The first lesson is one you'll remember from chickenpox as a child: Don't scratch. Scratching may increase the risk of skin infections and scarring. Keeping fingernails short may help cut down on scratching. It's also important to keep the skin clean and dry to prevent secondary infections.
Using cool, wet compresses with aluminum acetate (Domeboro) powder may help relieve itching and help the blisters dry out.
Get plenty of rest, and eat well. Stress can make the pain worse. Try to relax, and keep your mind off the pain with activities you enjoy.
Because people with blisters from shingles can transmit the varicella-zoster virus—and chickenpox—they should be careful to avoid infecting others, especially pregnant women, whose fetuses may be endangered by the virus and immunocompromised people.
Last reviewed on 9/28/08
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