What to do for shingles

What to do for shingles

What to do for shingles pain

Symptoms associated with shingles in the eye must be treated at the earliest. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications that could even lead to blindness.
What to do for shingles
You shound come to doctor early
See your doctor early. The sooner your doctor diagnoses shingles, the better. Patients who start a course of drug treatment within three days of symptoms see better results than patients who wait longer than three days to start treatment.
Prepare a couple home treatments to make managing shingles easier. Although you should never let shingles go untreated, there are a number of things you can do at home to combine with doctor's orders.
Watch for a potential worsening of your condition. Shingles comes with long-term complications in some cases. You should look out for the following scenarios if you are dealing with shingles.

Here is one article I found on the net for your reference

I've had the very unfortunate experience of suffering from shingles. The 5 week period I endured it is definitely up there on my list of worst times ever. Luckily, I lived to tell about it (not that you can die from it.) Here is a synopsis on what shingles is, how to tell if you have it, and how to treat it. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a virus that attacks the nervous system and results in a painful skin rash. It occurs most often in adults over the age of 60, (but not always, I'm 29) yet the virus is usually contracted way before the shingles skin rash ever emerges. If you've had chicken pox as a child or even as an adult, the virus that caused the chicken pox, never leaves your system. It stays dormant in your body and though the exact cause of shingles hasn't been determined, it is often reactivated as shingles under circumstances of emotional stress or immune deficiency. In my case, my stress levels were high and immune system was low. As I result, I got a very acute case of shingles according to my doctor.

Usually, 3-5 days before the shingles rash appears, the affected areas of your skin will feel very sensitive and tender. I can describe it best as a burning pain. The shingles rash most commonly appears on one side of the torso because the virus stays dormant near your spine. When the virus is active it starts to spread through the nerves moving away from your spine.

There are varying degrees of how painful this could be. I know this because interestingly enough, my brother developed shingles later the same year. His experience was hardly painful at all, he described it more as "uncomfortable" and was over it in about 2 weeks (so lucky).

On my shingles scale of 1-10, with 1 being no pain at all, 10 being my skin feels like it's burning off, at the onset of my skin pain, it was maybe about a 3. I was feeling the pain right under the left side of my bra strap, so I thought maybe my bra was too tight and was causing the discomfort. Also, you know how you sometimes have an itch where no matter how often you scratch the spot you think it is located, you can never quite get to it? It definitely had that feeling to it as well. The other symptom I noticed was that I had a sharp shooting pain under my left rib. It would occur every five minutes or so, but well, I dance a lot, so I thought I had probably just moved the wrong way or something.

After a few days of skin pain, you will then notice a small cluster of tiny blisters on a red base as the shingles rash starts to emerge. If you are not aware of what shingles is (I had never heard of it before) you will of course, think of every probable thing it may be. My first patch appeared right smack dab in the middle of my back, so I couldn't even really see it, just feel it. My first thought was that it was maybe a small patch of acne, even though I never had back acne before. But then the patch was sort of burning at about a 5 on the shingles scale, and the next day, the acne felt slightly bigger and harder. That's when we figured out they were blisters. My second thought, since my husband and I had just come back from our honeymoon in Hawaii, was that I got sun poisoning. This was when I started my research and my own diagnosis after hours on the internet, was boils. I find it funny, that I spent hours googling my symptoms and I did not come across shingles.

I made an appointment to see my doctor the next day, but unfortunately, by then it was too late. The best that doctors can do if you have shingles is prescribe an antiviral medicine to help fight the virus. These antiviral medicines include Zovirax (acyclovir), Valtrex (valacylovir), or Famvir (famciclovir) which can help reduce the severity and duration of the rash if started within 72 hours of the rash first appearing. If you wait until after the first 72 hours, you can still take the treatment but at that point it will have very little effect and you will just need to let the virus carry out its course.

After a few days, the shingles rash will start to spread. The day I made the doctor's appointment, my initial small patch of "back acne" had become a small patch of big, hard red blisters. That same night my rash started to spread like wildfire! All the areas that my skin had been feeling sensitive to (the whole left side of my torso) turned red and began forming small blisters. The pain went from being a 5 to being a 10 and beyond. This was one of the hardest nights of my life. I have a pretty high threshold for pain, but this night I couldn't sleep and the pain actually brought me to tears. I had the shooting pain under my ribs coming back, much more forceful, stronger, and occurring every couple of minutes. The skin on my body felt like it was burning off.

When I made it to the doctor, she took one look at my back and said "You have a very acute case of herpes zoster." Herpes who? I immediately thought I contracted herpes from the bedsheets at the hotel we stayed at and was freaked out! After being better informed as to what herpes zoster really was, she prescribed an antiviral medicine, advised to take aspirin every 4 hours to reduce the pain and inflammation, and gave me a topical cream called Tamanu Arnica to apply to the blisters. She then covered my blisters with dressings, had me schedule a follow up appointment for a few days later and sent me on my way.

Since my skin felt like it was gonna fall off even when I didn't move, I was pretty much bedridden the duration of my 5 week period healing time. The pain during the first three weeks was at 10, the last two weeks at about a 5. I won't go into the gross details of how that whole period went for me, but you pretty much need to just let the blisters form, develop, scab, and then fall off. It will take approximately 4-6 weeks. If you have trouble being mobile, it is best to stay home and rest. If you were emotionally stressed or had a weaker immune system at the start of the virus activation, you want to give your body some time to strengthen its immune system so it can fight off the virus.

Here's what I did during my recovery period:

1. Took aspirin at the recommended dosage and frequency.

2. Took my prescribed antiviral medicine at this recommended dosage and frequency.

3. Applied the topical cream to the shingles rashes 4 times a day and changed to new dressings.

4. Took baths in warm water and apple cider vinegar also 4 times a day for 20 minutes each time. It sounds strange, but a homeopathic doctor told me to try that because it helps draw toxins out of the body. I have to say, I was most comfortable when sitting in these baths. You don't feel the pain at all when you're sitting in warm water!

5. Ate well, drank lots of water, slept, and took my vitamins to build up my immune system.

6. Watched anything and everything funny to take my mind off the pain. This might sound crazy, but I watched every single episode of every single season of Friends... twice!

In the end, I survived shingles and you will too.

I have some scars from the ordeal which my doctor told me would go away in a year. It's been a year and a couple of months since then, but I still have my shingles scars. I'm hoping they will go away in a few more years though. Very rarely, the skin that was affected sometimes becomes sensitive and tender, similar to the feeling I had when I first got shingles. The first time it happened I went back to my doctor who said it is most likely the "after effect" of having shingles, where you can still feel the pain even after the attack is over. This is known as Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN) and occurs when the nerves have been damaged. My case is not anywhere near extreme, but I know that it can be for some people. If you feel you are suffering from this, talk to your doctor about it.
Source: Personal experience and my doctor