April #153 : Tame the Pain (and the itch) - by Bill Strubbe

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Table of Contents

Go Tell It On the Mountain

The Holy Grail

Uniting With Might

Bearing Witness

The Glory and the Power

The Shingles Life

Tame the Pain (and the itch)

Can Selzentry Do More Than Suppress Viral Load?

Vitamin D...Sizzles!

Recycle Your Meds For Earth Day

For HPV: Another Pap Smear and a Vax

Say It: Women Get AIDS*

Herbal Essence

Check That Thyroid

Travel Positively

Alternating Currents


Cut, Print, It’s a Wrap!

Spring Musts!

Baring It All

Criminal Minds?

Sir Alick Goes To Grenada

Editor's Letter-April 2009

Letters-April 2009

Passing the Torch

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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April 2009

Tame the Pain (and the itch)

by Bill Strubbe

Along with any medications your doctor prescribes, try these complementary shingles remedies and preventives.

•    Even if you’re not in serious pain, get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activities while recuperating.
•    Don’t risk further infection by scratching the blisters. Keep them clean and dry
to prevent a bacterial infection.
•    Apply cool compresses ( cup vinegar to 1 cup water) to the blisters three times daily to relieve the pain and itch. Or your doctor can prescribe lidocaine patches.

To relieve itching:
•    Take a cool bath infused with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal such as Aveeno.
•    Smear on lidocaine or a nonprescription anti-inflammatory cream containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone.
•    Try a nonprescription oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

To ease post-outbreak pain:
•    Apply capsaicin cream (apply two to four times a day, using gloves; avoid touching your eyes). It depletes substance P—a neurochemical that transmits pain—producing an analgesic effect. The benefit may take several weeks to develop.

•    Two amino acids in food affect herpes viruses: L-arginine promotes herpes
replication, L-lysine quells it. Eating foods higher in lysine than arginine, such as lamb, fish, beans and unskinned potatoes, may help prevent or ease shingles outbreaks. Conversely, avoid seeds, peanuts and chocolate, all arginine-rich.
•    Shingles outbreaks are more likely and more dangerous when CD4 counts are low, so taking your HIV meds as prescribed may keep herpes at bay.

Search: shingles, rash

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