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I recently had shingles on the back side of my leg. I first had a slight headache, felt bad, and my buttocks on that side of my body hurt like my sciatic nerve was acting up. I had to go out of town for a funeral and the day of the service I had two bumps (I thought they were heat bumps) on the back of my leg. The next day I had more.
By the time I returned home and got in to see my dermatologist, it had been 4 days since my first bumps had appeared. I was given a shot and prescribed Valtrex. After taking two tablets of Valtrex I found I couldn't take it because of a bad reaction to it. I felt I had to have something around my house for the itching and pain, and ended up using Chiggerex medicated ointment with aloe vera gel. I couldn't believe how it stopped the pain and dried the blisters up. When I went back to doctor on the following Monday, all the sores were dried up. It works great.
By Marsha from Baton Rouge, LA
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I have a case of shingles. I went to the doctor and he gave me valtrex to take and said there is nothing else he can do. Are there any home remedies for the itching? This is the first time I ever got this and 2 other people at church have it that sit by me. Is it catchy, and if so for how long? Thanks for all of your help.
Linda from Hayward, WI
To my knowledge, shingles is not catching. Actually anyone who has ever had chicken pox can get shingles. Put shingles into a search engine and I'm sure you will get lots of info. Valtrex is a prescription used to treat Herpes and chicken pox and shingles are the same type of virus, I believe. I have never had Shingles but know several who have had it. It is not pleasant by the way they described it. I'm sure there will be other posters who can give you some advice on what to do for the itching and discomfort. Good luck! (12/13/2006)
Place oatmeal in a sock. Tie it to the bathtub tap and let the water run through it to fill your tub. After sitting in this few awhile, just "blot" instead of vigorous rubbing to dry yourself. Calamine Lotion, available at any drugstore is also a good remedy for relief. (12/13/2006)
There is a new prescription medicine on the market now that is very good for Shingles - Lyrica. Ask your doctor to prescribe it for you. It helped a friend of mine. (12/13/2006)
By Pat Giles
I agree with doing an online search for info on shingles. I had them a few years ago, and if I remember correctly, it may be contagious when it's in its active phase. However, it isn't shingles that can be passed on, it's chicken pox and it could be serious for the very young, as well as adults that have never had chicken pox. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember being told that.
As far as the discomfort, unfortunately, what works for one may not work for another. Also, it depends on where the outbreak is. Mine was on my back, so I could try a lot of different options. But if the shingles is in a sensitive area (like near the eyes), then you'd have to be more careful.
Good luck, and keep taking your prescription. It may not seem to help, but it can prevent post herpetic neuralgia, PHN. I had PHN for months afterwards, and it was very painful. I don't want to scare you, I'm just trying to encourage you to take those pills, lol. (12/13/2006)
After you get chicken pox, the virus can go dormant along a nerve. If it ever flares up, you get shingles. It will usually flare up later in life, if at all. Shingles (the chicken pox virus) is not supposed to be catchy unless you've never had the chicken pox. So, if you've never had chicken pox and are not vaccinated for them, and are in contact with someone who has the shingles, you may catch the virus and break out in chicken pox. It is not supposed to be contagious in general.
With that said, the medical field doesn't know everything. There was an outbreak where my husband works, last year. Seven or eight people who work in close proximity all came down with the shingles, my husband being one of them. We didn't know what they were at first. I then broke out with them too. A few of the other worker's spouses broke out also. About six months later, a lot of us broke out a second time. The company doctor remarked about how unusual the case was, since they are not supposed to be contagious.
Viruses are continually evolving. I wonder if this is one of them, since it isn't responding in the usual way. I've since heard of several cases where individuals have caught the shingles after being in close proximity to someone else who had had them. I guess time will tell.(12/13/2006)
We soaked towels in vinegar and put the towels on my dad's shingles. the vinegar dries them up. I take vinegar pills whenever I am sick so I would suggest them for this also. Be careful with the lyrica. I made me itch more. I didn't have shingles but itching is a common reaction. It isn't made for shingle pain but pain due to diabetes. (12/13/2006)
I've had great success with Reflexology. Shingles were gone in 3 treatments. You may be able to find a reflexologist online. (12/13/2006)
I cared for a Grandson that got shingles at 10 years old. They would not let him go to school till he was over it. It can last for months. I was able to get some Aloe vera products and used on him. He was back in school in 2 weeks. Shingles is a breakdown of the immune system. I have passed on what I used on my Grandson to others with shingles and they had no scaring, while 2 of their friends did scar. You can catch it or they would not make the kids stay out of school. (12/14/2006)
Just yesterday in our local paper, Dr. Gott said to paint the blisters with clear nail polish. This would help with the itching. I used to paint my boys ant bites with nail polish, they liked it when I did it, because it DID make the itching stop. Hope you get to feeling better soon. (12/14/2006)
By Jean in GA
Yep, most of my family and relatives(except me and my sister, I think) got a case of shingles that really hurt them painfully, lasting way too long, months and months, with no remedy other than to be injected with Corticosteroids around the infection.
It's definitely contagious, and spread through the mucosa (body fluids) from the infected person and through the leaking blisters it forms! My poor grandmother had it in her head and on face as well, cried with the pain and she was a tough lady all of her life. There's almost no relief available. My son got it when he was only 16 years old. I nursed all of the ones I was near, and very carefully, as I had learned all through my working with various doctors as a young adult.
I have learned to always keep a lot of white bleachable sheets around for such as this. Bleach is the ONLY treatment for the areas of living where the Ebola virus that has killed so many in Africa, according to Educational TV documentary by the Communicable Disease Center, as it is also the best treatment for environments around anyone ill, if used properly and in proper ventilation. It is what cafes use to sanitize dishes, after washing in dishwasher, I understand.
Ammonia (a strong alkaline) is NOT a sanitizer, nor is vinegar (a weak acid). They are only cleansers of grease, fingerprints and therefore harmless germs, not harmful germs. Never rely on these when there is illness. Even Alcohol takes over 60 minutes of direct and continual contact to sanitize a limited number of germs but will NOT kill most harmful germs, so do not depend upon these items. Use Betadine, Iodine and Bleach for the more serious germs.
I do not hesitate to toss contaminated items of clothing/linens to prevent re-infections or spread to others. I am not a purist, and would not toss furniture or bedding unless for a VERY dangerous illness/contagion with no hope of recovery/remedy.
Keep in mind that the sun has certain healing properties, except for those who are to be kept OUT of the sun, or in low light to protect their eyes.
Good luck with the illness and God bless you. : )
I have dealt with this myself; have taken valtrex and cort.drugs, but found better solution and pain relief from vit E, taken orally 1600 units for me and putting vit E on blisters. I have had most trouble with after blisters have gone away, post whatever and i take heavy doses of vit E and C and it seems to make it go away. Dealt with this for years every summer, this post thing. no more...Vitamins cannot hurt you and they put a stop to my pain. (03/17/2007)
Shingles are in the same family as Chicken Pox and Herpes. To help the Shingles come back less, and hurt much less while you have them, take plenty of "L-Lysine"... It's a natural amino acid. Lysine usually stops the pain and itching after taking it for 1 or 2 days. Just read the bottle and take what it says... Also DO NOT EAT Walnuts or Hazelnuts and eat alot of dairy foods and fish: You want more Lysine and less Arginine in you diet. Below is a chart, with the Ratios of Lysine to Arginine in Certain Foods. You want to eat more food from the top of the list and avoid the food from the bottom of the list:
My sister has had problems with cold sores that are in the same family. By taking L-lysine, and avoiding walnuts, hazelnuts and most other nuts (including peanuts) she has very little problems anymore. By all means, take the Valtrex (Zovirax aslo works and might be cheaper). The Valtrex will lessen the Shingles outbreak by 50 - 75%, it will also help stop the itching!... so it's definitely worth taking... But to avoid any more outbreaks, follow the above advice. (Believe me, we've done our research, and it's tried and tested buy medical research too!)
----> The VALTREX will help you to NOT spread it and help it go away much faster! (03/17/2007)
One more thing: DO NOT put cortisone on it for the itching! Cortisone will make it MUCH WORSE, twice as bad! If you don't believe me, call a pharmacist! (and while your're at it, ask the pharmacist about the Lysine and the Valtrex) He or She will tell you the "scoop".
* Pharmacists know much more about drugs than doctors do. (03/17/2007)
Hi, I'm a firm believer in colloidial silver. This was used before penicillin came into being. Just go to any colloidial silver website and you can order it or even make your own if you have the gadget you need. Guess they call it a generator. (06/07/2007)
My doc prescribed Valtrex for the outbreak and Vicodin for the pain. It not only hurts on my back where the outbreak is, it also has given me a WHAMO of a headache. I've also found that applying neem oil soothes it for me. But try a small area first. A cold compress ice pack helps my pain on the site too. (09/23/2007)
I am 26 years old and was given the bad new this morning. I have 2 pimple like bumps on my forehead, and a spider like bump on my shoulder. I am not sure if this is shingles, but I am worried that I am too young for this yet. My wife and I have a 5 month old baby, she has never had the chickenpox. I'm just a bit scared that the two of them could come down with it. Doc issued Valtrex, I hope that works. If any sufferer can explain how I could get it let me know. I have been under no real stress (06/16/2008)
Shingles is the most painful thing I have ever had (including child birth!). At least that was over in a short time.) In 1996 I had shingles ,for the second time. It was on the inside of my body, no rash on the outside. Dr's didn't know what it was. One even said it was all in my head.(the JURK!) Finally after 8 months, a new Dr sent me to a specialist and he started giving me shots in my back. It had 3 meds in it and took 4 months at one shot a month before the shingles was gone. What I want to tell people now, there is a new vaccine for Shingles and it cost my cousin $250. But it is worth it. I read it was available for $160. So that is something to ask your own Dr. about. I know this is an old post, but people are still searching for help and relief. (07/03/2008)
By Vi Johnson
I just got shingles and yes, it is very painful and it is contagious if anyone touches the blisters. The doctor told me to stay away from children and pregnant women. I've tried all the above remedies for the itching and they are just temporary fixes. Nothing seems to help for the long run. Liquid Vitamin E helps for the scarring and also I take Vitamin E pills and Vitamin C daily. You can get a vaccination for it, but not until you turn 60. (09/05/2008)
Got the shingles the blisters are gone only remains a bit of the redness and an intense pain. I've never experience a pain as strong as this one. My shingles are on my right chest and sometimes it feels like being stabbed. Not sure what else to do for this pain or how much longer i would have to endure it. I've had this for 3 wks now. (09/10/2008)
I've currently got shingles, I am 18 and this is the second time round. Luckily I haven't gotten to the painful stage yet, just the incurable itching. I went to my doctor as soon as I had the symptoms and they just brushed me off, telling me all the things I already know like to keep it clean and try to relax. The itching is now 24:7, it even wakes me up at night. I've gotten to the point where I can't relax because I'm always thinking 'Don't scratch, don't scratch.' Why is it doctors brush us off so easily instead of actually listening to us?
I have now come out in a second outbreak on my chest due to the stress from the itching and yet, still, no one who can help me is listening. I'm just so frustrated and just want a way that will stop the itching! Please help! (10/30/2008)
To those who have shingles, and the itching is intense, I recommend apple cider vinegar either raw(Braggs) or Heinz ACV. I have shingles now, and its on my face, but it is clearing up. I heard that if you take lysine 3,000 mg a day, it would benefit you, and already I'm having clearer skin. I have been taking the lysine for 3 days and will continue to take it for 10 more days. I also made a mixture of powdered turmeric and water made a paste and put it over the blisters.
This helped so much in my case, let the paste dry, it's best if you let it dry over night and wash it off in the morning, you can also have it on your face for a few hours, but the longer you have it on the better. I just want to warn you that you skin will turn yellow, but is easily taken off with hot water,and soap. Be sure to use a few paper towels. Another remedy is putting aloe vera straight from the plant. Apply this on the blisters, and just leave it there, and let it dry.
Avoid all nuts, and coffee, and caffeine. I do know that if you increase your dairy intake you will benefit. Eggs, milk, yogurt all cheeses are good. However if you want to live off of more foods than dairy here is a website for foods you can have and foods you cannot when you have this outbreak. Herpes.com/nutrition.html, as well as this earthclinic.com. (11/01/2008)
The doctor says I have shingles, but I doubt it very much because I have no blisters or itching at all, just a weird headache with heat coming out of my head. It comes and goes really hard. Does anyone here ever experience that? (11/19/2008)
By David D
The shingles is absolutely horrible. A good home remedy for the shingles is the use of apple cider. This has proven to be a very effective method with many different people.