Have you ever experienced a medical condition known as shingles? This one has nothing to do with the stuff you put on top of your roof. These shingles are a painful rash that’s caused by a virus. It’s the same virus that causes chickenpox. It often looks like a line of blisters on either side of the torso. The good news is that shingles aren’t a life-threatening condition. The bad news is it can be very painful. In this situation, you’ll likely want to find a good treatment like lysine for shingles that will deal with the virus effectively and help ease the symptoms.
Lysine is one of the body’s essential amino acids (EAAs). These are the “building blocks” of protein and EAAs are ones that you have to get from food and supplements since the human body doesn’t produce them. The supplement form of the amino acid is known as L-lysine. Since there are 20 amino acids why would you consider lysine? One of the main benefits is it’s closely connected to a kind of protein that helps to maintain healthy skin. It’s used to treat different health conditions including cold sores. It’s also sometimes used as a natural remedy for treating other conditions like shingles. The big question is: does it work?
What Are Shingles?
Let’s start with the basics. Shingles are a type of infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. You might see these painful rashes just about anywhere on your body, but they usually appear as one stripe of blisters that go around either the right or left side of the torso.
Here’s what happens. If you’ve had chickenpox then the virus hides out close to the backbone and brain. Years afterward it might show up again as shingles. This condition isn’t life-threatening but can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
If you want to avoid shingles from the get-go then you can use a vaccine. These will help to lower the risk of suffering from shingles. Another option is to use natural treatments like lysine to deal with the infection and reduce the chance of complications.
The symptoms of shingles typically only affect a small area of one of the body’s sides. Some common symptoms might include:
- Red rash
- Blisters with fluid
- Sensitivity when area touched
- Burning, pain, or numbness
There are other symptoms that people might experience. They include headache, fever, fatigue, and sensitivity to light.
The first symptom people usually have is pain. Sometimes it can be strong. There are cases when people with shingles have pain but no rashes.
The rash often becomes a line of blisters that goes around the torso’s right or left side. In some cases, the rash happens around an eye or on one of the face’s or neck’s sides.
You should contact your doctor in certain cases. They include:
- You’re 60+ years old
- Painful rash/widespread
- Pain/rash happens near the eye
- The family has a weak immune system
Finally, you can also pass on the virus to anyone who could catch chickenpox. This happens usually by contacting an open sore directly. The result is chickenpox instead of shingles.
Lysine for Shingles
The essential amino acid lysine is one of the natural treatments for shingles. This remedy has been used to treat shingles for a long time. This is one of 9/20 “essential” amino acids from food.
What’s so special about lysine? This amino acid is linked closely to collagen, which is a protein that helps to maintain strong and stretchy skin. Lysine is often used to treat different skin problems like cold sores.
Cold sores are caused by a virus known as HSV-1. You could say this virus is a distant cousin of the one that causes shingles.
There isn’t any strong scientific evidence that lysine is effective for treating shingles. However, one theory of researchers is its connection to collagen might help to deal with shingles as well.
So, let’s get to the benefits of lysine. Studies show it might help with areas like digestion, holding calcium, and reducing stress/anxiety. It also might help to treat and prevent cold sores. This is the main reason lysine seems to help with shingles.
Some studies seem to show that lysine might help with shingles by reducing the strength/length of the symptoms.
There’s some debate about whether or not the amino acid helps with shingles. Some users and research suggest it does. However, others point out there’s no strong scientific evidence that it does.
There are also some side-effects and risks related to L-lysine supplements. They include possible side-effects like diarrhea and nausea.
There also might be more serious ones like stomach pain. There could be various causes so it’s important to find out if the symptoms are resulting from the lysine supplements or something else.
As always you should stop taking the supplement if you experience any side-effects. Contact your doctor ASAP to get professional advice about what steps to take next.
Other Natural Treatments for Shingles
Here are some other options if you want to treat shingles without prescription meds:
1. Cool showers/baths
Taking this step every day while not scrubbing much can help to keep your sores/blisters clean. It can also help to lower the risk of infection.
The cool water will likely help to relieve itchy/sore areas. This will help to reduce scratching, which can result in scars.
2. Cold compress
A compressor cold cloth pressed on the rash might help to reduce itchiness and inflammation.
All you have to do is place a cotton towel or cloth that’s been lightly soaked with cool water on the itchy area. Then just repeat this process whenever the symptoms happen again.
3. Oat baths
Oatmeal—it’s not just for breakfast! Some studies imply oat extract could help to make dry skin moist and provide relief for sensitive/inflamed skin.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a type of oatmeal as a safe treatment for skin issues. They usually don’t have oat protein, to help prevent allergies.
4. Vitamin Supplements
If you’re 50+ years old or have a weak immune system then this is a good option. Studies show there’s a connection between the immune system and Vitamin D. If you’re 50+ years old then you’re at risk of lower Vitamin D levels. Vitamin C can also help to boost your immune system.
5. Essential oils
People have been using these herbal remedies for thousands of years. Studies show that they might help with skin problems like irritation. Some of the best options include tea tree and eucalyptus oil.
Something to keep in mind is the FDA hasn’t approved a lot of essential oils for treating conditions. So, it’s critical to talk to your doctor or pharmacist first to learn the basics before you use lysine for shingles.