Comfort Measures for Pain and Itching

Elastic Bandages

Some people have a lot of pain from the light touch of their clothing across their skin rash. You should keep the area uncovered most of the time to help the rash dry. If you are having a hard time sleeping because of the rash, talk to your doctor about covering the most painful areas with an elastic bandage. The bandage must be wrapped loosely so blood can still flow.

Special Considerations

What helps one person may not help another. Trial and error will help you find comfort measures that are soothing to you. Always check with your doctor before trying home methods.

When to Contact Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you:

  • Get a fever
  • Have more redness and swelling or streaks of red around your skin rash
  • Have pus coming from the rash
  • Notice an odor coming from your skin rash
  • Have a rash on your face, which raises the risk of a serious eye infection
  • Have pain that is not relieved by the measures advised by your doctor

Herpes zoster. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated February 19, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018.

NINDS shingles information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: Updated June 27, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018.

Shingles. The American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2018.

Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated June 15, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018.

Stankus SJ, Dlugopolski M, Packer D. Management of herpes zoster (shingles) and postherpetic neuralgia. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(8):2437-2444.

Last reviewed May 2018 by James P. Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 7/16/2018