Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. It is most common in people who are over 70 but it can occur at any age.

Usually shingles affects a certain area of skin on one side of the body. It is highly contagious and can cause the spread of chickenpox to others. 

Shingles signs and symptoms:
Shingles often begins as a general feeling of being unwell followed by a painful rash on the affected area.

The rash forms as red patches of small blisters that closely resemble chickenpox. The pain is often described as a constant ache or burning sensation.

When the blister begin to dry out, scabs form and fall off naturally, often causing some small scarring. 

Lifestyle tips:
If you’ve already had chickenpox, the shingles virus will be lying dormant in your nervous system.

Once you have a lowered immune system from another illness or stress, it can become activated and start to attack certain nerves.

It’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle which supports your immune system to keep the virus at bay. Exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and controlling your blood pressure helps to keep your immune system strong.

Diet tips:
Your diet plays a big part in boosting your immune system and helping it fight off viruses like shingles.

Zinc is essential for the immune system and for skin cells to repair so make sure you’re regularly eating Zinc-rich foods like beef, spinach and beans. 

Vitamin A helps the body heal after infections and vitamin A deficiency has been linked to lowered immunity against infectious diseases. Carrots, dark leafy vegetables and red peppers are packed with vitamin A so should be included in your diet. 

Akoma recommends:
As shingles is extremely contagious, it should be treated at home.

Akoma Tea Tree Essential Oil is rich with the antibacterial ingredients that treat many skin infections. The oil also has antifungal and antiseptic properties so it’s been used across the world for years to treat shingles and chickenpox.

Use a swab and apply the oil directly onto the affected area a couple of times a day to stop the infection spreading and help its recovery.

To keep clean and fresh during your recovery, use Akoma Black Soap. It is a natural antibacterial product that reduces inflammation of the skin.

Akoma Black Soap is made from raw shea butter, organic virgin coconut oil and cocoa pods that gently treat infections. It is also rich in antioxidants that improve the general health of your skin, helping it to fight off infections in future.