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Health Information

Treatments for Shingles

While there are no treatments to cure shingles, there are treatment goals, such as:

  • Shortening the length of the illness
  • Preventing complications, such as post-herpetic neuralgia
  • Relieving pain and discomfort
  • Preventing the rash from becoming infected

Treatment involves:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsAlternative and complementary therapiesOther treatments

At this time, there are no surgical procedures for the treatment of shingles.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: David Horn, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2014 -
  • Update Date: 05/07/2014 -
  • NINDS shingles information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shingles/shingles.htm . Updated January 10, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Shingles. The American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/q---t/shingles . Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Shingles. American Academy of Family Physicians' FamilyDoctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/shingles.html . Updated January 2011. Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/overview.html . Updated January 10, 2011. Accessed September 7, 2012.

  • Stankus SJ, Dlugopolski M, Packer D. Management of herpes zoster (shingles) and postherpetic neuralgia. Am Fam Physician . 2000;61(8). Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0415/p2437.html . Accessed May 30, 2013.

  • Zoster. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated May 20, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2013.