Pharmacy Corner
Shingles: Protect yourself How is shingles treated?


Shingles is often treated with medications prescribed by your doctor.

Over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used to help with pain and fever, but first please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

You may use an antihistamine to help with excessive itching, but please ask your doctor or pharmacist first as some of these medications can make you feel tired and dizzy.

What can I do at home?

  • If possible, wear loose fitting cotton clothing.
  • Keep the rash covered with a clean bandage. Avoid using topical antibiotics and dressings with adhesives as they can make the rash worse.
  • Wash and rinse the rash with mild soap.
  • You can try calamine lotion, a cold compress or cold shower to help soothe the skin and relieve excessive itching.
  • When not showering or washing the rash, keep it clean and dry.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have a painful rash or suspect you have shingles it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. Treatment is most effective when received within the first 72 hours.

If at any point you have a rash on your face, it is important you see a physician as soon as possible.