Shingles Support Group

Herpes zoster, colloquially known as shingles, is the reactivation of varicella zoster virus, leading to a crop of painful blisters over the area of a dermatome. It occurs very rarely in children and adults, but its incidence is high in the elderly (over 60), as well as in any age group of immunocompromised patients.

0 Online
0 Online

Insane itching

I finally found ya'll! I broke out with shingles on the 6th of june this year. All seemed to go as expected until the 14th. when this itching started. At first it would itch exactly where a blister had been. It has since widened in the area that is affected.It still followes the path opf the infection but all the skin in the area itches. My shingles ran from the middle of my chin down my neck to my breastbone, aroun to the back of my neck, up into my hair, folloed my jawline, covered my ear and were down in my ear, down my neck to my shoulder. That is where it itches, Sometimes it all itches at once and sometimes it is more localized but it always itches. Nothing topical helps and I have tried everything homemade, homeopathic, over the counter and prescription. Oddly it calms down after I take a pain pill. I feel funny taking Percocet for itching.Ice packs help more than anything. I can't sit with an ice bag flopped on my head all the time! I'm loosing so much sleep and am getting really wasted from this. If I knew it would go away on it's own and when I could take it. I'm ready to check out some other optons like the lidocaine infusions realitybites mentioned. My doctor already plans to give me the Zostavax.So 'that's my story and I'm sticking to it!' vealchop

Replies

Julia1953
Julia1953

What helped me with itching was taking Aveeno bath powder and adding just a tiny bit of water to it to make a "paste", which I applied to my skin and let air dry. Of course, I would recommend you ask your doctor if it's okay for you to try this before you do it, but I did find I got relief from it, and as far as I know, there is nothing harmful in it.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I wish you 150% the best of luck !! The itching can really drive one insaine if I havent gone there and back already! I have open sores on my scalp and forehead cause I just cannot keep my hands off my face and head and I have tried every single trick of the trade so to speak with the itch. Thing is.. the itch is because of miss-firing nerves that is sending your brain mixed sensations and messages.. the messages your brain is reciving is all screwy, kwim ?? And so this is why the itch doesnt go away. Or, atleast, for me, it has yet to go away. Unlike bug bites or stings where a paste made from oatmeal or even baking soda works absolute wonders (and I swear by this for bites) it might only give you temporary relief because the skin isnt really itchy, it is nerves making the brain think it is itchy..hum, I hope I am making sence, lol.. trying too explain it like the pain doctor explained to my dh. Like Julia said though, absolutley no harm done with taking an Aveeno bath and heck, it might just be relaxing. What you could do, cheaper then aveeeno is your basic run of the mill bag of oatmeal. Find a pair of nylons that you plan on never using again and cut it shin length, fill with about a cup of oatmeal and tie off well so it doesnt spill out into the tub.. toss in the tub and then soak for as long as you are comfortable..... I SO understand too about loosing sleep over this. I cannot remember really the last time I had a restfull sleep. Have you asked your doctor for something that might help you sleep? My doctor had me on amitryptiline (sp) It helps you sleep and for some, it even helps the pain. Try not too feel "funny" about taking something like percocet for the itch.. if it helps you get thru your day then you are fortunate as without I am sure you like me, would be just misserable.

I am interested in hearing more abot Zostavax. Since my shingles was pretty bad, the worst my neruologist has ever seen, I am quite afraid of getting the vaccine. Especially since it was the chickenpox vaccine the children had done that triggered my shingles attack... Keep us posted Cutlet. I really pray and hope you get some relief ! hugs, Tricia
Dodo
Dodo

Cutlet...I suffer as well from terrible itching, unfortunately I don"t have an answer. If mine gets too bad, I take a half of percaset. My shingles was on my left forhead, eyebrow, head and into the eye. There's something I would like to ask everyone...I experience terrible soreness on my affected area. My forhead, head around my eye and eyebrow is so sore I can hardly touch it. It will be one year Aug. 11th for me...But I know there are others that are worse off than me. MY prayers and hopes are with you all. Dolores
deleted_user
deleted_user

Apple Cider Vinegar helped with my itching. I've used it diluted with water about half & half.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi
I hope you itchy calms down or has calmed down. For my shingles it seems that stress anxiety etc triggers the itchiness and everthing else
related to the shingles . So what I have been doing is taking b complex and lysine. sometimes two to three times a day. That seems to help me. My mother also got shingles around the same time as you which is weird cuz it was a month after I got them. And we have not have been in each others presence! Weird right. But my mom has really bad itching and pain. And she takes the pain med and it helps her helps her sleep too. Rest is so important because your body is stressed from fighting the virus. I refused pain meds for mine and did a mind over body thing. It worked for me but I am very stubborn LOL. However, I did make it a point ot get rest and I did take oatmeal baths and epsom salt baths and found that even hot showers helped. I am actually itching right now but I can choose to ignore it as it is not so large an area.
Maybe itching the itch causes the brain to respond with more itching. You know even though it is not the skin but the nerves, if the brain thinks it is an itch and you itch it like a mosquito bite the response its more itching. which is why I try never to scratch any bites and the itching goes away faster but If I scratch the itch it always gets worse. does this make sense to you it does to me.
but the itch at first did drive me crazy even though I resisting scratching.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi all
I would venture a quess that your shingles has gone away and that now you have what is called Post Hermetic Neuralgia or PHN. Look it up on the net. I have the same thing. My shingles started in January of this year and according to all of the some 7 different doctors that I have seen is that the shingles is over soon after the blisters go away and the nerve damage takes over. That is a bunch of pain and itching, burning, etc. Good luck sometimes it goes away in a month and sometimes longer, even much longer.
I found that a cold cloth worked for a while and now I am using Lidocaine anti-itch cream.

Hope you are one of the lucky ones

Jim
Dodo
Dodo

Don't be discouraged so soon. It will take a little while...everyone is different, but it sounds like you are still treating the active blisters or just after, correct? You have a little while to go yet. Your Dr. can work with you to help you. Many people get over this condition very quickly...So Good luck! and stay positive! Dolores
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had mine in my hair. The only thing that helped my itching for that was dandruf shampoo so guess I am not to much help. But I do hope it goes away soon for you because it sounds horrible. *big healing hugs to you*
Spunkie
Spunkie

Dear Cutlet, The Shingles "attacked" me in March after I had Diverticulitis. So, I guess my immunity was very low.. Anyway, took Valtrex and Vicodin (for pain)and YES, Ice was a HUGE help, along with "BurnJel" (big help). I am feeling really good now and the lingering affect I have is Tinnitus as my shingles were on my neck up to my ear and scalp. One of my friends is a Merck (mfr of Zostavax) rep and she tells me that once you have Shingles, the chance of reoccurrence is small. I looked into it, as I was thinking of getting the vaccine too. I tell everyone I meet that they should get the vaccine (as no one should go through this pain and suffering) and they check with their Dr. who usually is VERY casual about it as they don't keep the vaccine.. it has to be kept frozen, so it has to be ordered from the pharmacy. Anyway, tell your friends to be insistant and demand that the Dr. make it available.. There is hope! I feel good..
Dodo
Dodo

Well...I just got back from NY visiting my son. For some reason, the last wk I was there and continuing since I am back, I have felt really bad. Incredible itching...and pain. I don't know what triggers these unmerciful attacks...I can feel pretty good at times, enjoy my life, then, BAM...I am right back to the half a percoset and lying down. I try so hard to keep my hands off my face & head(that's where I had my SHINGLES.) My two yr anniversary is coming up Aug. 11 2006 since I was struck...I am going to try all the methods for itching that all of you have shared...I have to do something. I am really suffering...I am a docent at a presidential library and I have to be ready to lecture...God speed to all of you. I pray for all my DailyStrength friends. When I mention it to a friend that I am having a massive attack, they say "Do you still have that stuff?" People just don't understand the sinister aspects of this condition. P.S. if I didn't have the percoset around in these terrible times, I don't know what I would do. It helps the itching right away....but then when it wears off, I am right back where I started frm. God Bless.....Doloresd
deleted_user
deleted_user

I fell like I can't survive this. Nobody understands here. Sores appeared April 10, and now have pain and itching where the sores were. I don't feel like I will ever feel well again and I am just a burden and a complainer to everyone that knows me. I'm sorry for them
deleted_user
deleted_user

I feel your pain, Literally. I came down with it 3-1/2 weeks ago and the itch is driving me nuts. It seems to get worse at night. I tried the apple cider vinegar but it didn't seem to help much. Now I go to sleep with an ice pack and when the itch/pain wakes me up I put the ice pack on till it stops and I can fall back to sleep. Any ideas how long this lasts?
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am nearing the 5 year mark 'anniversary' of having shingles and subsequently postherpetic neuralgia pain. Unfortunetly the insane itch remains and we (my doctors and I) have exhausted all medical avenues except for medicinal marijuana which I will not even try. I find that when I am under a lot of stress the burn, itch, stabbing and poking feelings get worse. The irritation is there daily but it still seems to get worse in the evening when I am trying to wind down and relax. I suppose I should be happy that the irritation is no where near as intense as it once was. I have become paranoid now though since at any time there can be a reoccurance of shingles. Since I suffer from auto immune disease I have a high chance of a reoccurance happening. I believe I would have a serious anxiety attack (literally) If I ever come into contact with anyone who has chickenpox. One thing forsure if it does happen I will demand my doctor put me on high dose of IV therapy drugs rather then oral pills. I had gone thru such an ordeal I am afraid that it will happen again rather then thinking it 'could' happen again. I feel like a ticking time bomb.

If anyone has found sources that helped them conquer the fears I am suffering from, please share your story. I find it even more difficult to 'get over' because this whole ordeal began Mothers Day (week) of 2005.

Thanks
Tricia aka Realitybytes
deleted_user
deleted_user

I can so relate to you all but especially Tricia. My shingles outbreak was very small but the aftermath has been terrible. In the evening when I am relaxing the itching starts and drives me nuts. For me, a half of a Vicodin helps immensely. I try not to take one too often but sometimes I just have to. When I am really stressed the itching goes from a dull ache to full on pain. It is taking a toll on me. I wish you all the best in finding the relief that best works for you.
Terry
deleted_user
deleted_user

im currently taking and will always take turmeric capsules...( a spice in capsule form)
also Burdock x6 a day both.....

ive Shingles and H.S.

the itching has gone...

hope this helps