Shingles is a painful virus that is actually the same virus as chickenpox. It is also known as herpes zoster. The chickenpox virus stays in the body after the symptoms of the illness have long vanished.

Years later people who had chickenpox can suffer from a skin rash that is known as shingles. Typically older people or people with weakened immune systems are the ones that will come down with shingles. The disease can be spread to others.

If you have never had chickenpox you will want to avoid contact with anyone dealing with shingles. If you do end up being in close contact with someone that has shingles and you have never had chickenpox, there is a chance that you could come down with chickenpox, but not shingles. Confused?

Shingles is basically a re-emergence of the chickenpox virus. Therefore if you have never had chickenpox you won't get shingles, but you can get chickenpox. So what can you do if you have shingles, to deal with the discomfort?

There are several prescription medicines that can shorten the duration of the rash, but you need to start treatment with these right away. And of course, you need a doctor to give them to you. Pain medication is also often prescribed for people who are experiencing pain.

If you have shingles around the top of your head it is important to see a doctor right away. Complications from shingles can cause blindness and serious eye issues.

There are also some natural ways to deal with shingles with remedies for shingles. These remedies are often less expensive and don't require lots of drugs. The area that is infected should be kept clean and using a cool compress will often help with pain and itching.

Proteolytic enzymes have been proven to be an effective remedy for shingles. These enzymes are naturally created by the pancreas and their purpose is to help digest protein from food.

There are also many foods that contain lots of this enzyme. Two of these foods are pineapple and papaya. You can also find supplements of this enzyme made from animal pancreas.

People who have used this enzyme as a remedy for shingles suffered a shorter amount of time and had fewer uncomfortable symptoms. One of the best remedies for shingles is capsaicin cream.

Capsaicin is a derivative from chili peppers and the cream can be purchased at practically any drug store. When using this cream you will want to wear gloves and apply a small amount to each sore individually. It might sound gross, but it really works. It can cause a slight stinging sensation, if it becomes painful wash it off.

After a few days you will notice a marked difference in how you feel and in your pain level. Although there is no complete remedy for shingles there are lots of different ways that you can deal with the rash.

The best advice is to slow down and rest. Rest can do more for this type of skin rash than anything else. Stress and a weakened immune system can both be helped with rest and relaxation. Shingles might not be avoidable, but you can get relief.