Shingles, which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, presents as a painful, raised, blistered rash. For some, the bumps can be frustrating as they cause itching, which in turn can burst the blisters. While the rash is often painful, the discomfort is not always limited to the affected area.

According to the Mayo Clinic, shingles and chicken pox both come from the same virus. Anyone who has had the childhood disease has the virus in their system. It may or may not become active later on in life. Since shingles affects the nerves, pain can be widespread and travel to any area of the body.

There are ways to manage discomfort from shingles

While there are two antiviral medications to combat the illness, there is a much larger variety of both traditional and natural remedies to help relieve the pain, both from the shingles rash and from the nerve problems it triggers.

Traditional meds may include the drugs Gabapentin (Neurontin), Qutenza, lidocaine cream, narcotics, and corticosteroid injections. For those that prefer a more gentle method, or for those that require more relief than the medications provide, there are Natural Remedies available as well. Many of them use ingredients that most people already have on hand, such as baking soda, cornstarch, lotions, and the like.

A few natural remedies to consider for shingles pain

Baking soda and cornstarch both have incredibly soothing properties. When coupled with cool water to form a paste, this easy, inexpensive, and magical combination can bring great relief from the itching and burning of the blistery rash. To make, simply take the ingredient of your choice and mix it with cool water to create a paste.

The consistency can be individualized in any way, there is no set ratio. Place the paste on the rash. Repeat as often as desired.

According to Healthline, cool showers or baths can soothe the shingles pain away. Adding cornstarch or colloidal oatmeal to bath water can take the sting out and calm the skin. In addition, the use of unscented lotions and creams may be helpful, although they do not treat the virus directly.

The key is to use cool to lukewarm water. Hot water can make the blisters worse, and ice can increase the pain.

Natural News suggests the combination of a half cup apple cider vinegar with two cups of water. Dab the rash until sufficiently moist. Capsaicin cream can take away the pain, but the initial application may burn at first. Clover or manuka honey can also aid a shingles rash, though it might make a sticky mess, depending on where the rash is located.

Essential oils that help relieve shingles pain

Essential oils are an excellent option for shingles pain, as many are antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, and have many other amazing benefits.

It is important, however, to use therapeutic grade oils from a company with a reputation for providing pure, organic ingredients. Some essential oils to consider are lavender, lemongrass, clove, peppermint, eucalyptus, or melaleuca (also known as tea tree). While some of these can irritate skin if used undiluted, when combined with vegetable oil or lotion, they can provide tremendous pain relief.

Shingles is a painful, itchy, problematic viral infection, but, when armed with the knowledge of a variety of treatment options, shingles can be managed with minimal pain.