Can Shingles Be Prevented?

Shingles in themselves may not be a life-threatening condition, but they can be very painful, especially for children. You want to prevent its occurrence because of the painful symptoms and the risk of developing scars.

Reduction of Risks

The modern world has significantly benefited from the development and distribution of vaccines for a wide range of diseases. Vaccines save millions of lives worldwide every year, from polio to the human papillomavirus.

Vaccines are crucial in reducing the risks of certain diseases. There’s no 100% guarantee of immunity because it just isn’t how these things work. Vaccines are essential because they reduce the risk of complications and the severity of the illness if it strikes an individual.  

Doctors recommend two types of vaccines in reducing the risk of shingles, namely:  

  • Chickenpox vaccine: a routine childhood immunization for the prevention of chickenpox.
  • Shingles vaccine: a live varicella-zoster vaccine recommended for adults 60 years old and above whether they had prior shingles or not.

The shingles vaccine for adults can reduce the severity and duration of shingles and reduce the risk of postherpetic neuralgia. But it also has its side effects, such as:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling in the injection site
  • Headaches.  

Some adults experience chickenpox-like rashes after being vaccinated. This is normal unless the symptoms persist for a few days after the injection.

Your doctor is the best person to ask whether you’re a good candidate for either of these vaccines. 

Reduction of Shingles Symptoms

If you still get shingles despite the vaccine, don’ worry. Early treatment will likely increase the healing process’s speed and decrease the risk of complications. Your doctor will prescribe certain medications, such as:

  • Acyclovir
  • Valacyclovir
  • Famciclovir
  • Capsaicin cream
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Lidocaine.  

To relieve the pain and itching, you can take cool baths regularly and apply cool compresses on the blisters. You have to ride out the symptoms, as they will be gone in just a few days.