Shingles diagnosed above right eyebrow

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Hello, I was diagnosed with shingles three weeks ago above my right eyebrow. I was prescribed antivirals, cocodamol, tramadol and amitriptyline. I am now off all the medication and the scabs from the rash have gone although I have been left with indentations where the blisters were. I am still experiencing some strange sensation at the site of where the rash was, the main one being a 'cold sensation', can anyone tell me if this normal after a bad case of shingles please ?

Many thanks,

Sarah.

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  • Posted

    I don't really know but I had shingles in/over my left eye in November. I still get little twinges of weird feelings sometimes and when I dont feel great, sometimes when I get out of the shower.. you can see the outline of the rash I had on my eye and forehead.

    I had it bad, too so just assume it's residual. Hope that helps some.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah!

    Sorry you are going through this! Yes, those strange sensations are typical when you are recovering from Shingles. You are in the very early stage of healing and the nerves are re-establishing their connections. Depending on the depth and severity of the rash, the sensation can be altered to the area or in some instances, remain numb forever. I would say it is a good sign that you feel cold. Be patient with yourself and take things slowly. Also, rest and sleep. You may find yourself exhausted and fatigued long after the rash and pain are gone. Some people experience depression, as well.

    Best Regards

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply. It is reassuring to know that such sensations are typical of the healing process after shingles. Next Thursday will be exactly 4 weeks since the rash appeared, I am still extremely tired and have been signed off work due to the exhaustion I am experiencing. I am 25 years old and this is the first time I have had shingles, I never thought it would take so long to recover!

      Many thanks, Sarah.

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  • Edited

    Dear Sarah,

    I am so sorry that you are suffering from this disease. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation among health professionals. Many health care professionals are abysmally ignorant regarding the diagnosis, the signs and symptoms of the disease, and the treatment and management of the disease. They are loathe to prescribe opioids for the acute pain.

    My first episode of Shingles felt like I was giving birth via my ear canal while being tased!

    I have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear, mouth, and throat every three weeks for the past 24 years. For the past 2 years it has also spread to my entire right scalp. I have had it twice in my right eye.

    The third ENT finally diagnosed it correctly.

    Because I suffered so much with the disease, I am extremely active on this forum. My goals are to educate, support, and advise the people. I have learned so much from many wonderful individuals on this forum. I am a retired Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    There are three stages to Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    THE FIRST STAGE-ACUTE STAGE

    PRE-ERUPTION

    PAIN, often burning or lancinating

    Itching

    Patchy redness

    Swelling, in the dermatomal area of involvement

    Swollen Lymph Nodes, either at this stage or subsequently

    Constitutional Symptoms

    Headache

    Photophobia

    Aches and Pains

    Mild Fever

    Chills

    Fatigue

    Exhaustion

    THE SECOND STAGE-ERUPTION

    Grouped herpetiform vesicles-blisters developing on the red base (the classic finding)

    The vesicles come in crops or waves over a period of

    usually 5 days

    Skin findings that typically appear unilaterally, stopping abruptly at the midline

    Vesicular involution: Vesicles initially are clear but eventually cloud, rupture, crust, and involute (shrink)

    After vesicular involution, slow resolution of the remaining

    red plaques, typically without visible sequelae

    Scarring can occur if the skin has been compromised by

    excoriation, secondary infection, or other complications

    Almost all adults experience pain, typically severe

    A few experience severe pain without a vesicular eruption (Zoster Sine Herpete)

    Symptoms tend to resolve over 10-15 days,

    but can last much longer

    Complete healing of lesions may require up to a month

    THE THIRD STAGE PHN

    POST HERPETIC NEURALGIA

    Persistent or recurring pain lasting 30 or more days

    after the acute infection or after all lesions have crusted (9-45% of all cases)

    Pain usually is confined to the area of original

    dermatomal involvement

    The pain can be severe and incapacitating

    Pain can persist for weeks, months, or years

    Slow resolution of pain is especially common in the

    elderly

    PHN is observed more frequently after cases of Herpes Zoster-Shingles Ophthalmicus (HZO)

    Herpes Zoster-Shingles Oticus

    (Ramsay Hunt Syndrome)

    and in instances of upper-body dermatomal involvement

    TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT

    Antivirals

    The cornerstone of treatment

    Should be started within three days of onset of

    symptoms or rash

    Famcyclovir 500 mg 3x daily 7-10 days

    Most efficacious

    Newest Antiviral

    Valacyclovir 1000mg 3x daily 7-10 days

    Less efficacious than Famcyclovir

    Large pill

    Based on Acyclovir

    Acyclovir 500mg 5x daily 7-10 days

    Most resistance to this Antiviral

    Oldest Drug

    Cheapest drug- Used in the UK

    Difficult schedule of 5x daily

    USE THE FOLLOWING: one of each class together

    Anticonvulsants

    Gabapentin-Neurontin

    Dosages must be tapered up and down

    Effective as adjunct in acute stage and PHN

    Pregabalin-Lyrica

    Dosages must be tapered up and down

    Effective as adjunct in acute stage and PHN

    Weight Gainer

    Affects moods

    Difficult to wean off due to withdrawal symptoms.

    Antidepressants

    Dosages must be tapered up and down

    Effective as adjunct in acute stage and PHN

    Can be difficult to wean off due to withdrawal symptoms.

    Duloxetine-Cymbalta SNRI

    Venlafaxine-Effexor SNRI

    Amitriptyline-Elavil Tricyclic

    ANALGESICS

    OPIOIDS

    Oxycodone

    Codeine

    Hydrocodone

    IF YOUR PAIN IS NOT WELL CONTROLLED WITHIN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS, GET IT UNDER CONTROL BY DEMANDING OPIOIDS.

    ***The pain often increases markedly the second week of the disease.

    HERPES ZOSTER SHINGLES IS ONE OF THE MOST PAINFUL AFFLICTIONS OF MANKIND SECOND TO CANCER AS IT INVOLVES NERVE PAIN.

    IT IS THE PHYSICIAN'S DUTY TO HELP THE PATIENT IN PAIN. OPIOIDS STILL ARE THE BEST OPTION FOR ACUTE PAIN.

    Gabapentin-Neurontin or Pregabalin-Lyrica can help decrease the neurogenic pain when used in conjunction with Opioids

    Topicals

    Lidocaine/Benzocaine

    Found in Bactine, Solarcaine, Oragel, Salonpas

    Auroguard for Ramsay Hunt Syndrome etc

    Numbs the skin's nerve endings

    Corticosteroid Sprays Creams OTC

    Decreases inflammation, soothes topical swelling,

    pain

    Cool Compresses/ICE.

    (DO NOT USE HEAT-CAUSES MORE PAIN AND INFLAMMATION)

    100% COTTON CLOTHING soft & allows the skin to breathe!!!!!

    SLEEP AND REST

    You will experience fatigue and exhaustion and want to sleep. Obey your body. You cannot power through this. Take off from work. If you don't, it will only get worse.

    CONTAGIOUS

    Remember: your exposed rash is contagious to all individuals who have not as yet had chickenpox.

    This list includes all pregnant women and their unborn fetuses. Many women do not know in the early stages if they are pregnant.

    If someone has been fully vaccinated, they are protected. The unborn child is never protected.

    Cover your rash with clothing or a dressing.

    You are no longer infectious when every last vesicle-blister has scabbed over/ dried up.

    PREVENTION of SHINGLES

    Get the Shingrix Vaccine, a two part injection, taken 2-6 months apart.

    The efficacy is 93%

    1. It is available in the US at age 50 with insurance
    2. If you have had Shingles, and are in the US, Shingrix is covered by your insurance. Have your physician write a note stating you have had Shingles.
    3. In the UK, it is not available until age 70.

      ADDENDUM the Shingrex vaccine has helped decrease the intensity of pain of my episodes, but not decrease the frequency of episodes.

    High Lysine Low Arginine Diet

    Google High Lysine Low Arginine Diet and Herpes.

    The amino acid Lysine helps decrease Herpes and Arginine triggers Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    If you binge on chocolate or nuts, and find yourself getting a horrible prolonged shingles episode after,

    it is due to the high amino acid content of Arginine in chocolate and nuts.

    You can take Lysine supplements, but there can always be issues with drug interactions, adverse reactions, and harm to the heart, liver, and kidneys.

    It is my hope that this letter has helped you in understanding your disease and how to care for yourself.

    Best Wishes,

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    I had my first episode in December 2017 and to date I still experience sensations and pain from shingles. I have also had recurring episodes of shingles. I did however get the shingles vaccine as it seems to help with the severity of my episodes. I think my main trigger is stress.

    I hope this helps you in some way.

    Be blessed and safe during COVID-19.

    Audrey

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    • Posted

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. I'm so sorry to hear that you have been experiencing recurring episodes of shingles - that must be awful! I'm glad that the shingles vaccine has helped in some way. Yes I think stress is the reason i came down with it, I had been doing too much and as a result my immune system weakened and I became unwell with shingles. I have made a promise to myself to take things one step at a time and to take time out for myself when needed.

      Take care,

      Sarah.

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  • Posted

    hello Sarah and everybody

    been reading these forums for months and decided to get on. i have had shingles 3 times. the last episode was like sarah and i have indents on forehead. i went to ER THINKING I HAD A STROKE BUT IT WAS bells PALSY. my holistic doctor sent me for acupuncture to a wonderful chinese Man in chicago. he cleared me up but , make sure to mention "not too much" because i got extremely nervous. it wore off. but the first episode i realize now i was doing way too much for my age. i was a cleaning lady and besides my customers i was helping my grown kids with things and traveling with my husband on business trips and not enough sleep. also went several states away to help son. ( story there) then i lost a credit card and a few hours later started experiencing pain. went to chiropractor ---but later the rash on back. my health has been downhill every since. i keep hoping to get well but i am extremely tired and weak. i am also diabetic after bowel surgeries for diventiculitis. ---way way too much stress. my husband is wonderful tho. i am 75 and hoping for a miracle. love these forums!!!

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