How to Prevent Scarring From Shingles

According to, shingles is a viral infection that causes a rash on the skin 12. Caused by the dormant varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox, shingles can be very painful and unsightly for some people 2. While total prevention of scarring from shingles may be impossible in severe cases, there are some things you can do to help keep prevent scars.

Wash your skin regularly with cool water and a non-drying soap. Is not only gives much-needed moisture to your skin, it will also keep you from spreading the virus to others. Make sure to always use clean towels or disposable towels.

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Use an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or naproxen as needed. This will keep you from scratching and touching your skin when it becomes itchy or particularly painful, which can result in scarring.

Apply anti-itch cream, calamine lotion or aloe vera gel on a regular basis to keep your skin moist and supple. You may have to try a few different topical remedies to see which is best for your skin type.

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Take a cold bath several times per day, or apply cold compress to your skin to relieve itching and keep your skin from drying out and flaking.

Eat properly. Poor nutrition can lead to slower immune response and prevent your skin from healing as quickly as possible. Adding fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids like tuna, salmon or halibut can help to reduce inflammation and dry skin according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 4.


Avoid harsh topical treatments that contain a lot of chemicals or unnatural products. While these may be okay for everyday skin care, they can irritate your skin even further when you have shingles.

If you have severe pain from shingles, you may want to talk to your doctor about a prescription pain reliever that will help minimize the irritation. Stress from pain can slow your immune system, keeping you from getting better as fast as possible.


Avoid children or anyone that has not had chickenpox when you have shingles. While you can not pass on shingles, you can pass on the virus that causes chickenpox, which can be particularly dangerous for newborn children, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system according to