Just got shingles , please help

Posted , 5 users are following.

Dear all,

I have been diagnosed with herpes zoster few days ago , my symptoms started as ear and teeth pain with headache then rash started appearing around my left ear , chin and inside my mouth.

Im on valaciclovir , b12 and gentian voilet solution , can someone please help me answer the below questions :

1- what is the safest way to remove the voilet solution off the blisters to be able to see their condition , doctor asked me to switch to fuciden once they dry out.

2- it does not look like the voilet solution is helping with my mouth blisters

3 - this morning I started feeling mild pain in my right arm (starting from elbow upto last smallest two fongers) is this at all related ?

I dont have any rash anywhere else on my body except on the left side of my face , pain is tolerable with med , I'm unable to reach my doctor to ask these questions incase you were wondering.

I'm 38 years old male, no other health issues.

Any help anyone ?

Regards

Samir

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Samir

    So sorry to hear ur going through this agony. Shingles is one of the most painful conditions known to man!

    Gentian violet works as antibacterial, antiseptic. You can get many other preparations which don't cause that discolouration plus help with pain:

    You will need an anaesthetic gel to help with pain

    Hope this helps

    Take care

    Srini

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    • Posted

      Thanks Srini, Can you please give me specific brands usually prescribed for shingles , I live in the middle east but will try and find something similar.

      Many thanks again.

      Samir

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  • Posted

    Hi Samir!

    I am sorry you are going through this disease.

    As gentian violet is a dye or stain, there is no way to remove it as it actually stains the tissue. Slowly the cells slough off, and it will fade away.

    Gentian violet has not been shown to have any beneficial use in modern medicine with the advent of antivirals, , antibacterials, and antifungal medications.

    Regarding the pain in the right arm, it could be that you are favoring your left side due to the pain, or occasionally, Herpes Zoster Shingles does cross the midline and affect the other side of your body. If the pain is the burning, lancinating pain of Herpes Zoster Shingles, similar to your face, you will soon find out.

    If the pain becomes worse in your head or arm, not controlled by the current pain medicine, please consult with your physician immediately. You made need a longer course of anti viral medications.

    Please let me know how you are doing.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States and have had Herpes Zoster Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the past twentyone years and twice in my right eye.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      Thanks for your response , Not sure how effective is the voilet solution but I had no complaints at all on the face and chin blisters , no itching and no pain , most of my pain is coming from the mouth blisters and internal pain around my ear and jaw. I''m on Ibuprofen 400gm every six hours and the pain is tolerable.

      Ill be seeing my doctor again tommorow , Can you please recommend any other medication to put on my mouth blisters , or replacement for the voilet than i can use on my skin and mouth.

      I started feeling first symptom ( ear and jaw pain on 24th May , took my first antiviral tablet on 29th , today 2may Im half way through my antiviral , how long does it take for the symptoms to go away ( rash and pain) ?

      Many thanks Merry.

      Regards

      Samir

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    • Posted

      Samir,

      I am not certain how deep the vesicles-blisters are in your mouth and or throat, but your physician can prescribe Viscous of Lidocaine. It is 5% Lidocaine. Instead of gargling with it, you can use a Qtip to place on the individual lesions. If indeed the lesions are deep in the throat, I don't recommend its use, as you impair the protective gag and cough reflex, although temporarily.

      Cool or ice foods and drinks help with and soothe the inflammation. Ice cream feels wonderful.

      I also use Auroguard in my ear as it contains Benzocaine and soothes the ear pain. Warm to body temperature before instilling in ear and lie on opposite side for 10 minutes to allow drops to work.

      Avoid all hot, spicy, and acidic foods now, as they will impair healing.

      I also get vesicles in my right mouth with my Herpes Zoster Shingles in my right ear. Oh, what fun! At least I can help others from my experience.

      Please let me know how you are doing.

      All my best.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Samir,

      Regarding the duration of rash and pain, hopefully the pain should slowly diminish over the course of a month. It is vital you have excellent pain control as those who don't are more apt to experience Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN or recurrent episodes of Herpes Zoster Shingles, like me. The rash dissipates over one month.

      BTW, did the pain to your right arm increase or resolve?

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Many thanks Merry , I get more useful advice from you than my physician.

      Pain in the arm is gone now , not sure how to describe it , it feels the same when you carry something so long and one of the nerves just got strained or the muscle is in constant spasm state , It may not be related to the shingles at all but its gone now anyway.

      I did get one physiotherapy session just before the shingles started , the therapy was to address neck pain so it could be more related to this issue. I have decided to postpone my other sessions until Im done with the shingles , I hope it will be sooner rather than later.

      Regards

      Samir

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    • Posted

      Merry ,

      What do you recommned to put on the face instead of the voilet solution , I may have to go back to work soon and need something that will at least would look more pleasent but more effective.

      Many thanks merry.

      Regards

      Samir

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    • Posted

      Samir,

      First, you are contagious to individuals who have not yet had chickenpox until all the vesicles-blisters have scabbed over. Please do not return ro work until they have scabbed over. If they can be covered with a dressing or bandaids on your face, that is best. People tend to freak out when they see a rash, believe me. Then you deal with people's fears and prejudices...not worth it!

      What is your occupation, if I may ask, and which country in the Middle East?

      I believe that it is better to let Mother Nature or Tincture of Time do its thing. If you wish to put some "Solarcaine with aloe" lotion on to soothe the area if it is itching or burning, that is fine.

      Also, you need to sleep and rest, as the disease has attacked your nervous system, and your body. It is not just a rash and some pain under your skin.

      You probably have or had a headache, fever, chills and sweating, aches and pains, malaise and fatigue, and exhaustion, insomnia. The fatigue and exhaustion can persist for months after the rash is gone. Please do not try to power through this.

      Once the lesions have scabbed over, and if your job is sedentary, perhaps try part-time for a week.

      I hope I have helped you.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry ,

      Last night and today are yet the worst days in term of pain , the ibuprofen did not help one bit , its mainly nerve pain along the cheeck , my doctor is still off sick and I saw someone else who prescribed lymecycline , its capsules but I need to empty it in a cup of water and gargle with it.

      For the pain she prescribed lyrica 150mg once daily , I took first one three hours ago but no relief yet , not sure if this is normal.

      She said lesions on the face are ok now but I will keep treating with zovirax and fucidin.

      I live in UAE , work as an engineer , office job but is quite stressful , I have another week of sick leave so will stay home.

      My pain is my main problem now , I hope lyrica will kick in quickly.

      Many thanks for your support Merry , are you going though another episode of shingles now ? Hope not .

      Regards

      Samir

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    • Posted

      Samir,

      Lyrica, unfortunately, is not a strong analgesic. As you are now having significant pain, I would ask my physician for a strong analgesic such as Oxycodone for a couple of weeks. Lyrica will need to be titrated up to maximum dose.

      I take an anticonvulsant Topiramate, similar to Lyrica, that reduces the pain slightly. I am on it twice daily, every day.

      Lyrica and Neurontin are adjunct medications for the pain that physicians are now prescribing in lieu of the more effective and appropriate Opioids due to the diversion and overdose issues, at least Stateside and in the UK. Unfortunately, the patients are the ones still suffering.

      Herpes Zoster Shingles is one of the most painful afflictions of mankind. People have committed suicide due to the effects of Post Herpetic Neuralgia.

      The pain needs to be treated aggressively to reduce your suffering and to decrease the risk of Post Herpetic Neuralgia.

      I am starting a new episode, but I am used to it, in a way...LOL. the first episode I literally wanted to cut out my inner ear a la Vincent Van Gogh. Of course, my allergist, and two ENTs did not diagnose me in a timely manner. Fortunately, an otoneurologist did 3-1/2 weeks after initial onset of the pain.

      Let me know how you make out...

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry, I am Tay, I have just been diagnosed with shingles a week ago, I chose to reply specifically to you as I can see that you are knowledgeable, know your stuff, and most importantly you are kind human being.

      I have read this somewhere, if it's real and possible I hope might help someone somewhere!

      -------------------------------

      "I’ve had shingles on one side of my face and neck a while ago and was hospitalized for about a week to treat it and getting it under control so it doesn’t spread. But through the healing process which was most painful because of the itchiness plus the neuralgia. However, with all those pains I was going through I was always looking at my face in the mirror and the agony of thinking how am I going to face the world with the scars afterward. While I was hospitalized I looked up on skin care remedies for shingles and chicken pox scars, I came about an interesting blog that suggested when all the blisters are dried that you can actually cooked Quaker Oatmeal to a medium to soft stage, let it cool in fridge, then clean your scarred areas with the cool Oatmeal by rubbing it directly on the scarred areas for about 15-20 minutes per day to minimize and eventually ridding the scars completely. I stuck to this regiment for as long as I could and now my face is completely normal as if I had no scars or anything. Also, when cleansing with the cool Oatmeal it really helps the itching and neuralgia or any other sensation on the scarred areas too. I know this is a late reply but I hope anyone who is going through these problems may find it helpful as it did for me.

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    • Posted

      Tay,

      First, I am sorry you are going through this process, but glad you are on the road to recovery. You are correct in using oatmeal as a soothing remedy. I have used it on severe drug rashes with great effect on the severe itching. Other excellent substances to soothe are Vitamin E Oil, Aloe Vera, and Lidocaine to numb the area. I have had radiation dermatitis, and used a combination of Vitamin E Oil, Aloe Vera, Olive oil, Oatmeal to heal my skin.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry, thanks for your kind thoughts. But anyway I think I didn't make myself clear, I am far from being on road to recovery Merry" that was a blog posted on the Web I thought I share it with you and everyone hoping might be helpful to someone. I am in so much pain that I can't sleep, the time now here in London is 2 o'clock after midnight, I am in excruciating pain that I started to think suicide maybe is good option for me, I do feel bad thinking that way but I'm only human and I don't think I take it anymore.

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    • Posted

      Tay,

      I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought that was awfully quick for you....

      Suicide is not an option, but I understand how you feel.

      Where is your pain and rash and how old are you?

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    • Posted

      All over my abdomen and my Back

      I'm 60 years old, I live alone, I don't and I won't bother my kids, I don't know what to do I need to sleep, the pain is unbearable

      I have taken pain killer and antiviral nothing is working

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