Shingles is an incredibly painful illness that results in a severe rash, characterized by the eruption of lesions across the skin. These initial lesions, which themselves last for a bare minimum of three to five days, leave behind crusting and scabs that can last for several weeks. If you’ve had chicken pox before, your risk of getting the shingles virus is greater. Often, even after the scabs left by shingles have begun to heal, the individual is left with red scarring. Since shingles is spread over such a wide area of the body, this scarring can be distressing to the individual who has them. Fortunately, there are things that you can do in order to help speed along the process of fading shingles scars and helping your skin return to a healthy appearance.
The first step in fading shingles scars is to properly care for them during the healing process. Keeping skin properly moisturized is essential during this process, so you should be sure to use the proper moisturizers on the affected area. Choose products that contain EFAs, dimethicone silicone, and aloe in order to see the best results.
Immediately following an attack of shingles, it is difficult to tell just how much the skin will scar, or how extensive the scarring will be. This is why it is so important to begin treatment as early as possible – some individuals may scar much more extensively than expected with shingles, while other people who have seemingly more severe attacks may find that the eventual scarring is much less severe than it was initially assumed it would be.
Of course, if you treat your skin during the healing process (and ensure that it is not subjected to additional damage, such as by picking at healing skin) then you have a much stronger likelihood of a quicker and easier recovery. Otherwise, healing from shingles may take up to a year, and some shingles scarring may be permanent.
Shingles scars tend to be a deep red, or sometimes even purple in color. Often the scars lay more or less flat against the skin, though some people who have suffered through shingles will end up with raised scars, or even pitting. Though there is not much that you can do to diminish this particular effect of shingles scarring, you can fade the redness of these scars with the appropriate medicinal products. Should you get shingles on your face, be sure to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30+ to prevent permanent darkening of the scar and follow our guideline for how to conceal face scars.
There are plenty of at-home remedies that people will claim can fade shingles scars, but remember – the best topical treatments to fade scars, and the only ones that will not potentially cause further damage, are silicone and certain natural products such as Vitamin C and licorice root extract. Use products that contain these ingredients on the scar on a regular basis, and observe the scar over several weeks to see if the discoloration begins to diminish. While shingles can be painful, and can lead to unsightly scars on the skin, there are options for those who are looking to treat this problem. Never hesitate to begin treating your skin right away to prevent possible damage and scars.
Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.
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