Im back, and Its not- thankfully. Post herpetic itch help

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So i became a member of this group over a year ago with my first horrible bout' of shingles! (Cranial and optical) I am healed from the pain and i no longer suffer from photophobia-


My post herpetic itch seems like it is here to stay.

I cannot get the itching on my scalp to stop. I cannot keep my hands off it no matter how hard i try. I am balding in certain spots and it is only my right side. Around my hairline that is not seeming to get better. If anyone has suffered from this they know how almost impossible it is to keep from itching.

My question: it has been a year and three months- is this itching forever you think? If you have suffered or are suffering from this..what gives you relief? If anything.

I just woke up from the itching. Its 4am :-[

Im misersble. I just want to shave my head

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  • Posted

    Ps i have tried almost every cream under the sun including capasin hot pepper cream. I did get redlight laser therapy,
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  • Posted

    Hi April, this probably won’t be very encouraging, but oh well... I had shingles almost a year ago in my mouth and throat.  It was the sickest I have ever been in my entire life, and I’m a breast cancer survivor with 6 rounds of chemo behind me.  That’s how bad shingles was for me.  I went to the dentist in April and shared my story with her.  She wanted to know from first symptom until then how it all unfolded.  When I finished, the first thing she said was that she wished I’d have called her - she would have known what it was right away (took my regular doc 3 visits over the course of a week and a half to figure it out).  Then she told me that the lingering effects I’m having - tickle in my throat, cough, fatigue, altered taste buds - MIGHT go away and MIGHT not, and if I’m still experiencing them 12 months later, they probably won’t.  Here I am at 11 months and still suffering with them.  Guessing this is how I’ll be from now on.  Yay.  

    As for your itching.  Have you tried a hydrocortisone cream?  Like a prescription strength one?  You should be able to get a Rx from your doctor.  But that’s a topical remedy, and what you are experiencing is probably nerve damage that is deeper than skin level.  Maybe an oral corticosteroid would help, but you probably wouldn’t want to take that indefinitely.  Unfortunately, it looks like the medical community is stumped about shingles UNLESS it presents as the traditional “textbook” case.  Sorry you are having to go through this.  It sucks.

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  • Posted

    April, I'm sorry to hear your going through that. It's been one month since my first shingles outbreak (lower back area) and it's healing (although still sore) slowly.  In last 10 days, the most difficult symptom has been post herpetic itch, which has made my nights quite restless.  During the daytime, I must I'm moving around enough that the itch is as least bearable.  Like you, I've tried many over the counter creams (capasin, benadryl antihistamine, and lidocaine 4%).  The lidocaine minimized the itch just enough to allow me to go back to sleep, but didn't seem to last too long.  My doctor also prescribed me gabapentin, which has shown to address post herpetic itch.  In my case, it didn't seem to work, but I only took it a few times.  Maybe if I used it more regularly it would have helped. Google 'A case of post-herpetic itch resolved with gabapentin' for one research paper on it.  I've also heard from others that exercise may help with post herpetic pain/itch, so that may worth trying.  Take care.

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  • Posted

     Have used an aloe balm that contains CBD extracted from hemp. It is the only thing that is able to control my scalp pain and itching. I recommend it highly!

    good luck!

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  • Posted


    I have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every 3-5 weeks for the past 22 years. It also involves my mouth, and throat with swallowing issues. It has now escalated to my rightscalp, as well. I also had it in my right eye twice.

    This is what I use. I spray Flonase Nasal Spray over the scalp area, followed by Bactine spray. Bactine contains Lidocaine. Then I put on an ointment or cream over the area to keep the medications intact on the scalp. I found this helps tremendously for the itching that drives you and me absolutely wild. Slowly, I have been able to decrease the Flonase and Bactine usage. Flonase and Bactine are clear, and if you have to work, won't show.

    Use a baby shampoo or mild shampoo.

    BTW: You aren't balding, you are getting hair breakage from the scratching! Big difference!

    Also, get the Shingrex vaccination ASAP. It is helping to decrease the episodes of recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles and Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN.

    I got my Shingrex vaccination and had basically a sore arm and felt fatigue, achey, but was nothing compared to the usual Shingles.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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