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How to cure shingles in 3 days?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Are you suffering from a painful shingles rash? We know that the pain can be unbearable, which is why we’ve put together a simple list of ways you can start to feel better.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with shingles yet, but you think you may have it, you should consult with a pharmacist who’ll be able to both diagnose and prescribe treatment for your condition.

Though it may not be possible to get rid of shingles in 3 days, beginning treatment within 3 days of noticing symptoms can make the healing process much faster. 

Shingles medication

As shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, antiviral medications are often the most effective in reducing the pain and duration of the condition.

These are most effective if you start to take the treatment within the first 3 days of the rash appearing:

  • Aciclovir 800mg tablets (usually taken 5 times a day)
  • Famciclovir 500mg tablets (usually taken 3 times a day)
  • Valaciclovir 1000mg tablets (usually taken 3 times a day)

It’s important to note that your pharmacist will only prescribe you with one of the following medications, and that you should always follow their guidance along with the instructions on the medicine packaging.

How to treat shingles at home

In addition to taking the medicine you’ve been prescribed, here’s some things you can do at home to reduce pain and start feeling better quicker:

  • Take low-strength painkillers (such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Wear soft, loose clothing to avoid irritating the rash, and allow your skin to breathe
  • Apply a cold compress to the rash to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation
  • Apply a soothing calamine lotion to help relieve itching
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry to avoid infections

Frequently asked questions about shingles

What are the most effective treatments for shingles?

Effective shingles treatments include antiviral meds (acyclovir, valacyclovir), painkillers (ibuprofen), and topical creams (capsaicin).

Can natural remedies help in relieving shingles symptoms?

Natural remedies like cool compresses, oatmeal baths, and herbal supplements may offer relief from shingles symptoms. Consult your pharmacist for further guidance.

How long does it take to recover from shingles?

Shingles recovery varies, typically improving within 2-4 weeks. Starting treatment within 72 hours of rash onset will reduce how long it takes to heal.

A man's torso with a severe shingles rash down one side

Think you might have shingles?

Don’t wait for a GP appointment.

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What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new NHS-funded scheme that helps you quickly get the advice & treatment you need from a pharmacy, without needing to see a GP.

The conditions covered by Pharmacy First are:

Video consultations & advice are free of charge. If you pay for prescriptions you will be charged the prescription rate of £9.65 per prescription item.