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As with a first case of shingles, antiviral medicines can help ease a second case and hold off pain. These include:

To relieve itching, try:

If you have pain, your doctor may suggest gabapentin (an anti-seizure medicine) or a rub-on cream or lotion. Antidepressants can also help pain.

Steroids are sometimes used to treat shingles.

Shingles treatments like antivirals work best when you start them right away. Call your doctor as soon as a rash appears -- or you have any symptom you think may be shingles. If you had it once, you know the symptoms. That can give you a head start on the road to recovery.

Oatmeal baths
Wet compresses
Calamine lotion
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