Reccuring Shingles

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I had shingles back in August 2017, and started the antiviral med within 72 hours. I was sick for about 6 weeks. The first week of October I went on vacation to a sunny destination, I did not expose my skin to the sun, had naps and everything was fine. I thought I was totally recovered.

Last week I started feeling some itching in my back, looked in the mirror couldn't see any rash, so I thought maybe that was a symptom from the shingles I got before. So I neglected that, and did not go to see a doctor. Last Monday the itching increased so I went to see a doctor. There was a rash but no blisters, and the doctor prescribed for me the acyclovir. I don't have vesicles, but the rash looks like shingles. I am not sure if this is going to be worse than the first time since I did not start the medication within 72 hrs of the itching symptoms. I still have so much itching and feel weak. Does it mean that I will be getting shingles quite often since this is the second time in 3 months? Any help? any suggestions? Wishing you all well. Thanks!!

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  • Posted

    it's hard to predict, but my husband's had it 4 times in the last year, twice in the last 8 weeks. However, every time he got the valcyclovir in the first 24-36 hours and only once had a little itching (earlier this week). He had only a barely noticeable "rash"--about 6-8 small vesicles across his back. After a few days there were about 6 more, and the earlier ones were a little more noticeable.

    It's usually tied to stress (we've been going thru a lot lately) so definitely be vigilant for this in the future. However, maybe you'll got months or years before you get them again, or maybe not ever! 

    BTW, I'M the one who was really sick with shingles, I've had PHN  for the last year. I had almost no rash and we were on vacation so we didn't catch it in time for the meds.  Take care of yourself. Remember a rash is just a visible sign of the infection, the real battle is inside you. Rest, avoid anything that increases the pain or irritation, consider other meds if necessary. Do you have pain? I can't get any advice on the itching, I never had it, but I'm sure others will be helping you soon.

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  • Posted

    Dear Lillyta,

    I am sorry you have a recurrence. I do remember you, BTW.

    Ultraviolet rays can certainly play a large role in triggering episodes of Herpes Zoster-Shingles. It is imperative to avoid sun exposure during peak hours, wear sun protective clothing, and sun screen.

    Stress also triggers Shingles. In many, it is the only known trigger. The third area to analyze in your life style is your diet. Please Google Herpes Zoster-Shingles and High Lysine Low Arginine diet. You will find information and tables of food that you can eat, and food to avoid. I have found this to be exceptionally helpful in reducing the frequency of episodes. It truly has helped me and others. Some take Lysine supplements, but the diet alone has been wonderful for many.

    Regarding the timing of Antivirals, the Antivirals are started from the onset of the rash, as most individuals have no idea what the symptoms are related to until the rash appears.

    I hope this helps you and the itching isn't too bad! Remember, ice and cool compresses will help the itching. Solarcaine with Aloe contains Lidocaine, as does Bactine. Both might help with the itching.

    I hope this helps you.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hello Merry,

      Thank you for your kind reply. Actually when I went on vacation, I did not expose my skin to the sun. I was swimming in my clothes. I think the diet might have been the cause. When I got the shingles in August, I started eatingĀ  a very healthy diet rich in Lysine, lately, I came back to chocolate and cakes. Thanks for reminding me that. maybe it was too early to eat that kind of food. I will watch all my eating and I am also taking 2x1000 g lysine every day together with some Vit B12.

      I have been using a mixture of essential oils on the rash and that stopped the vesicles right away.

      Many thanks !!


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    • Posted


      The diet must be maintained consistently, or it doesn't work. Chocolate is a big no no, for you chocolate lovers. The diet is much more effective than supplements, BTW.

      I am glad the essential oils are soothing to your rash.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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