January 22, 2017

Spicy Approach To Relieve Shingles

A Hot New Cure for Shingles Pain: Hot Peppers!

Medication mostly commonly prescribed for shingles includes antiviral drugs to help ease the symptoms of lesions and neuralgia (sharp nerve pain). The first sign may be a tingling feeling, itchiness, or shooting pain on an area of skin. A rash may then appear, with raised dots or blisters forming. When the rash is at its peak, rash symptoms can range from mild itching to extreme pain.

For those with compromised immune systems due to stress or age, the pain may persist into what is known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), causing continuing irritation to the nerves.

Steroids, antidepressant and topical creams can be used to block the nerve pain. The topical cream Capsaicin is FDA approved and can help with the treatment for severe shingles, or PHN, by inhibiting chemicals in nerve cells to transmit pain.

Capsaicin Treatment for Shingle


Make your own! Use 8 to 10 oz. habanero chiles, chopped with the seeds and 1 qt. olive oil. Combine the ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer very gently for 4 hours. Let cool for 4 hours. Repeat this procedure 2x. Blend on high for 20 seconds in blender. Strain through a sieve that has been lined with muslin (or pantyhose) and place in small bottles. To make a cream, add 6 oz. of melted beeswax to the warm, strained oil. Stir thoroughly and shake the bottle until cool.

Capsaicin is made from hot peppers, which produces a sensation of numbness in the mouth when eating. However, applying it topically simulates the sensations produced by damage. The capsaicin found in hot peppers releases a chemical substance that tricks the nervous system to create a burning sensation and reduces pain. Capsaicin creams is well established as helpful in relieving pain associated with neuropathy (pain that lingers with shingles), nerve pain from diabetic complications and osteoarthritis.

Topical capsaicin cream is available in 2 strengths, 0.025 and 0.075%. Both preparations are indicated for use in neuralgia. The cream should be applied sparingly to the affected area three to four times daily. Treatment should continue for several weeks as the benefit may take a while to develop. Capsaicin creams are approved over-the-counter drugs and should be used as directed. Over-the-counter creams containing concentrated capsaicin are recognized as safe, but caution should be used near the eyes and mucous membranes. Mild to moderate burning may occur at first, but it decreases over time.

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