other symptoms of shingles. Read on to see our easy-to-use home remedies.

Bathe in Oatmeal

Yes, this one may sound too good to be true. But the science is real – an oatmeal bath can relieve skin pain and itching! A bath alone will feel great, but if you’re interested in adding something more soothing to your routine, try an oatmeal bath. Oats have been shown to reduce swelling and decrease itchiness and pain when bathing in them – so next time you need relief for those chronic winter dry skin symptoms, give it a shot!

There are many different ways of preparing an oatmeal bath: One option would be to grind up some plain oats into a fine powder using either a food processor or blender; then add the ingredients to your water for your desired consistency. Or buy ready-made products (available on If you want something less costly, create a paste from ground oats mixed with water and apply it directly onto any irritated areas on your body!

Grab Some Chamomile

Grab some chamomile – how can this technique help? Thanks to the polyphenols and antioxidants found in chamomile, it can easily provide your nervous system with relief from the symptoms of shingles. In other words, you might find yourself feeling less tense and more at ease thanks to its role as a nervine agent. There are various ways to use chamomile for shingles such as drinking it in tea form or using it topically on the rash itself.

Brew some fresh herbal tea and sip on it until cooled down enough to touch upon hot skin without getting burned yourself. Once done, apply a cool wet teabag onto the infected area for about 20-30 minutes so that all those antispasmodic chemicals will seep into skin tissue. Chamomile oil is also great way to find shingles relief when mixed with extra virgin coconut oil before applying directly onto sore spots 2-3 times daily for best results.

Use Calamine Lotion

Calamine lotion is often something of a lifesaver. Its long-trusted pink magic has been around for decades, providing relief from everything from minor itchiness to full-blown shingles outbreaks.Thankfully, it isn’t hard to find at all! (Buy now from Amazon.) You might even already have some in your medicine cabinet – just take a look and see!

To treat shingles: Give the bottle a good shake; pour out a little bit onto a cotton ball; apply it directly to the affected area; let it dry before getting dressed; leave it on until next time you have a hot shower or bath (you may want to wash once more afterwards).

Make Your Own Healing Paste from Baking Soda and Cornstarch

Many people usually have cornstarch and baking soda at home, making them an ideal item to heal shingles symptoms without going back out to the store. So what makes this different than using oatmeal or other ingredients? Two things really stand out about baking soda when it comes to treating infection – its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to protect against further bacterial invasion of the wounded area by killing off bacteria which could cause infections such as gangrene or tetanus. Meanwhile, the benefits of cornstarch include being able to soothe skin irritations while providing comfort through its fluffy consistency. Combining these two ingredients will create a recipe with soothing benefits both internally and externally.

Here’s how you can make up your own relief paste using just baking soda and cornstarch:

  1. Mix two parts baking soda with two parts cornstarch
  2. Add an additional one part water
  3. Stir into a creamy-looking paste
  4. Apply the paste
  5. Leave it on the affected area to dry (about 15 minutes)
  6. Rinse it off

While baking soda and cornstarch seem harmless enough, the following recipe may have some people initially balk (even though it can help)…

Try Capsaicin Creams

Capsaicin is the compound found in peppers that gives them their infamous fiery and spicy bite. This compound is well-known for its pain-relieving properties. It works by affecting the neurotransmitter that transmits painful signals to the brain, which means it has an effect on how you feel some degree of pain. In this way, it can reduce how much of a sensation you perceive from feeling a particular amount of pain.

Finding capsaicin cream can be a bit tricky, luckily this search will help.

9. Avoid Tight Clothing

How can this technique help?

Though it may often go overlooked, something as relatively simple as changing clothes can go a long way in relieving shingles discomfort. After all, if the skin is agitated, do you really want to wear tight clothing that can easily aggravate the area?

What types of clothing will work?

Some great options to consider include:

  • Large t-shirts
  • Baggy sweatpants
  • Loose, flowing dresses and skirts
  • Loose-fitting tank tops or other sleeveless shirts
  • Athletic shorts

What sort of clothing is ideal for colder weather?

Obviously wearing loose clothing can be somewhat more challenging in the winter months. However, there are still plenty of ways to minimize clothing-related irritation in colder weather, such as:

  • Avoiding harsh fabrics like denim
  • Opting for soft fabrics like flannel
  • Wearing natural fibers, which are gentler than synthetic materials

Don’t forget about any bandages.

Want to apply some bandages to the area, too? Make sure that you’re applying them loosely. That means don’t use sticky bandages that can stick to the rashes.

Fortunately, wearing loose clothes is an easy enough trick to try. It also works well with many other remedies, including the following…

6. Change Your Diet

How can this technique help?

Fixing your diet can help you to deal with the symptoms of shingles. How? By eating nutrient-dense foods, you can feel much better as you give your immune system a boost. This boost can even lead to fewer future outbreaks of shingles.

What nutrients should you introduce to your diet?

There are certain nutrients that will boost the immune system and therefore hopefully help prevent the further spread of shingles, thus minimizing its damage to your body.

Specifically, you’ll want to focus on having a diet rich in:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Lysine

These vitamins can be readily found in foods such as:

  • Green, red, and yellow vegetables
  • Lean proteins like fish
  • Whole grains

This technique can give your overall health a boost, too.

A healthy diet rich in these nutrients can help you with more than shingles discomfort (if that weren’t already great enough). This diet can also boost your immune system long term, meaning your overall health can improve. In turn, that means you feel better overall.

In the meantime though, chilling out—literally—can be another easy home remedy for this condition…

5. Apply Cold Compresses or Take a Cold Bath

How can this technique help?

Shingles rashes tend to be hot, dry, and itchy. So, one great way of subduing the pain to cool the area off—literally. You can achieve this goal throughout the day with some cool compresses.

When should you apply compresses?

Several times a day. Take a clean cloth, soak it in some cold water, and simply apply it. When you feel that the cloth has warmed up, simply replace it with a fresh one. You can repeat the process throughout the day.

How many wash clothes should you use?

Use a new cloth every time. After removing a cloth, make sure to gently pat dry the area.

Not a fan of compresses? Try this.

If pain is too intense to apply a compress, don’t worry. You can still use cool methods to help.

One further option in the vein of a cold compress is to take a cold bath. Then, apply some lotion or ointment to the afflicted area. This strategy will help in two ways. Firstly, the cold bath will cool down the skin. Then, the lotion will help to keep the skin nice and moist, helping to prevent irritation.

Don’t like cold baths or compresses? Keep reading. The next home remedy is a tasty solution to shingles discomfort…

4. Soak the Rash in Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is increasingly popular as a home remedy for a wide variety of issues. As far as we’re concerned today, though, apple cider vinegar can be a great way to relieve some itchiness and pain caused by shingles.

How can this technique help?

Note that this technique will only be good if your rashes aren’t open/oozing.

How exactly can apple cider vinegar help? It’s all thanks to fermented apples. Specifically, it’s thanks to the fact that these apples contain pectin, which is essential for proper digestion. While most know that pectin can help boost the immune system when ingested, many don’t know that it can also help some conditions when applied topically (on the skin).

What kind of vinegar should you get?

You want unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar. Why? If you were to look at a bottle of unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar, you’d see that within the liquid is a brown suspension. That is where the pectin is concentrated. When apple cider vinegar is filtered, this removes most of the suspension, hence reducing its efficacy.

How do you apply the vinegar?

Some of the best apple cider vinegar remedies for shingles include:

  • Soaking a hand towel in the liquid. Then, place it over the shingles rash. Allow the skin to absorb the apple cider vinegar.
  • Mixing apple cider vinegar to your bath. Add four tablespoons of the liquid to your bathwater. Soak yourself in it for 20 to 30 minutes.

Not a fan of trendy remedies like apple cider vinegar?

If this technique seems a little too “out there” for you, perhaps the following traditional remedy would be better…

3. Moisturize with Aloe Vera

How can this technique help?

If you want a good moisturizing cream for your shingles rash, find yourself one that’s fortified with aloe vera. Aloe vera is oftentimes known as something of a miracle cure, being able to help many kinds of skin irritation.

With an adequate amount of aloe vera gel applied to your affected skin, you should immediately begin to notice its cooling, soothing effect. That makes this remedy an especially great choice if your rash is particularly painful or hot to the touch.

How should you apply the gel?

To relieve pain and itchiness from a shingles rash as quickly and effectively as possible, repeat the treatment at least two or three times a day.

No aloe? No problem.

The next topical treatment may also help, and is as simple as reaching for a tea bag…

1. Cut Back on Stress

How can this technique help?

“Cutting back on stress” might sound like overly simplistic and unhelpful advice. However, finding ways that help you reduce stress is key to managing shingles.

After all, stress enables the virus to much more easily spread throughout the body, causing greater damage. So, by reducing stress, you can more effectively recover from this condition. Or, at the very least, you can reduce the chances of shingles worsening.

What stress-reduction techniques actually work?

Everyone finds different activities and environments calming. In other words, what one person finds relaxing can be extremely stressful for another. So, the key to managing stress is to be self-aware.

Some great questions to ask yourself include: What causes you stress? Can you eliminate or reduce the impact of that stress source? Are there any activities that help you calm down?

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. Some great ideas for relaxing include:

  • Reducing the impact of stress sources
  • Taking time off work
  • Walking
  • Bird watching
  • Coloring or drawing
  • Talking to a friend or loved one
  • Playing a game
  • Meditating
  • Reading a good book
  • Watching TV or a movie
  • Listening to music
  • Avoiding self-destructive habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Napping/Getting enough rest

What’s next?…

What’s most important to remember about managing shingles?…

Managing Shingles is Possible

The unpleasant symptoms of shingles can be extremely difficult to deal with. What’s most important to remember, though, is that a shingles outbreak will not last forever.

Even better, in the meantime there are plenty of at-home remedies that may help you manage the uncomfortable sensations this conditions brings. From the “out there” methods like the oatmeal bath to the more tried-and-true remedies like calamine lotion, most people can find an at-home remedy that works best for them.

What’s the key to management?

The number one thing to remember throughout this time? Get as much rest and relaxation as you possibly can. After all, by taking it easy, your body will better be able to speed up the recovery process.

Be patient.

When it comes to trying out remedies, remember to be patient with yourself. After all, some treatments don’t work for everyone. So, if one treatment doesn’t work for you, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean no remedy will work for you. Relief is possible!

What are the risk factors for shingles?

Shingles – Handwritten Diagnosis in the Extract From the History of Disease. Medicine Concept with Red Pills, CloseUp View, Selective Focus. 3D Illustration.

There are several factors that may increase the risk of someone developing shingles. These factors include:

  • Stress
  • Old age
  • Weakened immune system
  • Having chickenpox

While there is a vaccine available to help prevent shingles, there is unfortunately no real cure. The best method of managing shingles is to get vaccinated for it—or the chickenpox, if you’ve never had it—and doing your best to alleviate discomfort that shingles causes.


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