Skin infections can be fungal, viral or bacterial in origin.
The viral infections that we see the most are shingles and cold sores.
Shingles is a very painful condition and is usually diagnosed by the doctor. You may be given a prescription for some anti-viral tablets. If you think that you have shingles it is important to see a doctor immediately so that you can start taking oral medicine immediately. The longer you leave it the less chance the medicine will be effective.
If you suffer from post herpetic neuralgia – pain after the shingles attack has gone - then there is a very effective topical ointment called Zostrix HP. Zostrix HP’s active ingredient comes from chilli peppers. Zostrix is rubbed on the affected area and cleverly overloads the pain nerves and stops them working temporarily. You would normally also take pain relief like Panadol and Nurofen to help with the pain.
Cold sores are usually localised to the lip area. They are managed by applying a cold sore cream like Zovirax directly to the affected area up to 5 times per day for the duration of the infection. There are now cold sore patches called Compeed that are popular. For those that suffer from regular cold sores we recommend supplementing with Lysine. Lysine is found in the natural health section of the pharmacy and can reduce the occurrence of cold sores and reduce the severity of cold sores when they occur. If you are suffering from recurrent severe cold sores then visit your doctor to discuss alternate treatment options to assist you manage this condition.