Vaccination for shingles
If you have not contracted shingles yet, you can get vaccination with the Zostavax vaccine. It is recommended for those who are 50 years old and over, and it is administered as single dose. Getting the vaccine is not a total guarantee that you will not get shingles. However, if you do, if ever you will get shingles, it will be less painful.
Vaccination for chickenpox
If you did not have a history of having chickenpox in your lifetime, you can get a vaccine for it. The rationale for this is that if you can prevent chickenpox, then you can prevent shingles. The vaccine for chickenpox is marketed as Varilrix and it is administered in two doses. The first dose is given on a selected date and the second dose is given at least six weeks after the first dose. It is injected under your skin or injected subcutaneously.
Avoiding contact with people with chickenpox or shingles
If you cannot get chickenpox or shingles vaccine then avoid contact with people who are suffering from chickenpox or shingles. The fluid contained by the vesicles in chickenpox and the blisters in shingles is very contagious. If you had no history of suffering from them and you did not have the needed vaccine, you are prone to contract any one of the diseases if you get into contact with people suffering from them.
If you have been suffering from shingles, let the disease heal completely, free from blisters, before allowing other people to get near you—be it family members or not. In particular, avoid being near pregnant women, infants, children, sick individuals, and to those with weak immune system, such as those with HIV infection or diabetes mellitus. Children with no history of chickenpox will get it if they are exposed to adults with shingles.
Build up your resistance
One of the most important cornerstones of preventing diseases such as shingles is for you to build up your resistance. This can be achieved by doing the following:
- Sleep early and get up early. Get at least seven hours of sleep, without exchanging your sleeping hours at night with that of the day. The full restorative power of sleep can only be derived if it is done at night and in your personal bedroom.
- Have balanced and adequate diet. This means that you consume a variety of foods and that you take in the right amount of calories. Based on your height, sex, and degree of daily activity, you need to take a certain number of calories per day. This is called the total daily caloric requirement (TDCR). If your total daily caloric intake is less than your TDCR, you will lose weight. However, if it is more than your TDCR, you will gain weight.
- Have regular physical exercises in your schedule. There have been reports in medical journals that regular physical exercises will not only improve your cardiovascular fitness; it will also improve your resistance to diseases.
- Expose yourself to adequate sunlight and fresh air. This can be achieved by doing outdoor physical exercises.