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.

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Shingles wont go away

Yep, I've been suffering for over three months now. I no longer get that horrid pain, but they itch terribly. Still got the scars all over my stomach and back.
My Doctor told me it would go after a few weeks, she gave me anti viral tablets for 7 days which helped I guess. But here I am 3 months later and still suffering.
Anyone else in similar circumstances?

Ron

Replies

Julia1953
Julia1953

Mine didn't last that long. Are you irritating them by scratching at them, or with clothing or bedsheets? Irritating shingles CAN make them take longer to go away. Have you asked your doctor why you still have them? I definitely would, not that I think there's something drastically wrong with you, but just for peace of mind, and possibly extra relief in the form of meds or topicals. Why suffer if you can get help?
deleted_user
deleted_user

Today is my four month anniversary. I had them on my head, forehead and eyelid. The discomfort from the back of my head to just before my hairline on my forehead has finally subsided. Just into my hairline, my forehead and eyelid are still quite uncomfortable and very itchy. I have scars on my forehead from the blisters. I am quite tired all the time - not as bad as at first but it is annoying. The heat and sweating makes the pain and itching worse. It seems to be going away in infinitesimal amounts. It is nice that people ask me how I am feeling but I am tired of saying that I am still not 100%. Hopefully yours will continue to get better too.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thank you for your kind replies, If it doesn't go soon I am going back to my doctor.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Sure sounds like a classic case of Post Herpetic Neaualgia or PHN. It is the damaged nerves not working right. You probably no longer have shingles. In some cases, the nerves are damaged by the virus that was in them, and take a long time to recover. Check with the doctor.

Internally, gabapentin is what is normally prescribed..

Externally, you treat the itch as though you had an insect bite. I found that over the counter anti-itch creams with benzocaine 20% in them work quite well. Ask about those products at the local drug store.

Sometimes you can get away with just using external products if the PHN is not too severe. I hope this is your case. Good luck.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks Mike you have some good points there, I will try what you recommend.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Ron,
I had PHN from shingles. The pain lasted over a year. I finally went off the pain meds and gabepentin and Lyrica a little over a year ago when it got better in July 2010. I still once in a while get the burning
pain in my back if I get really tired or even in the shower if hot water
hits it. Most days its fine and I forget about it. Some people can have it even longer. Good luck with yours!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Patty, thank you so very much for your reply. I find it interesting how we suffer for so long with this. My Doctor told me it would only last for 2 weeks and that was 3 months ago.
I do get the odd twinge now and then but mostly the scars itch at times.
I go to the gym 3 times a week, some days I do a whole routine, other days it reminds me that I'm still not 100%. I hope you are feeling better, it's so good to share these experiences with likewise people.
Ron
jady
jady

hi ron
i also used benadryl spray to calm the itching down it is over the counter or take benadryl tablets also over the counter. i also take vitamin bs to help support my immune system hoping to never get these again. high stress levels aren't good either so the b's help with this too.
blessings for this to calm down
jady
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Jady, thanks for your lovely words. I'm an accountant and in the past several months have been through a dire patch, I had many sleepless nights and lots of worry. I think the stress started this off.
I appear to be in good spirits, but I must admit I get so tired quickly which is nothing like me, I love the gym and am always looking for new things to do.
Ron
xx
STEVP
STEVP

I had these bump things above my eye on my right side. I went to an Aid Station and the nurse practinioner dx'd me as having poison ivy. (in January) and prescribe some kind of steroids. About a month later, I went to my regualr dr. Though it was getting better, he dx'd the bumps(blisters) as shingles. He said it was okay that the nurse practioner prescribe steroids as this is probably what he would have prescribed for shingles.

I'm rabbling, but my point is maybe you should see about getting a prescription of steroids to get rid of the shingles.

my 2 cents
linoblockartist
linoblockartist

Ron: I concur with Mike - sounds like PHN. I am now 8 months out, and still take Gabapentin for mine. I consider myself lucky though - it is definitely manageable and doesn't bother me unless I miss a pill. (I take 600 mg a day - a low dose) If I get really tired or stressed, my nerves speak up and the places where I had my outbreak/blisters get sore. I seem to remember that you did not want to start the medication - which I understand - but it might be worth trying. No need to suffer. Best wishes...
gibsonlinda
gibsonlinda

Hi Ron, I have had phn for eight yrs now. Still have severe chronic pain. In order to maintain everyday TASKS I take meds, But, I'm thankful I,m able to do somethings.So hang on in there .
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks Linda and Lino, what's nice to know is that I'm not alone in this. Though I sympathise with you both of course.
I will hang on in there and fight it best I can.

Ron
xxx
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had shingles for 5 months the first time round, with huge blisters. I did not know what it was for a month, and I have a suppressed immune system due to RA meds. So too little, too late!

I finally got a doc to prescribe Famvir for a month, and maintenance Valtrex for a year. I had a dermatologist prescribe me 7 days Valtrex and it did not touch it. But these are very special circumstances. Of course, as soon as I went off the maintenance Valtrex, I got it in my left arm in exactly the parallel place. So much for being on one side of the body.

I did have PHN for a year after the actual shingles, and found that castor oil on a heated arm, was the best way to soothe it.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for your reply Angela, sorry you've had it for so long too.
Strange how the doc's say it will only last a few weeks and yet here we are several months later and still suffering.

Ron
xxx