How Can I Treat and Prevent Shingles?
If you have herpes zoster you should keep the rash covered, avoid scratching the rash, and wash your hands often. Shingles can be treated with the antiviral medicine valacyclovir. This medication is most effective when taken as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. It is very important to call your dermatologist or primary care doctor immediately, or seek treatment at an urgent care center, if you suspect you have shingles. Early treatment can avoid the potential painful and debilitating complications of this common infection.
A new vaccine is now available that can significantly reduce the risk of developing shingles. The CDC recommends healthy adults, age 50 or older, get 2 doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix, which has been tested to be 90% effective. This can protect against shingles and its consequences.