Shingles - any treatment?

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by kckndrgn, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    OK, So I just got diagnosed with shingles. This SUCKS worse than any rash I've ever had. Lot of people say I'm too young to have it (39 next month).

    Doc gave me an Rx and said to use whatever I need to on the rashes for the itchy/burning sensation. Nothing seems to be putting a dent in it. I'm ready to cut my arm off at the shoulder. I have several areas of rash from the armpit to my wrist.

    HELP, any tips on treatment?

  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    Steriods might help.

    Dont know but a Alvo vero plant is amizing for many skin conditions and has no negative benefits
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Shingles are not a skin condition although there is a rash and skin ulcers associated it. It is caused by a virus that affects not only the skin but the nerve endings. If they catch it early enough, the drugs help. I had shingles last year but it was too late for meds to do any good but I took them anyway even though they were very expensive. The doctor told me there is about a 3 day window to start the drug therapy. I thought I was having muscle spasms until I discovered the rash around my waist and it dawned on me it might be shingles. Very painful and lasted a long time. I urge people to get the preventive vaccine - something I did not do
    jungatheart likes this.
  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Prevention is better than palliative treatment

    Shingles are not much fun...I can believe you.

    Here are some web-links for more information about Shingles and its treatment. The information may be useful in discussing treatment options with your GP. It is a contagious disease (you do not give other people shingles...what you pass on is Chicken people who may subsequently, much later, experience Shingles), so give some thought to infection control so that others do not catch Chicken Pox from you.

    kckndrgn, you may wish to also consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, to help your immune system along. Shingles seem to more often occur when the body's immune system is not working optimally. Take care.

    Best wishes, Chello

    Shingles Treatments, Pain Relief, Antiviral Medicine, & More

    Shingles Symptoms, Vaccine, Treatment, Diagnosis, Prevention, Prognosis - eMedicineHealth

    Information about the effective treatment of shingles

    Shingles Vaccine-Mayo Clinic - YouTube
  5. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    You have my sympathy.....shingles is a horrible thing to have and it can go on for a very long time. I had a very mild case about 20 years ago and it was bad enough.

    As far as treatment goes, I am sure modern day treatments are better than the ones of 20 years past and I can't even remember what I was given for it.

    I have heard that Capsaicin Cream is good for helping the pain but apparently it takes two to three weeks to really kick in. I think it is quite costly too. It's a cream you wouldn't want to use anywhere near your eyes and I think you have to wear gloves when applying it. Might be worth investigating though.....

    I do hope you can find something to help should be getting lots of rest and improve your diet if you possibly can. BTW, have you been in any very stressful situations lately....I was always told by my folks that stress was an aggravator.

    Will keep you in my prayers for a speedy cure.
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    As a teen, I remember my grandmother telling me that the 3 things that caused the greatest physical pain in life were stress, sitting on cold stone walls, and kissing boys. Guilty on all counts I guess
  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    youn can make your own Capsaicin Cream if you want.... petroleum Jelly and caynnne pepper... melt the PJ and add the pepper to suit your self... the mkore the hotter... this is the same aas "Tiger Balm" we used it at the DoJo all the time...
    oldawg likes this.
  8. Mechwolf

    Mechwolf Monkey+

    One thing I did not see anyone else mention was to stay out of the sun. I had shingles on my face about 2 years ago and was on short term disability for about 2 months. Since you have it on your arm it should be easier to keep covered up.Another thing you will have to get used to is the numbness lasting a lot longer than the pain. My face still feels numb ( Novocaine kinda numb) on some days. If you are taking the medicine make sure you eat well before you take them. The pills made me nauseous and throw up several times so I quite taking them. BTW i was 38 when I got them and was told I was to young to be getting them as well.
    chelloveck likes this.
  9. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks all. Dr. started me on Valtrax, it's been more than 72hrs since I first notice symptoms. I thought at first some but got to my when I was clearing some vines from my garden area. Nope, it was blisters from this dang thing.
  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Ouch. Sympathy for you.
    One thing to keep in mind when considering DIY home treatment for skin ailments (which I'm generally for) is that you have to find your comfort zone between water and a blow torch.

    The blow torch will surely cure the shingles but...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Interesting googling on shingles:
    You can only get shingles if you had chickenpox in the past or if you have had the chickenpox vaccine

    I know I never had the chickenpox vaccine (which apparently gives the same virus that lies dormant until later recurrence as shingles?) and I can't remember having chickenpox.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I had chicken pox, and so far the only shingles are on the roof. CP vaccine didn't exist for me. We didn't get the kids vaccinated, and all three of them got the pox. One was a pretty bad case, the other two got off lightly. Evidently, having the pox confers immunity to another case of pox. How shingles comes about is a bit obscure to me, but apparently it's like melbo says, the same virus lies dormant and somehow reactivates on some kind of trigger.

    Some years ago, my boss's boss went off on a Caribbean vacation, got a LOT of sun and came home peeling all over from shingles. Some say sun exposure is a trigger, there may be others, dunno.
  13. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I just talked to my mom, I never had the vaccine but did get the pox before age 5. From what I understand, just like Melbo said, the virus lays dormant in the nerves then something triggers it. The trigger could be any number of things, but just last week I was at the DR because my elbow was hurting and it felt like I had hit my funny bone, all the time. Dr. thinks the inflamed nerve was the precursor to the outbreak, and stress is yet another trigger. Well, I'm under LOTS of stress right now at work.

    I think it was just a combination of things that triggered this. All I know, I want it GONE and DONE with.
  14. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    At first, I couldn't even stand clothing to touch my skin and spasms of pain would shoot through me on semi-regular basis. Then, one day I realized that the pain had subsided and that my days as a nudist had come to an end. It took a couple months before I was completely back to normal but it did happen. Patience kc - it will get better.
  15. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I feel for ya.

    A friend of mine had this a couple of years ago on his forehead. Now he has a huge scar where that stuff was.

    I know this: even if you get the vaccine, you've got about a 50-50 chance of still getting shingles. So, even with the vaccine, you may still get it.

    As far as's what the CDC says:

    Sounds like boilerplate CYA. So, this says to me that someone out there got the vaccine and died from it. Most people don't have any adverse reactions, but some do. Given that the effectiveness rate is only 50%, you just gotta wonder if it's worth it.
  16. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    L-Lysine. I swear by it! 1000mg a day and don't stop until that **** is gone.
  17. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yeah, the pain that comes and goes it the worst, along with what I describe as the feeling of an insect crawling across my skin. The the sharp pain, that's intermittent, that the worst.

    UGrev, I'll check into the L-Lysine, thanks
  18. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Some more thoughts and suggestions

    Herpes Zoster- HZV(Shingles) and Herpes Simplex - HSV (Cold Sores), although different viruses, act in somewhat similar ways in that they lay dormant within the body until activated by some trigger by the body and then they surface on the skin, depending on the virus type in the form of lesions, that for a time weep until the lesions clear (it is when that weeping lesion or chancre is present that the disease is at its most infectious, though infective viral matter may be shed to some lesser extent (at least in the case of herpes simplex,) even when lesions are not visibly apparent.

    Keeping body stress down helps a lot, taking Lysine supplements band general vitamin supplements medications that strengthen the body's immune system may help relieve to some extent the severity of the symptoms and may assist in the body recovering more readilly.

    Topical treatment with an acycloguanosine ointment Aciclovir - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia may provide some relief and asssist in infection control. Try and keep the affected area clean to prevent secondary bacterial infections. Because the fluids weeping from the lesions are infective, use prudent infection control methods...i.e. gloving up if someone is applying topical treatments to places that you can't reach yourself. Washing your own hands after treatment would be advisable. When bathing and showering, disinfect the towelling used to dry yourself and don't use towels that are commonly used by other people in the household.

    Dealing with pain is difficult...your doctor may prescribe analgesics to may try and manage your pain, by use of autogenic suggestion I have used it for the alleviation of pain and stress myself, and I have found it helpful. There are different methods of autogenic suggestion induction, it is a matter of finding what works for you.

    Manifestation of pain, to some extent is a matter of how the brain processes information via the nervous system through its neural network. To understand this better and to find some ways in which you can help your brain to process such information in a much more kckndrgn friendly way I recommend to you having a look at a book called "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge, MD.
    Norman Doidge, MD | The Brain That Changes Itself official website The brain's properties of neuroplasticity, can be a boon, in enabling people with injuries and illnesses to recover functionality...e.g. people who have had strokes, can rewire their brain to compensate for those parts of the brain that have been damaged. Neuroplasticity can sometimes be banefull, particularly when the brain is dealing with pain such as phantom pain consequent to amputation.

    Reading Chapter 7, Pain: The Dark Side of PLasticity" pp177-196, may provide some insights. At the moment your brain is processing information from your nerve endings telling you "there's a problem here buddy!! better sort it out and I'll keep reminding you painfully until you do". Some kind of relaxation therapy may help you to reshape your neural pathways so that it gets the message from"Relax, buddy brain...don't be so alarmed...I'm aware, and doing stuff about it so just get of my case will ya!!!

    I suspect that the red hot chilli pepper (hhhmm the old mustard plasters do the same job??) might work a bit like "white sound" does for those suffereing from tinnitus...e.g. two sets of stimuli tending to cancelling each other out in the brain's neural network. It's as good a theory as any i guess.

    I hope that you might find something usefull....after all...there's always chicken soup therapy if all else fails. ; )

    I have had chicken pox, and am in the zone for it, so can't say I am looking forward to what you have.
    Witch Doctor 01 and Guit_fishN like this.
  19. Award2012

    Award2012 Monkey

  20. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    While I would normally find a first post + link to product = SPAM. I'll leave this since it is relevant to the topic.
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