Shingles Virgin please help

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I have my first ever shingles episode and am looking for advice as I don't know what to expect.

Last Friday, today is Wednesday, I noticed a small itchy patch on my lower back, I thought a possible reaction to antibiotics I had finished for a tooth abscess. Went to GP on Monday when it had spread (after applying antibiotic cream which I now know was the wrong thing to do) and was told I had shingles, told too late for anti viral , given a leaflet and told to get on with it. A colleague who has suffered for years bought me canesten cream for thrush and told me it would help, two days in I googled it only to find you should not use it for shingles(mistake number 2). Today I feel awful, I have a very stressful job, went off the deep end at an idiot colleague, cried when my partner turned up in work with caminie cream to try to soothe the itch and I eventually left work and came home mid day. My back now aches like I have been kicked. Any advice would be greatly received. I THINK the blisters are starting to scab and the areas seem to be spreading in a faded version around them? What should I expect next?

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  • Posted

    You can get an antiviral med-I didn't get to the doctor for a week. Get something for pain-ask for it!

    I had gabapentin- ended up with 7 a day-start with a couple. Mine lasted 3 months- stress is a common cause for it. Good luck-get some GOOD help.

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  • Posted

    it is a virus NOT stress! Put calamine cream on for the itch and look after yourself with nourishing food and rest. the worst will be over 3 weeks from start of blisters but will it h for longer and maybe burning pain

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  • Posted

    itch not it h! Take strong painkillers with codeine in for burning pain. sleep lots. itching can linger, so take good skin vitamins

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  • Posted

    u should not be around anyone when u have active blisters ..u r contagious..i put clear nail polish on the lesions to help the itching and stop the spreading of them..also i used aleve for the muscle pain..and PRAYER

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  • Posted

    I don't know the details on why antivirals are not recommended in your case.

    Have you thought about getting a second opinion?

    I carry an ice pack everywhere which helps me most of the time. I also have a big bowl of ice water in the sink since I got trigeminal neuralga from my shingles outbreak earlier this year.

    I also try to keep away from sweets and alcohol that seem to make my symptoms worse.

    I have also used things from the health food store that I won't list since I'm not a doctor.

    I hope you keep on researching this on other websites as well as this one.

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  • Posted

    Dear Ann,


    I am so sorry you are going through this right now. I understand the agonizing, lancinating pain, sleepless nights, and suffering.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States. I have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear, mouth, and throat every three to five weeks for the past twenty-two years and twice in my right eye. It has now escalated to include my entire right scalp, as well, just to keep me doing more headstands, I am certain.

    This is a summary of the stages, signs and symptoms of Herpes Zoster-Shingles, and medical management of the disease.

    During the Pre-eruptive Phase, you may have some of the following symptoms:

    The duration is one to ten days, but the rash occasionally takes much longer to appear



    Generalized Aches and Pains

    Fever, Chills, and Sweating

    Enlarged Lymph Nodes near the pain and rash

    Fatigue and Exhaustion

    Pain usually preceding the rash, but not always


    Description of pain: deep burning or aching pain, or electric shock–like pains.

    Acute Eruptive Phase

    Rash of grouped vesicle-blisters in a dermatomal pattern.

    Occurs in waves or crops over a period of 5-7 days.

    Vesicle-blisters look dissimilar and are of different sizes.

    The rash is on a red base.

    The pain may continue to increase into the second and third week.

    The clear vesicle-blisters cloud over, look like pustules, scab over, and turn black. This process may take between 2-4 weeks. Once every vesicle-blister has scabbed over, you are no longer infectious!

    You are considered infectious (contagious) if your rash is open to the air, ie not covered, to anyone who has not had chickenpox. This includes all pregnant women! Remember, not all women know they are pregnant!

    Chronic Phase (Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN)

    30 days after onset of rash. Definition varies

    Duration may last months or years after initial episode of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    The resolution of the scars can take up to a year to heal.

    Management and Medications


    Famciclovir 500 mg 3x daily 7-10 days, sometimes 14 days.

    Smallest Tablet

    Convenient dosing

    Least Resistance

    Valcyclovir 1000 mg 3x daily 7-10 days

    Large Tablets difficult to swallow for some

    Based on Acyclovir

    Acyclovir 800 mg 5x daily 7-10 days

    Inconvenient Dose Schedule

    Growing Resistance to Varicella Virus

    Acyclovir is the antiviral most often prescribed in the UK

    What dosage of the medication are you on? Sometimes, the Physician places the patient on a lower dose, but needs to increase it to help with the pain-itching.

    Sometimes, you need to be placed on a cocktail of medications, as they will work synergistically to help you. These are all by prescription. I have grouped them according to class. A clinician would start with one from the Anticonvulsant class, taper the dosage up, then one from the Antidepressant Class, etc. This list is by no means complete.





















    2. I would find 100% cotton knit clothing. Make sure there are no seams to irritate your skin. The cotton knit is the most breathable, least irritating cloth to most individuals.

    3. Use Lidocaine Cream or Spray OTC topically to help with the pain- itching, eg, Solarcaine with Aloe or Bactine. Many on this forum feel either Lidocaine or Benzocaine help with the pain-itching. The cream might soothe the inflamed nerve endings better and last longer on the skin. You can only use Lidocaine 12 hours on and 12 hours off, as the usefulness will extinguish itself.

    4. Use ice or cool compresses. Do not take hot showers, as it will only increase the pain-itching

    1. You need to rest and sleep. You cannot power through this disease. Do not go back to work! This virus is way stronger than you are, and you will only get more pain, the more exertion you do.
    2. Most Importantly, get the Shingrex Immunization. It is a two phase vaccine, two months apart. It is given intramuscularly. It is highly efficacious in stopping Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN and recurrent episodes of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    Shingrex is available in the US at the pharmacy and covered by insurance if you are over 50 years of age. If you are younger than 50, and have had a documented case of shingles, it is still covered.

    If you are in the UK/Canada/Australia/NZ, I know it has been distributed there, but the national health insurance may not cover it until age 70, which is ridiculous. It is expensive, but I would have paid thousands not to have recurrent shingles.

    You need to be given analgesics and rest before you return to work. Please feel free to ask questions after reading this text.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Please do not use nail polish!❣️

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  • Posted

    Gabarpentin and Aspercreme

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