Q. I have an unemployed friend who has no health insurance. He had an outbreak of shingles on the right side of his face that made his ear and jaw ache. The shingles was developing into a raw area.

I have your book, Best Choices from The Peoples Pharmacy. In researching shingles I came across a one-paragraph mention of using Listerine on shingles. We thought this sounded logical and he tried it.

After only 72 hours of applying the Listerine three times daily, the results are pretty remarkable. The sores have dried up and are scabbing over, his pain is almost gone and he is healing nicely. This really worked in his case.

A. It is possible that your friend’s improvement with Listerine was a coincidence and that the outbreak would have healed without treatment. We have heard from several people, however, that old-fashioned Listerine can ease the pain of shingles. Early use of an antiviral medicine such as acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) is the best treatment for shingles. When it comes to shingles, it’s best to see a doctor early enough to get a prescription, even though this might be a challenge without insurance.

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  1. Deborah Davis
    United States
    Reply

    Sorry, if you have shingles. There are a lot of things that help temporarily. My favorites is oatmeal you eat, make a paste, let it sit as long as possible and wash in warm water. Aveeno lotion has added much relief for the burn. Benedryl itch gel helps also. Aloe plant will heal skin fast but the nerves, someone needs to help. Oxycodone 5mg you can tolerate it, but 10 mg—no pain at all, if you can get them.

  2. joe e.
    Reply

    BobK,
    This Shingles/Nerve Pain is one thing you don’t stop trying to beat, as I said prior, being my shingles weren’t visible and the 14 Quacks treating me never ever bothered looking at my scalp or eye brow close up, they merely asked about types and frequency of pain, when started etc. etc. I decided they weren’t “treating” the problem but merely educating themselves.
    It is when I came across this site mentioning Listerine and seeing the word GERMS on the Listerine bottle I continued washing my hair and rinsing affected area with a soaked sterile 4X4 gauze. At first it burned somewhat but by then I was use to sporadic severe pain.
    I recall a friend/neighbor who also had shingles told me about Acyclovir, it is expensive but at that point I would’ve paid 5 times anything asked.
    I hadn’t used it until after 14 months after the outbreak, of all med’s used it gave the most relief (not 100%). I will be putting some around eye brow area in another 20 minutes. I still apply a small amount 4 times daily in 4 hour intervals. The directions say do not use for more than 12 days or 2 weeks, but I am not going to agonize in pain.
    The same applies with the Capzasin HP, I apply 4 times daily, minimal amounts. When I first started using the Capzasin HP I had put on too much and it was very very painful, as I said earlier.
    And as numerous sites I’ve come across Capzasin must be applied on some for as long as 2 months and if need be I’ll do it.
    I also got Vaccinated for Shingles approx. 6 weeks ago regardless of having symptoms. The Quacks had me taking Gabapentin 300mg Capsules 3 times a day.
    They may as well give a person heroin in my opinion, Gabapentin made me have severe mood swings along with other side effects, dizzy, drowsy, fatigue.
    I was also on a Statin Drug (simvastatin) stopped it June 26th. And my mind is a lot sharper, less fatigue as well, memory is better.
    Type into your search bar “statin drugs weaken the immune system” along with this search “statin drugs interfering with memory and comprehension”
    Did I ever get an Education.
    So if you get Acyclovir she should get some relief, not right away but with time.
    The Quack didn’t want to re-fill my prescription and told me I “was using too much,” turns out my hair and follicles weren’t enabling me to put it on properly. So don’t throw away the tube, press it flat until you cannot get any more out of it.
    Then carefully cut the very end off the bottom and then near the top, after that cut a very very thin strip off one side so you can then unfold it and get even more from it rather than waste any.
    Time for me to put a bit above the brow/into the brow area, then Capzasin on again for the 4th. Time today even though there is no pain for if I don’t I’ll be awoken at around 3 a.m., find myself going to my refrigerator to get the cold water bag to somewhat numb areas in pain.
    DO NOT GIVE UP!….. I’M NOT.

    • Joe C.
      texas
      Reply

      My wife has shingles and she can’t get any sleep at night. How can you stop the pain at night so she can rest? Does Listerine really help? Signed, worried about my wife.

  3. BobK
    Reply

    Joe e. Good luck. My wife is going on her 5th year of pain and nothing, and I mean nothing we tried has lessened the pain with the exception of drugs which only last for a few hours.
    We haven’t tried the Acyclovir cream but did try the Capazacin with little success. We keep searching for an answer……….Bob

  4. joe e.
    Reply

    Bob , I shaved the hair off the left side of scalp ( shingles area ) upper branch of the T5 Trigeminal Nerve. Of other two 1 travels through the ear canal and lower branch along the jaw .
    I was using the Acyclovir sparingly, 4 times daily. I would hold a mirror alongside my head while looking into vanity mirror. It was obvious from the spots caused from scratching the nerve affected areas. I used as many as 3 Ointment tubes as 14 Drs. & PA’s never did a good review of my scalp .
    Apparently they simply surmised Post Herpetic Neuralgia and gave me a follow up appt. NO GOOD FOR ME.
    when the Acyclovir stopped showing significant relief I then began using VERY VERY VERY little Capszacin HP (and DID IT BURN at first!). Do not ever put it close or near the eye, I suggest using a glove when applying. It may take a week to tolerate , I am slowly getting used to it. I apply it 4 times daily , Once again VERY VERY VERY Little .
    Every so often the sensations occur near the corner and top of eye brow so I simply put a tiny bit of Acyclovir on the area and that nerve area is slowly getting better .
    Considering I’ve been dealing with this for almost 15 months I refuse to let up and things are slowly getting better. Some days are better than others so hang in there . Acyclovir won’t harm you .

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