Some people find have problems sleeping due to the rash If so, the doctor may advise covering the most painful areas with an elastic bandage. The bandage must be wrapped loosely so blood can still flow.
Applying a cool pack (wrapped in a towel) to the area may help ease itching and pain. This can be done throughout the day for 5 minutes at a time.
Some people have a lot of pain from the light touch of their clothing across their skin rash. Keeping the area uncovered most of the time can help the rash dry. It can also help to wear loose clothing with natural fibers, like cotton.
Oatmeal baths and calamine lotion may be used to soothe the skin. Proper skin care can help prevent infections and scars. This includes keeping the area clean and not scratching the blisters.
What helps one person may not help another. It can be helpful to try different comfort measures. Always check with the doctor before trying home methods.
Call your doctor if you:
Herpes zoster. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/herpes-zoster. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Saguil A, Kane S, et al. Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia: prevention and management. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(10):656-663.
Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed November 15, 2021.
Shingles information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Shingles-Information-Page. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Shingles overview. The American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/shingles-overview. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Tips for coping with shingles. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/shingles#coping. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Last reviewed November 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 11/15/2021