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The Varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox stays dormant in the body long after the illness subsides. In later life, the virus can become active and cause an illness known as shingles. The blistering rash develops along the nerve pathways across the torso, which makes the affliction itchy and uncomfortable. Antiviral medications help shorten the duration of the ailment while reducing the symptoms. However, there are a number of home remedies Dallas elderly care providers can try to ease the discomfort experienced by seniors.
Sitting in a bath of cool water helps bring down the temperature of irritated skin and provides some sense of relief. Afterward, gently pat the skin dry and discourage seniors from scratching. Avoid contact with open blisters and wash clothing, linens and towels in hot water to prevent cross-contamination.
Cool wet compresses applied to affected skin areas is an alternative method of achieving topical relief. Simply wet a towel with cold water, wring out the excess moisture and apply it to the skin. Re-soak the towels as needed to provide ongoing relief.
Oatmeal has long been touted as a method of relieving skin dryness and subsequent itch. Oatmeal bath products are commonly sold where bath and beauty items are located. Family caregivers can add the colloidal oatmeal to cool or room temperature water according to the package instructions. Pat the skin dry following the bath to avoid letting water set and infect the rash.
Caladryl lotion contains antihistamines and other soothing ingredients that help alleviate the discomfort of shingles. Tea tree oil is another option that prevents infection while promoting healing and sting relief. Use cotton balls to apply and wash hands thoroughly after each application.
Seniors may take oral OTC pain medications as recommended by a physician. Certain brands of OTC hydrocortisone creams and ointments also contain topical anesthetic medication ingredients, which include benzocaine. These formulas provide pain relief by interfering with nerve transmission.
In the event that you cannot look after your loved one fulltime after he or she contracts shingles or another illness, turn to Home Care Assistance for help. Our reliable Dallas respite caregivers will look after your loved one whenever you need time to take care of other matters or simply need time to yourself. Call (214) 253-8784 today to speak to an experienced Care Manager about our flexible live-in, hourly, and respite care and set up a free consultation.