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Listerine Helps Ease Shingles Pain

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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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Glad to hear your story on Listerine and Shingles. I had a bout of Shingles in Oct 2009, not wanting to take an RX or vaccine which "may or may not help" I decided to research natural aids to treat Shingles, and I found many people expressing very good results by taking Apple Cider Vinegar 1oz 3-4 times daily helpful as well as applying it topically on the lesions.

I decided to try it, and to my amazement it worked wonderfully! It is rancid stuff to drink, I tried mixing it with a variety of different drinks, such as Orange Juice, Tomato Juice and lemonade, I found that lemonade made this more palatable, 1-8oz cup lemonade with 1oz Apple Cider Vinegar and almost immediately the pain was much more tolerable, not sure if it was a placebo effect or not, but every time I drank it, I got immediate relief.

Applying it topically helped much as well, although, to a lesser degree. I never in my life experienced pain like this before, I have a pretty hefty pain threshold, but this pain, would make me stop talking in mid sentence. Here's to good relief!! And thanks for sharing!!

Several years ago I recognized the symptoms of shingles and got to the doctor pronto. An antiviral prescription, taken within 72 hours, can eliminate the total pain and discomfort of shingles.

I've had success keeping shingles at bay taking L-Lysine 500mg twice a day. Heard about it from a health news letter & decided to give it a try. GLAD I DID!

Eucalyptus is an amazing remedy for shingles. I used the (diluted) essential oil and it helps speed the healing process. I'm thinking it's the eucalyptus in the Listerine that helped.


My wife has now had shingles for 8 months. She has tried everything including herbal medicines as well as Listerine and nothing seems to help. The only relief she gets is from Rx drugs.

I was surprised to see Peoples Pharmacy declare unequivocally that "early use of an antiviral medicine... is the best treatment for shingles."

Peoples Pharmacy on-line very recently posted treatments for shingles sent in by readers, many of which are very effective and do not have side effects..

When my husband's shingles (mid section) first appeared, he was in the doctor's office within the 78 hour window and was given Valtrex. This medication mitigated the pain but he still complained about it for several weeks. I wonder if applying cider vinegar or Listerine, or perhaps taking L-lysine in addition to the Valtrex would have sped up the relief. Has anyone tried combining these treatments? Thanks!

When I had shingles I didn't know I had it. I didn't even know I had a rash. I went to the emergency room and the medications prescribed gave no relief. The pain was intolerable. They didn't even tell me I had shingles. I finally got to my primary doctor. After I explained my symptoms he asked me to show him where the pain was. When I did that he asked me did I know I had a rash? I didn't.

Since the pain was along a surgical incision I thought that was the problem. The rash was along the same incision. It didn't itch. I wasn't given any of the typical prescriptions mentioned earlier.

I was just told to increase the medications which I was already taking for other things--Gabapentin, Carbamazepine, and Tramadol. They didn't do much of anything right away, if at all. It wasn't even suggested that I take the shingles vaccination. Finally the rash went away.

I have friends who when they initially went on Medicare got letters telling them that Medicare would pay for them to have certain tests, etc. and to have them done. Among them was a colonoscopy and shingles vaccine. I never received such a letter. Maybe that is something new that Medicare is doing.

I asked the doctor about having a shingles vaccination after it was over and I didn't get an answer. I read somewhere that it was a good idea because you can get shingles more than once.

Go to your doctor and get a chicken pox shot before you get shingles.


I've had a 3x3" rash on my back for probably a year--I didn't know it was there until it started itching. Thought it would go away, of course it didn't. Finally asked my doctor and he prescribed Valtrex. I've been taking generic Valtrex for shingles since March 1, 2011, and it's taking forever for it to completely go away. Is the generic not as effective? In May I started using Listerine--no big improvement. I should add that I have no pain, just an annoying rash that itches. The color has lightened since taking medication--I was hoping it would be gone by now.

I had shingles and it's been 3 weeks since it started. The rash came out on my right buttock after a week of intense pain, especially at night when I laid down. When the rash first came out I had my husband put food grade hydrogen peroxide on the rash and the surrounding area. I read about it online as I was getting the food grade for a different reason. I'm still using it and also calamine lotion. I'm just starting to feel much better. The Dr gave me an antibiotic and Lyrica. She said they've (medical establishment) found that the Lyrica stops the nerves from flaring up again. I hope she's right.

She also said that it was pointless to get the shingles vaccination as having had shingles I had only a 2% chance of getting shingles again and the vaccine would bring it down to 1%. In my humble opinion, after having had shingles and the intense pain associated with it, I am going to get the vaccination. Regarding the Lyrica, I was given 150 mg but cut the table in half and then into a third as the dose was too much for me and the lower dosage was just as effective. Lyrica did help but I also took prednisone for a few days.

I have a six pack of prednisone for emergencies as I have allergic problems to some foods. The Dr told me that while the prednisone does help it can also prolong the effects of the shingles. But when the pain is so intense anything that will relieve it is a blessing. I'm not condoning prednisone or Lyrica and would never take them unless it was necessary.

Here is a new thought about shingles. I am a healthy 74 year old and I am very active. In all of my rush a door that I had just opened slammed back and hit my chest very hard. I did not bruise... I waited and a few days went by when I was having a tightness in my air waves. I got an x-ray and nothing was damaged... a few sores that I thought were possibly a spider bite began to itch. When I went to get the x-ray the doctor told me that the rash was caused from the slamming of the door on my chest... causing chicken pox to come out... any one with a similar experience?

In response to Leah O. I had been through a very emotional, stressful time and I think that's why I got the shingles. But after I wrote my previous posting I tried the Listerine as the spot where the shingle's had been was throbbing and I was worried because I had heard and read that it could come back. I put the Listerine on it, within 10 min the throbbing lessened and then stopped. The next night I started to feel it, but not as strong, put more Listerine on it and that was it. Since then it's been OK.

Regarding Listerine, I had a toenail that was damaged and it felt infected. I soaked my foot in Listerine and it was better the next day. My husband used it for a fungus that he had on his face, dabbed Listerine on it and it went away. I'm always keeping it on hand now. Also using it for it's intended purpose, mouthwash.

I had shingles starting July 2011.
I have bad pain in my waste area. It is nerve pain. I cannot take pain pills --They make me sick plus dizzy and they do not work.

I tried different patches,creams etc. What can I do for the pain?
My doctor has tried about everything with me.


Response to Leah O.
YES, my friend was over and she brought her dog (medium size). The dog put her paws on my thigh and began to "dig". It hurt! I didn't bruise and she didn't break the skin although I had I had jeans on. That happened at 11:00 at night. At 6:00 in the morning I got up and felt a sharp pain and my skin felt VERY sensitive. The skin continued feeling like I was sunburned and 4 days later I broke out with shingles! The nurse practitioner seemed to think I was crazy that the pawing by the dog activated the shingles but I KNOW that's what happened. Too much of a coincidence AND the most painful area?... yep, exactly where the dog pawed my thigh.

I have been under tremendous stress for the last 2 years and that may have been a factor but I don't believe the virus would have been activated if not for the deep digging by the dog. So, yes, a physical injury can, in my opinion and experience, "stir up" the virus and cause it to reactivate.

I was diagnosed with shingles today. I'm only 27. The rash isn't bad, but the pain on the right side of my chest is very intense. How common is it for young people to get this, and would wrapping my chest with an ace bandage help by keeping constant pressure on the area?

I am an AIDS patient and have developed a severe case of shingles on both legs. The itch, pain and burning is some of the most intense I have ever felt. I'm going to try the listerine and apple cider vinegar.

Perhaps the dog way trying to tell you something? Similar to the dogs who sniff out cancer?

I've been diagnosed with shingles even though I had the shingles vaccine shot 7 months ago. Not much pain but horrible itching. My doctor says it's not shingles if it appears on both sides of the body. Hmmm. Don't really believe that but she gave me the anti-viral which I'm taking and the Gabamentin which I won't take. Hopefully I can weather the storm.

Response to CB..

I am not a medical professional, but from speaking with my daughter's physician it is not common at all for young people (ages 0 to 23 years) to come down with shingles. Her physician did say that the youngest she has diagnosed was 25years old and a main cause is stress.

My daughter is only 12 years old and was just diagnosed with shingles. She has had it for about a week now (yes, Merry Christmas to her)! Her primary physician said she was the youngest patient she has ever seen/diagnosed/heard of coming down with shingles. My daughter has never had chicken pox and was vaccinated when she was a baby.

Her physician said it was more than likely that she had come in contact or near someone that had chicken pox. She has it down her left arm and is in horrible pain. I myself have never had either the chicken pox or shingles. I was vaccinated as an adult, but now have to be extremely careful since shingles are highly contagious. She is taking an anti-viral, but I am going to try some eucalyptus and apple cyder vinegar to see if anything can help to relieve some of the discomfort she is feeling. This probably was not very helpful to you, but any answers can help to ease confusion.

I came down with a mark on my back about three weeks before Christmas. I thought it was a Spider bite. Next day there was a blister so I lanced it an treated with Iodine. Then the next day 4 blisters on a circle,still no big deal Then the third or firth day about 9 or 10 blisters, no problem until I am walking to the house from the barn the pain hit, WOW it doubled me in half and did not think I would make it to the house. After a lot of Pain spasms.

I went to emergency room,was diagnosed with shingles. Now have been on pain pills every six hours when I started up chucking went to 2 pills a day and a patch. Pain is real an now at 1/16 it is still here. It is more severe than two broken legs 2-arms 2 wrists, broken shoulder and one time 5 ribs when I was thrown by a horse. all these injuries were from horsey accidents. Been training horse since I was 14. Now 75 and wondering when the pain will leave me and I can be pain free.

My oldest daughter is now 35, she also came down with shingles when she was 12, which was 23 years ago. At that time she was one of the youngest cases ever documented. Today, my 20 year old daughter was diagnosed with shingles on the right side of the neck. Funny thing, she is still home for college break, only stress is that she will be going back to school in a few days. She enjoys school, goes to a great university, has good friends, no money issues, etc, Only stress I can think of is leaving home again and also leaving boyfriend (he lives here). She is only 4 hours away, and they Skype and talk all the time.

She is on a anti viral. Since she leaves in a few days, thought that would be a good idea. Also, tried some Neurogen, which is an OTC homeopathic remedy that is used for nerve pain and diabetic neuropathy, It is a topical agent, figured probably wouldn't hurt.

Shingles must run in our family, as I also had them about ten years ago when I was in my mid 40's. I broke out with mine about a week after I returned from a snowboarding vacation in the mountains. Had a great time, but my body must have perceived that as stress.

My daughter also has a lot of itching, I found some cream I had for chiggers which we put on her, that seemed to relieve the itching. For the pain, she is alternating Tylenol and ibuprofen.

I'm a 34 year old female who about 5 days ago woke up with a painful and itchy blister on the left side of my forehead. I thought it was a burn of some sort, but had no idea how it got there! Just figured it was an unexplainable thing. That day my forehead and scalp itched like crazy!! Following morning I woke up with another blister on my forehead and several in my scalp. I was still very itchy and in pain. It was time to see the Dr. He diagnosed me me shingles. Put me on famcicovir 500mg three times daily, and gabapentin 300mg. I don't think the gabapentin is working. Then that afternoon I got a blister in the corner of my eye, so I saw an opthamalogist and am now on 2 different ointments.

My glands on the left side right next to my ear are swollen and hurt. I have a gland in my neck also swollen. So my neck is so stiff and it hurts to talk, etc. I'm assuming this is because your body is fighting an infection?

I to have been under a lot of stress which I wonder if was my trigger. My husband and I have been trying to conceive with no luck. And I had surgery last week due endomeriosis.

I woke up this morning and the largest blister on my forehead which is the size of a nickle, is starting to crust and the needling and burning pain is so intense, what can I try?

Being these are on my forehead am I supposed to cover them? I swear the air causes pain! It's probably all in my head. Lol. At times the pain just zaps through my head and I just get the chills.

And yes, I do realize this is just the beginning, I'm just looking for some advice. Thank you.

I am fighting a bout of shingles, forth time. I am on medication but am concerned about being contagious. Any thoughts on that? Dr. says no. I am inclined to not believe her. Gerry

People's Pharmacy response: So far as we know, shingles are a re-activation of chickenpox virus...but not contagious at the shingles stage. They were contagious as chickenpox.

My husband went to the doctor and dx of shingles two days ago. He said contagious as long as he has the blisters. (The nurse wouldn't even cross the room!)

I am 31 and have the shingles, this is my 3rd time getting them. I was prescribed Acyclovir which is the generic brand and costs $4. It works well but I don't understand why I keep getting it? Does the vaccination really work?

I'm 19 and I've caught them for the first time, I'm about 9 days in right now and the stabbing pain is starting to keep me awake, it's tolerable (I also have a high pain threshold), but the sleep deprivations definitely starting to get to me. It's actually frustrating, I wake up angry because of the pain.

I noticed them actually because it hurt under my arm pits when I was doing push ups or put any stress really on my arm, but the push ups really initiated some pain, my lymph nodes were swollen under my arm pits, a day later, a couple 'pimples' popped up, I actually popped them and let it sit like it wasn't anything, the next day I wake up, and I'm diagnosed with shingles and my doctor automatically puts me on acyclovir, it's working well and I'm at the crusting stage, is there anything to help ease the nerve pain so that I can actually get a full night of sleep?

I'll actually wake up in a dazed stupor if I take sleeping medication because sedation doesn't work for some reason I can still feel it in my sleep.

ALSO, I did nothing out of the normal and I had no contact with anyone out of the normal, so I suppose it's stress relation. I've been around someone for a week close contact however, and he hasn't caught it, so I don't believe it's contagious (he was here when I found out I had actually originally caught it, he was out of luck anyway lol), but from research online, I hear it can be contagious during the blistering stage with direct physical contact, or contaminated items.

Regarding physical trauma seeming to "stir up" shingles... I had the same thing happen to me. I fell down the stairs at a spa and bruised my butt cheek quite badly, high up near my lower back on the right side. As the bruise was healing, a 2 inch diameter round of bumps cropped up, and though I went to the doctor immediately and am taking acyclovir, I am now getting shooting pains down my leg, and the rash is spreading (just 36 hours later, after starting the medicine). And I know you can't "get" shingles from someone else, but my boyfriend was recovering from shingles when I fell down the stairs and bruised myself, and two weeks later.... I have it. Huge coincidence, or something the medical community is incorrect about?

Due to the fact that I have a compromised immune system because of meds I take for rheumatoid arthritis (embrel)I came down with shingles on my scalp. I have been on antiviral meds for the last 6 days and was told to stop taking the anti viral meds after the 7th day. I still have so much pain and spots are still coming out. I was given pain meds but I am not getting relief. I have not slept all week except for short cat naps. What can I do? Please help.

I started by having itching sensation then after 2 days I develops blisters, that's when I went to see my doctor who told me its shingles, I was in so much pain and he had to prescribe very strong pain killers to make me at least sleep, the blisters are gone it's now a month but I still have severe pain. I am definitely going to get Listerine and apple cider vinegar and try this. Forget to say I'm also diabetic, hope this will ease the pain that makes me uncomfortable I cannot wear any tight clothes cause this is around my one breast.

The amino acid Lysine is effective for many people against both the itching and pain of shingles. It comes in capsule and tablet form. I find that it helps to take 1000 mg. 2 or even 3x a day when the shingles first start and lower the dosage to 500 mg. doses as the shingles pain and itching gets under control. Buy a reliable brand.

It is also helpful to take B vitamin complex formulations. Mine are the balanced B type and I buy the most natural I can find. I started with a pretty high does, like 100 mg of most of the B's in the complex, and then down to 50 mg. that helps a lot with the pain and itching.

I have had shingles several times, always in times of very high stress, although I have read that for some people eating peanut butter can trigger a relapse. When I feel that odd itch with the slight nerve pain sensation, I take Lysine right away and the shingles do not progress to full stage itching and pain or rash.

Sometimes the pain after the shingles disappear can be considerable. This is, I've heard, a form of neuralgia. Again, the higher dose of Lysine can help. Anything that helps to calm the nervous system, likes B vitamins can offer some relief.

Yes, the antiviral medicines that Peoples Pharmacy writes about definitely help, and getting vaccinated may help- that is so new, we don't know yet. But we definitely can get shingles more than once and not always in the same location.

Thanks to grandma for knowing everything! So I got Shingles and used Listerine to beat the virus very quickly. It burns when applied but soon fades and feels better. I just kept applying the Apple cider vinegar every time it itched until the seeping stopped. Now I just keep the outbreak moisturized. I also drink 1 ounce of Apple cider vinegar mixed in with lemonade (for taste) 3 times a day and take Benadryl for the itch and Ibuprofen to keep swelling down so it won't be so sensitive. I noticed when I applied the Listerine that the virus moved to tissue nearby that hadn't been previously affected. Then I had to treat those areas too, but I knew I was fighting a war I was winning and that felt pretty to good to a guy who was feeling pretty low from all the suffering.

just went to Dr. this evening; have had a disturbing itch that started in the middle of my scalp about a week ago, but noticed over the weekend that it was "moving" forward to my hairline, down my forehead (right side only) to my eyelid which kinda scared me, My Dr thinks it's the shingles, but I don't have much of a rash, just the burning itch drives me crazy, and made me feel kinda sick yesterday. So, he put a lidocaine patch on my forehead which hasn't made much difference, but wanted it left on 12 hrs.

Gave me a script for generic valtrex called valacyclovir; which I haven't taken yet. We always practice naturopathic medicine, at at 56 this is the first problem I've had since I was a kid; and yes I had the chickenpox at about 8 yrs. I guess from all your input, which I greatly appreciated, I should just do "all the above" as I work, don't want to expose anyone else but can't afford NOT to work, and want to try to keep from getting the blisters. Will try to keep watch here and see any new posts! Thank you!

Jackie. You should take the valtrex immediately. All sources on shingles says that it is essential that you attack the virus within the first couple of days. Otherwise you could sustain a lot of nerve damage.

I'm 41yrs old and I have shingles.. I hit my leg on the edge of my footboard and a couple of days later my leg had pains shooting up and down... now I'm on meds, but nothing seems to stop the pain that I describe like a TOOTH ACHE... a pain you just can actually get to.

Thanks for the input Bob. I did start taking the script from Dr. that night. I also took a homeopathic remedy for MY specific symptoms, drank 4-5 cups of tea made with Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 tsp local honey a day, rotated swabbing the few "marks" I did get on my forehead with Listerine, Bragg's A.C.V., and the "gel" from a real, live aloe vera plant hourly. I also completely changed my diet to a "cooling" diet, which you can research in complimentary Eastern medicine.

The diet help to change the pH balance in my body which was very acidic. (Funny thing here, I'd just had my yearly physical and blood work and my blood work came back "off", which was my liver counts. Got the shingles within a week of physical and had to go back for follow-up blood work in 1 month. My blood work came back completely normal.

I also have to tell you that my shingles never seeped, blistered, and everything was gone within 2 weeks; from start of itch to end of pain and itching. I had 4 red "burned" looking marks from my hairline to top of my right eyebrow. They changed from hot red, to scabbed, then just disappeared, with no scarring. I know this isn't for everyone, but it worked for me. I do have to say though, this WAS NOT FUN; I feel sorry for anyone experiencing shingles, and I hope they NEVER come back!


My friend got shingles but the doctor did not recognize the symptoms until about a week in. Now the rash is gone, but the pain is still excruciating. She is taking pain killers, but it is still difficult to sleep because of the pain.

Is there anything that can help other than overdosing on pain killers?

Sorry to hear about your friend. My wife has had the same excruciating pain going on two years now. She is on pain medication every day and some times that doesn't even work. We have tried everything but nothing has helped. It is very frustrating. Hopefully your friend's pain will subside shortly.

I was diagnosed with shingles yesterday. It started with a rash on my lower back that itched for about 4 days until I couldn't stand it anymore. Then, I had the night pain that I couldn't believe. I've lived with pain before, thought I had a high pain tolerance but this reduced me to a crying baby. The pain is mostly centered on my left side, from my spine to my hip joint. It seems the pain only happens at night and I'm relatively OK during the day. Has anyone else had this experience?

I am taking drugs for this and hope it ends soon. It seems that everyone is different as far as severity and where lesions occur and how often they come back. Does anyone have any idea what makes the difference? Also, I was told that you can't get shingles if you haven't had chicken pox. Is that true?

Hope everyone out there survives this.

Sorry to hear about your shingles. The pain is different in everyone. Some have it only for a couple of weeks where others have it for years. My wife is now going on here second year of constant pain. Like yours her's is worse at night but days are bad also. She is on constant pain medication. We have tried everything and I mean everything to fight or get rid of the pain but so far nothing has helped.

I would believe that one's immune system has a lot to do with how quickly you recover. My wife was on prednisone for a long time for another medical problem which we now believe lowered her immune system to the point that she wasn't able to fight off the shingles attack. Doctors now are saying that the sheath around her nerves are damaged and to the point that she may not ever recover from this. This is truly disturbing but we are still hopeful. From what I've read keep your immune system at its best and keep your stress at a minimum. Good luck.

All I know is I had shingles, and I never had Chicken Pox...However I was an RN, and likely exposed to the virus over the years, and just never developed full blown chicken pox...the very best and most useful thing I used was Apple Cider Vinegar...both Orally and topically on the lesions..I wish you well!!

My dad is in the same boat for close to a year now. He's 92. He has 2 areas on his back about the size you are speaking of. One on each shoulder blade. At first it itched real and I mean REALLLY bad.

He is unable to reach back there to itch it of course.... but no pain. We didn't know what it was. his incompetent GP doctor didn't diagnose it was shingles until WAY later....... I noticed the blisters were slowly going away after time, after the use of some topical cortisone type product prescribed by his GP... now it just looks like red patches. like a scarred or burned area.

Now yesterday he complained of pain; not extreme or intolerable pain, but nonetheless pain in the areas. I'm at my wits end here. He's old, has many different painful chronic health problems, heart failure, COPD and cancer are three, not in good shape, this is the LAST thing he needs. please someone with any knowledge, can you help?

i have had same experience--pain not bad during day but horrible at night especially around 3-4 AM. Try ice packs on where the pain is--this really helps me.

My and is Cheyenne from Jenkins, Kentucky. I'm 18 years old and was diagnosed with shingles 2 days ago. I know I had the blisters (just a couple) for a few days before being diagnosed and the sensitivity for a couple days before that. I was prescribed acyclovir by the doctor but didn't have money to fill even that prescription. About a week into shingles now, I have had absolutely no treatment. The rash is still only a few blisters. (5 or 6) . But the Pain is unbearable. I don't know what to do, and for having grown up in foster care and freshly released from the system completely on my own. I have no job, no home, and no one to turn to. I'm in so much pain. I don't know how to fix this or make it go away. I'm just a kid...

Very first outbreak in the doctors office last Thursday for my BP check-up, I thought I was bitten only when checking it was a mass of little blisters right beneath the bra band. Doctor held back and wouldn't give me my flu shot, she said watch and see if anything more developed. She suspected shingles and was right on because the next morning two smears of blisters on the back appeared. I'm a RA patient on Remicade, methotrexate and prednisone so my immune system is compromised.

On Valtrex since Friday and using Calamine until I can get some Listerine today to try. Second night now of hardly any sleep. Feel itchy in the scalp and other parts of the body but no outbreak, yet. I was informed by the doctor she has another Remicade patient that got on the Valtrex immediately and has now been doctored for 2 1/2 years for pain associated with the shingles. My rheumatologist told me to stop the methotrexate until the sores heal over and just continue with the prednisone but I only take 5 mg. daily. This is supposed to have been my second bout with the shingles. The first one my family doctor said she caught before I had an outbreak and I just had terrible pain about seven years ago. I'm going to try ice packs to numb the pain for some relief and hopefully rest. I have a 14 month old grandson that I'm staying away from until I scab over even though the doctor assured me that if my hands are clean and the area is covered with clothing that he would not get shingles/chicken-pox from me. I also have a 84 year old mom that I sure don't want getting this stuff.

The chickenpox vaccine will not help adults. An adult who has previously had chicken pox as a child has the virus in his body in a latent stage. When stress or illness, which is a stress in itself, or surgery, or many other things occur the virus can again become active as shingles.

During the rash stage, when they are still appearing until the last one has completely dried up, they are contagious to anyone who has not had the chicken pox. If the adult will go to his physician for vaccination prior to this, he has a fifty (50) percent chance of not getting the virus at all and, if he does, the pain from the virus ill be two-thirds (2/3) less than what it would have been if he had not had the vaccine at all. That in itself makes getting the vaccine worth it. And if you do end up with the virus afterwards, then the Listerine may assist in the pain relief. The eucalyptus gives much cooling relief. I did get the prescribed meds, but I didn't realize I had shingles during the first 24-72 hours of out break so I didn't get the entire amount of relief that would have come. Thanks to my Mom who had this book and found this "remedy".

I think, if I were you, I'd go to a Dermatologist, who specializes in the skin organ and see what he thinks. I am a registered nurse and what you are describing just doesn't seem to fit the bill of shingles. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. After you have done this please reply to this and let me know how the outcome was. Whatever it is, I pray you find relief soon,

Thank you! I was getting desperate to relieve the burning surface pain, which hit its peak last night, and not able sleep because my outbreak is on my scalp. One treatment with Listerine made a huge difference right away, and I got some sleep. Only had the "minty" kind but it seems to have the same basic ingredients and it worked. Glad my wife found this blog.

What would you recommend to dry up shingles? I've had the for 4 wks. now and they are about to get the best of me.They are mainly on my breasts, & are very
bothersome. Any suggestions?

I have the shingles on my breast, & under the breast. They are driving me nuts! I went to a dermatologist and he gave me a shot; I'm getting very little relief so far. I read om the computer that said to use Listerine. I'm doing that now. Hope it helps, will know in a few days hopefully. Shingles are terrible! I pray my husband does not get them, he has had strokes & open heart surgeries, but has recovered fairly well. We are both elderly. Have no idea where I got them! Guess it's just a virus.

I got shingles 5 weeks ago. Didn't start the Acyclover fast enough, but I did take it. Am on 1500 mg of Gabapentin daily (3 doses) and Oxycodone every 4 hours or as needed. Some days I can go 6 or 8 hours but the nights are just horrendous.
Any other information on how much of the Braggs Apple Cider vinegar to take with what type of honey (raw or what). I can't take all this horrible pain and the thought of this going on for months or even years, just scares me to pieces.

I got shingles just over a week ago. Because I had taken the shingles vaccine, I really had not considered the possibility when the first signs appeared - two red blotches. As I often work in the yard, I actually thought I had stumbled into poison oak or ivy.

WARNING TO ALL - If you read the entire study on the shingles vaccine, you will see that it is not 100% effective; in fact no where near. It is also not a certainty that your pain will be significantly reduced. The study shows a REDUCTION in the chance that someone may face various symptoms.

This does not mean you should not get the vaccine since it does REDUCE the risks, just a heads up that it is not a guarantee of effectiveness.

In my case, that delay in taking the anti-viral medication may be contributing to the intensity of the pain. Whether it is the ineffectiveness of the vaccine or the delay in beginning anti-viral treatment, I can attest to the intensity of the pain. After reading the blog, I am ready to try Listerine and will let you all know the results.

It has only been a couple of days since I began using Listerine and the difference is phenomenal. Whether it is the Listerine itself or the eucalyptus in the ingredients doesn't really matter. It worked for me. The skeptics (like myself) might say that it was just the timing and would have gotten better on its own. I think it is a whale of a coincidence and would use the Listerine again.

What is the latest with Chet's shingles who is homeless and broke aged 18?

In the early hours (3am) as I was enduring the last phase of shingles & the pain of post herpetic neuralgia across the right side of my scalp and behind my ear, I finally turned on the light, grabbed the laptop and searched for sites that might offer alternative remedies for pain relief. The acetemenaphin with codeine wasn't working well. I found this site and read the forums of shingle sufferers. Several people recommended applying Listerine mouth wash directly to the scalp and affected areas.

Skeptical but desperate, I went to the bathroom soaked my facecloth and rubbed it gently into my scalp. Wow ! within 3 minutes I felt relief and for the first time in 20 days of PHN slept with my head on the right side of the pillow. It was wonderful to feel pain free even for a few hours. Thanks to all who offered this excellent

I had and got over shingles recently. The medicine began to help within a few days, and the pain eased over the course of several weeks.
Hot compresses and athletic balm massaged onto the 'hot' area helped greatly.

I would be afraid if shingle appeared on the face/mouth/nose/forehead region, as the proximity of the eyes can cause blindness. Shingles is most effectively treated if antibiotics are started within the first 3 days of symptoms.

I intend to ask for the shingle vaccine (which I am told is most effective when combined with the annual flu vaccine, so that is what I am going to ask for...)

Hi Abbey,
I took 1 TBSP Bragg's with 2 tsp raw, local honey probably 6 times a day, plus alternated Listerine, Bragg's ACV, and aloe vera gel (directly from the plant; we always keep them in our home) every hour on the "spots" that broke out on my forehead. I did take the acyclovir recommended by my doctor within 24 hours, and used ibuprofen as needed.

I was a "lucky" one; if you can call it that because I only had 4 spots, itching in scalp, but they didn't seep or spread, just kind of scabbed over in less than a week. I did have the PHNP for about another week. I also watched what I ate, and drank tons of water. Good luck and hope you are well soon!

Thanks for the information that the shingles vaccine may not be 100% effective. I've had several "outbreaks" so mild I was not sure they were shingles, but the itching and feeling of the bubble-type spots were familiar. I took Lysine as mentioned above and B vitamins just in case. They lasted only a short time and did not go on to become painful.

I've been eating cashew butter instead of peanut butter which has been known to bring on shingles in those of us who have already had them. I've have had no more incidents recently.

I am 40, and have it on my right thigh. My rash began 5 days ago and spread quickly. After reading this post I tried several different things at once, to see which spots showed the best/longest relief. Before I knew it was Shingles, I thought I might have some contact dermatitis, so I put Neosporin on my rash, and it dramatically reduced the sensitivity to clothes.

I do think, however that it may delay the healing process as it keeps the blisters moisturized instead of letting them dry out. The other things I have tried: Tea tree oil, mint toothpaste, Listerine, baking soda, hydrocortisone 1%, After bite for kids, apple cider vinegar, and Chloraseptic throat spray. With the exception of the throat spray, all of them brought me some level of relief.

The one that gave me the most immediate relief was the After Bite, the main ingredient of which is baking soda, but it also has some tea tree oil. This quelled the itch for a nice amount of time. The longest lasting relief, for me was the toothpaste, but again, being sort of sticky, I'm not sure it will delay the healing process as it doesn't allow the blisters to dry out. For pain, the Neosporin helped the most. I could liberally touch the spots that were treated with it, and they felt remarkably less sensitive than the other spots.

Toothpaste was a close second for the pain, seeming to take some of the bruised feeling away, and coating the area to make it less sensitive. I didn't find the external application of apple cider vinegar to be very effective, but have been making a warm drink of it, and taking Lysine a few times a day. I also began taking Benedryl last night to help me sleep and reduce the swelling. I stuck strictly to baking soda paste last night, and between the antiviral, the steroid and all my home remedies, today I feel better than I have in days! Wishing you all a quick recovery!

I just got shingles for the first time- I'm 35. The rash that formed initially looked like a couple of bug bites. When the rash worsened I wrapped it in warm cloths with a mixture of warm water and tea tree oil. It stops the it itching and burning and reduces the inflammation. I also noticed that it dries up the rash so that the fluid filled bubbles disappear and flatten. I'm going to try mixing the tea tree oil with baking soda. I did go to the doctor and get an anti viral- but I tried the tea tree oil before I went and the benefits were noticed before taking the anti-viral- I just didn't want it to continue to spread. I think tea tree oil helps to stop the skin from breaking open into sores.

My skin has had fluid filled bubbles but they haven't broken open into sores- which can cause infection. As soon as I feel redness or swelling I apply another tea tree oil compress and it causes the raised blisters to flatten. I think this can prevent shingles from becoming open sores- and also stops the itching that is scratched would also cause sores. I hope this helps.

Has anyone else had a doctor tell them that it was not shingles unless it was just on one side of the body? I was first diagnosed with shingles when I went to urgent care and put on Acyclovir. I took it five times a day for ten days. Some of the sores healed, but I was still getting new ones, so I went to the doctor again. But, I had just moved to another city and this doctor didn't think it was shingles because it wasn't just on one side of the body. I have the sores on both arms, the bottom of my legs, on my neck, and on my stomach. Most of them have crusted over already, but I am still seeing new spots.

When I went to the doctor today in the new city, she said she didn't think it was shingles because it was on both sides of my body. Didn't venture a guess as to what it was and didn't prescribe any more antibiotics, just something to help with pain and allow me to sleep. Told me to come back in two weeks if I wasn't better. I only saw one other person post a comment about a doctor telling them that. They didn't believe it and I'm not sure I do. What do y'all think?

I got up one morning and had an itching on the right side of my body. My wife said you have the same thing my dad had for about a year. I said what was that, and she said shingles. I tell you I was scared because in knew an older man tjat had a bad case of this and he said it was like the fires of hell. I knew it was bad, but I also knew he was kidding me. I tell you, he was close to right, I now have had it since 2001 and now we are in 2013. I have tried 56 different remedies including tea tree oil and Listerine. It seems that it only erupts on an average of every third day. Any ideas on how it can be coped with?

You should go to the doctor. It might not be shingle and it might be. Ive had shingle 3 times. the first time I got them was when I was 20. I still have the ongoing pain from them. There's not mush you can do for the pain but take meds. If the blister you have seem to grow large and just keep getting bigger then its possible you do have them. You need to keep that area as dry as possible. I found that letting the sun dry out my shingle helped get rid of them faster. Mine are cause from stress. If your stressed out you need to de-stress, very important!!

The antiviral meds everyone is speaking about work!! I took them for the longest time everyday. I still take them every once in a while when I feel a flare up. I also got my doc to give me a RX for the shingle shot (my health ins covered the whole thing). But definitely go see a doctor about it cuz you don't want to get an infection. Also just a thought- I get fever blister which are the same type of virus as shingle. I find that putting Vanilla extract on the blisters make it dry out super fast. Its the only thing I use. You might try it on your shingle rash. They have it in a clear liquid now (yes the baking vanilla extract). Good luck.

The tip about Listerine has been a lifesaver. Have no sign of rash on scalp but terrible pain. Pat with Listerine for relief and it helps. Can sleep and function. Had some peanut butter after a good day on tuesday and everything got worse. Face is numb around eye and into hairline. Will stay away from peanut butter tho' not sure it caused 'relapse'. Doc says take your Lyrica, Valtrex, tylenol and try to relax, it will be better in another week. Had it since Jan. 4th. We shall see. Prayers for all.

This condition must be hard to diagnose. When an itchy red patch appeared on the top of my forehead, I went to a dermatologist within 3 days. She took a skin culture (told me it would be a couple of days to get results) and said I had Cellulitis, for which she prescribed an antibiotic. She told me to see a family physician because I had such a bad headache.

I saw the second doctor, who took a blood test, said my white cell count was normal, and made no mention that my rash might be anything other than the diagnosed Cellulitis. Five days after seeing the dermatologist, I couldn't stand the pain and itching any more and went back. The skin culture she had done earlier was negative - - no Cellutisis. The redness was getting redder and bumpier, spreading into my scalp and lower down on my forehead, and she said "I think you have shingles".

She took me off the first antibiotic and gave me another one, telling me to go to the eye doctor because it seemed to be spreading towards my eyes. The most frustrating part is that I had the shingles vaccine 2-3 years before, which was not covered by Medicare and cost me $200. (I was never told that it might not prevent the disease).

Why is it that a quicker diagnosis can't be made in cases of shingles, by using a blood test? If I had been on the right medicine sooner, I've been told I could possibly have avoided a lot of pain and itching. The Capsaicin cream I was advised to get worked a bit toward easing the pain/itching, but blistering increased. Then, when I washed my hair in the shower, the Capsaicin residue somehow washed off my forehead/scalp, got into my eyes and mouth, burning like crazy. I've never been so frustrated and miserable.

Does anyone out there have alternative home remedies or comments on whether or not apple cider vinegar or Listerine will help? After reading stories that say the pain can last for weeks and even return again after healing, I'm certainly not looking forward to another bout of this.

Mine started with no rash, no itching, only a little pain in left buttock. This got worse in 2 or 3 days to the point of excruciating pain from buttock, down to top of my feet. Dr first said I had a pinched sciatic nerve. He put me on Prednisone for a week. During this week, the sores appeared all down the outside of my left leg and foot but no itching at all. I thought it was some kind of reaction to the prednisone. Went back to the Dr. a week later and she looked at the rash and immediately said shingles. She swabbed one of the sores and the lap test confirmed Shingles.

The sores got worse but still the sores weren't painful, only the sciatic nerve. Was put on Lortabs and started on an escalating dose of Gabapentin (Neurontin generic). The Lortabs cut the pain down from 8/9 to about 2/3 on a 1 to 10 pain scale. I'm up to 500 mg of the Gabapentin today and getting some pain relief from that. Only needed 1 Lortab today. I've been really worried about post herpatic neuralgia since I didn't get any anti-virals but the fact that after only two weeks since the first symptom appeared, my nerve pain is improving steadily gives me a lot of hope that the whole thing will resolve in the near future.

I have had the shingles for over a year, and although the blisters were cured very quickly, the itching and pain (feels like needles) are hard to live with. I have tried all kinds of cream and take 1800 mg of Gabepintin per day which seems to help with the pain. I get a little relief with hot towels in the morning and wear a soft t-shirt with
another shirt over the t-shirt. I am currently using Terrasil ( a salve made just for shingles) and it helps a little. My last resort is I am seeing a pain specialist and have the nerves treated with shots. I have even tried Acupuncturewith no relief to brag about. I have to say this is the worst pain I have ever endured and with all the high tech out there in the med field there should be someone who can come up with a cure for chicken pox and shingles.

I am 59 years old and I have shingles. I got mine from a severe case of depression where I had been crying non stop for 24 hours. On the second day of crying I doubled over and thought I was having a heart attack the pain was so bad in my chest. I don't have insurance and I couldn't afford any more bills so I was please dear god let this end. My family wanted me to go to the emergency room and I would have if I had had insurance but tried to ride it out since I didn't.

Well, the pain never went away in my chest. After 5 days of screaming in my pillow because the pain was so intense I went to a Dr. I knew it couldn't be my heart or I wouldn't still be alive but I couldn't take the pain anymore.

I have had 3 children, I have had major back surgery with screws and cadaver bone in June of 2012 and nothing compares to this pain it's a million times worse!! I have a high pain threshold and had my children natural and my back surgery with very little medication but this was insane. If I had lived in a third world country and couldn't get pain pills I would have thrown myself off a cliff the pain is so extreme.

The Doctor is the one who told me I had shingles. I told her that the pain will sometimes travel and come out my back like I have been shot with an arrow and they are pulling it back and forth. She asked me if I knew I had a rash on my back I said no. I also had a light rash on my stomach going across the chest. She prescribed acyclovir.

I was also taking two pain pills every 2 hours, I know I was taking too much, but I couldn't help it. I still thought that something else was wrong with me I didn't believe the pain in my chest was related to shingles it was to awful and worse than any pain I could describe. It didn't stop and the two pain pills would just dull it. My family chipped in and sent me to a specialist who was sure I had an ulcer. I knew it wasn't but he had a medical degree and he couldn't feel how bad this pain really was.

I finally accepted that it was related to the shingles only after the pain finally went away. 4 weeks later, and then the tingle began which I have since learned is what happens when the next stage starts THE ITCH. And that is what I have now. I know when someone tells me they have shingles I will be very sympathetic which I am sorry to say I wasn't until I suffered IT MYSELF.

I used and still put on my rash pure aloe vera (guts) juice. WHEN I WAS REALLY SUFFERING I USED IT EVERY 30 MINUTES. FORGET SLEEPING THE PAIN IS TOO BAD.

My african grey parrot who is a very good talker has learned something I am ashamed of. She screams out in pain and moans and groans and calls for help. Very loudly I might add. Makes it look like I have been hurting her!
I wish their was a cure for this.

I have shingles on my face and head. My main problem is my eye. I have been to two eye Doctors. They both gave me different kinds of antibiotic drugs . Nothing helps! The Doctor put me on Lyrica. It does help. Has anyone experienced the side effects of this drug? I had very painful burning and itching on my scalp and forehead. I put my head in a large salad bowl filled with ice and cold water! Shingles is wicked! This is day 26. I can't believe the pain! I am going to try Listerine right now!

I was diagnosed with shingles 9 days ago and am being treated with Valtrex. My rash is very textbook. However, my pain is very different than the typical Shingles pain. My Right arm is affected. The pain is a dull aching sensation from my neck to the tip of my little finger. It feels like my upper arm is 'in a vise'. The pain is not excruciating (have had about a dozen kidney stones so have experienced severe pain) and is manageable with Acetominophine every 4-6 hrs. The pain does seem to be lessening despite the rash being unchanged, although it has darkened in color.

I am concerned because I have not found any description of this type of pain and am hoping that I was not misdiagnosed.
I'd appreciate any input.

CS: My wife has had the shingles pain now for over 2.5 years. During this time I have read a lot of about the postherpetic neuralgia pain and don't remember seeing any articles describing the type of symptoms you describe. However, given that we are talking about nerve damage your pain would not seem to be out of the realm of possibilities.

I keep asking my wife if she possibly has something else that she may be dealing with but she insists that it is the same pain she has experienced since the beginning. In your case it wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion just to make sure.

Doesn't sound all that unusual. Shingles nerve pain can feel like intense aching, burning, sharp shooting electric shock type pain etc (all of which I've experienced), Mine was in my sciatic nerve and started with an intense aching in the buttock area and then progressed down my leg. It's just now subsiding even though the sores were gone about 3 weeks ago. Just give it time and don't worry unless 3 months have gone by and you still have the pain. If you were treated with Valtrex within 72 hours, there's very little risk of Post Herpatic Neuralgia, so I wouldn't worry at all. If your pain can be handled with just Tylenol, you are very, very lucky.

I am recovering from my second attack from shingles. My started to show signs on Friday 22. I didn't rush to seek medical attention coz it wasn't all that painful. After three days the blisters had intensified so I went to see a doctor who gave me ciproflaxin, anaerobyl, MVTs and some tablets to relieve pain. The night after taking the tablets I felt like I could pass out. It appeared as if I had triggered the burning pain. The next day I applied the fluid from fresh aloe vera.

The blisters started showing signs of healing but the pain continued to be intense for 2days. I kept on applying the aloe vera while at same time taking my doctor's prescribed tablets. The aloe vera has worked wonders for me. My pain has greatly reduced and the blisters are healing so quickly. I advise people suffering from shingles not to focus on the pain issue and continue using whatever remedy whether home or a doctor prescribed.

As long as the vein is still inflamed due to the shingles the pain will remain acute but will eventually die off as the vein starts healing. If anyone wants to know the simple tricks to withstanding the trauma of a shingles attack from shingles I'm willing to assist. The good thing is that shingles don't kill although very painful.

I'm wondering if I have the early signs of shingles. No rash yet, but it started with tingling and itching under my bra. It was a bra I hadn't worn in a a long time, so I originally thought it was detergent. Over the last few days I have tingling on both sides of my body - arms, face, legs - and slight itching. It feels like I'm firing off in different locations. No pain - just weird tingling and slight itching. Is this early signs of shingles or could it be something else?

Hello! It was such a surprise and also really helpful to find this website as I was using google to get information about this new shingle thing for me. I am 34 and 5 days ago, I woke up to find 3 spots of blisters that slowly became bigger on my right upper leg and close to my knee. I had chickenpox as a child and since my mother in law gets them I had an idea about it.

I am on Valtrex for HSV so I just took the pill (which I don't take on a regular basis only when I feel something on my lips). Until last night I still had blister filled but once I read about Listerine here I thought, well, it couldn't hurt to give it a try, I has been in pain on my leg anyway even before all the blisters appeared. I repeated the Listerine twice this morning and once in the afternoon. Right now, at 7:48 p.m., all the blisters are starting to dry up!!!

Before I was applying just acyclovir cream on them, last night I started to put the Listerine and the acyclovir cream immediately after. Thank you very much for the good advice, it worked beautifully. Best wishes for everybody who is having all the discomfort that comes along with shingles. Keep the calm and relax because stress is your enemy.

Actually, I got it for the first time this time and I know the reason: A suspicious character rang my doorbell at 11 p.m., while husband was working. He scared me like never in my life!!! And the difficult part was also calling my husband and the police while having my toddler in my arms because he was awake. Hugs and relax.

Hello Maggie,

I am not an expert, actually I am just surprised that I ended up having shingles for the first time few days ago. For what I researched in other websites once I realized that what I had was shingles, was that they don't cross the midline when you get them. I got them on my upper leg and close to my knee, nowhere else. Two days before noticing the first blister, I saw a tiny rash on my knee. 2 days later I woke up feeling pain on my right knee, so much that it was hard to get out of bed. Once I was in the bathroom is when I notice the 3 spots of swollen skin and one of them was getting blisters already. Please, let me know how it is going for you. I hope it's not shingles and just allergies. Take care.

Which drugs have been working for your wife?

I'm trying the apple cider vinegar in lemonade this morning after an intolerable night of little sleep.
Did you drink this without using the vinegar topically?

Which antiviral did you use?

How did you use the Eucalyptus essential oil- diluted with water?
How often?
How long did it take?
Thanks so much,

Why not take the Gabamentin?
I don't know anything about this drug, do you, or can you provide a link to info?

Laura, what is the cream you used that had been used for chiggers?

What made up the "hot compresses and athletic balm massaged onto the 'hot' area?"
How did you use it, and how often?

Can you be more specific re: "I also watched what I ate?"

K E. I tried Apple Cider Vinegar orally 2-3x per day, and then if the pain increased between these times, I did apply it topically...Hope this helps!!

Thank you for this info crandreww~!
I began today taking Acyclover, 200mg, 5x day. Fortunately it is within the 3 day time frame, but just barely.

Have been using the Listerine topically, which has given some relief from the pain for about an hour each time. I also have something called Shingles Rescue, which is a homeopathic gel that I apply after the listerine. It is also calming the pain.

I'll try doing that with the Apple Cider Vinegar in the next round.
The pain is really something! Like you, I have never experienced such a constant attack. At times I feel like this must be what it's like to be struck by lightening, only over and over again 24/7~!

The doctor said that the sores are still coming out, so not to expect any major change until the end of this week. He did also Rx some vicadin, which is helping me to tolerate the whole thing. I also saw my homeopath today who has given me a good brand of l-Lysine that includes some herbs, along with one of the homeopathic remedies directed toward the herpes zoster.

So, hopefully with this collection on hand, I'll see some change soon.
Fingers crossed that when the sores are through their journey, there will be no permanent damage to the nerves.
Thanks again~!

ok guys, I haven't seen a comment like this before, and I have read them all! I received the shingles vaccine on April 3rd, after much hesitation. I have had shingles before, and my Dr encouraged this. I was hesitant, remembering the pain, and having allergies and a weak immune system already, I questioned him about possibly getting them from the vaccine, as I had a heavy work week after the shot. he assured me no, well, I GOT THEM. They run along half of my rib cage, so every bend, every step is terrible pain. I have not as many blisters, and, I do have a high pain tolerance, but this pain reduces me to tears. I will not take the opiate meds he prescribed, he also suggested Capsazin, which promptly caused huge red welts on me. I am going out now to get the Listerine, I so hope it will help me! I will let you guys know. Thank s for this site

A pamphlet about shingles (given to my husband by his doctor) stated it works in a little over 50% of the time, and if/when a person does get shingles, it is supposed to lessen everything bad.

A friend tried her family doctor's advice and tried a home remedy for her early shingles-------vick's vapo rub. It works. Since it contains similar ingredients as gold Listerine, that would explain a lot. I love vick's. And, castor oil applied to the skin. Somebody ought to try rubbing a little onto shingles.

Ok, so finally, after a month, my shingles have subsided.

I was told by my dr to use Capsazin, which promptly made it worse, I broke out in big red welts which was more painful than anything. I contracted shingles from the vaccine. I had had them once before around 12 yrs ago as well. He then wrote me a prescription for a pain med which I refused to take as it was pretty heavy stuff.

I decided to do my own research, started taking the cider vinegar, used the gold Listerine on the areas, started the Lysine 1000 mg, used X strength Tylenol and it worked!

This bout was much worse with pain than the first time, I even remember the day it started, 3 days after the vaccine, I got an unusual throbbing mid back and then the sensitivity began. Try this, I hope this regime will work for you all as well!!

I'm 57 & was just diagnosed with Shingles yesterday. I'd felt something in my scalp 2 nights before & thought spider bite since I then saw a rash starting at the top of my forehead. The next day I had a headache all day and pain on the left side of my face & co-worker convinced me to go to the Dr.

Started acyclovir 5 x day yesterday, and taking Norco which isn't helping much. There was no sleeping last night as I have a continuing ache in my head and behind my eye - the worst thing is the sharp, stabbing electric shock-like pain that is like an ice pick going into my left temple. This seems to happen every few minutes or so.

I am under a lot of stress at work and think that brought this on. I plan on getting Lysine today, I'm reading that I should take 1000mg a day? I will also be trying Listerine and the cider vinegar. I'm only a few days into this and I can't imagine having this pain for any length of time. Anyone else experiencing this stabbing-electric like pain? This is awful!

I had shingles when I was 15, the rash went a way but I still have pain all the time. What can I use to get rid of the pain?!

Went to ER a few days ago. I never go to the doc but I just felt that something was very wrong. It turned out that my initial fear was nothing but I mentioned shingles to the doc because a friend of mine mentioned it when I told her that my skin was very sensitive around my abdomen. The doc said ARE YOU SURE THAT IT ISN'T JUST ON ONE SIDE? BECAUSE SHINGLES WILL ONLY BE ON ONE SIDE. I thought I had spider bites on my back. I get a lot of spider bites because I work in the yard a lot. Anyway, the doc dismissed shingles because I had pain all around my midsection. I started researching when I got home and I have no doubt now that it is shingles. I wonder now how many other multiple appearing spider bites have actually been shingles? I actually do think the pain is on one side - that is how it started - but it got so intense at times that my whole midsection seemed to ache. It was if I had the flu just in my midsection.

HISTORY: I've seen posts on here from teenagers and I was thinking back on similar pains that I had when I was younger. I used to play soccer in high school and we were given these nylon knee high socks to where as part of our uniform. They would slip down during the game and when I would pull them up the pain was excruciating - just like this pain I am feeling now. Through the years I've had these sensitive skin areas on different parts of my body but never any outward signs. I think now that this is probably all related. I've tried to buy only cotton clothes too. When this feeling started in my midsection this time, I checked all the labels of my clothes for 100% cotton shirts and found NONE. Some are 95% cotton 5% spandex which seem to feel the best. Some that I thought were cotton are only 65% in some cases. I've had problems in the past with rabbit hair/angora too.

All this to say that I think there is a correlation between my skin sensitivity and the fibers that I wear. I also just got new sheets so I need to check that too. I also had hives when I was 17 or 18 which may or may not be related. It may be related in the sense that both conditions seem to be brought about by stress which was present at that time and recently my stress level has been high. In addition my immune system has been struggling as I've been trying to get rid of a soar throat and ear ache.

CONCLUSIONS: With what I've learned so far I will definitely try the listerine and the apple cider vinegar since I have those here now. I will continue my quest for cotton fabrics. I also have some l-lysine but will wait on those until I have tried the other.

All the best to you. Thank you all for posting!

The best thing for pain I found by far was Neuragen cream--natural/homeopathic and knocked out the localized nerve pain--it goes in deep. Look for it in the diabetic section (it's used for diabetic neuropathy). A godsend!

I just got diagnosed with shingles. I had excruciating pain on my left side for 5 days. After 2 Urgent Care visits, one ER visit, and one Dr visit who ordered a cat scan did not produce results, I was finally able to get into my regular doc (his schedule was too booked to get me in during the first 5 days of my illness) on the 6th day of my illness.

After telling him everything, I mentioned the two spots on my upper left buttock. He looked and said I had shingles. I started the anti viral med and nerve pain med, which helped immediately. The pain is still present, but much lessened. I am very disappointed that it took so long to get a proper diagnosis; also this is going to go cost a lot of out of pocket expense.

Since I didn't get a proper diagnosis, I wonder if I can argue again paying the out of pocket expense for the visits in which I was not properly diagnosed.

A friend of mine suddenly broke with shingles all over her face, she was in terrible pain - I did a little research on a few websites and found a nice and easy home remedy that essentially eases that pain for a few hours - try this - crush 1/4 Asprin and blend it into around 1/2 teaspoon unscented moisturiser (vitamin e cream would work too) and then takes a cotton tip and dab the effected areas gently ensuring you completely cover the sores/blisters. My friend was absolutely astonished! Within minutes the pain had completely subsided - after a few hours the pain started coming back so we covered the areas again and again, within minutes - the pain is gone. I have read since that Asprin is an anti inflammatory as well as a pain killer so has two effects - eases the pain and reduces any swelling. It's not a cure but a simple solution to quickly and cheaply help reduce your pain - give it go - my friend swears by it!

Today marks 4 wks. exactly from my first symptom and I still have the flippn' thing...ugh, however,I think I have noticed a slight tad improvement....I can only pray it is so!

I have read every single comment on this board and I genuinely feel the pain and frustration that has been expressed here.

In the following is what I feel is, in my humble opinion anyhow, a few helpful things to consider:
#1) Don't delay going for medical help (even if you have to borrow the money, no insurance or whatever). In the long-run, I believe with all my heart that this is vital, so that whatever can be done, WILL be done sooner rather than later.

#2) INSIST, DO NOT PASS GO - directly for a course of anti viral meds - Valtrex, etc.! Time is critical on this one thing beyond any and every other thing!!! (24 to 72 hrs. from when rash develops). And in ALL cases even after that time window, it will still help somewhat. (For myself, I thought my symptoms were so nuts that I would not be able to explain them...wrong). Thankfully, my instinct took over and I just went to SCRIPPS urgent care (my doc was on vacation...naturally)and the urgent care staff identified shingles most immediately. I am so grateful for their kindness,abilities and advice.

#3) I have NOT found a pain relief med (even strong narcotics) that have done a dimes worth of difference for this....but I have discovered through this site and also by doing research on 100's of other sites, what I think HAS been of some relief. SOAK BABY WIPES (I used Costco's Kirkland brand)in Listerine (any color works as it all has the same ingredients and % of ingredients). Apply directly to affected area (it clings nicely)for 10 or so minutes. I also alternated after bathing in COOL water several times a day, with diaper rash ointment, OTC anti-bacterial ointment and calamine lotion.

#4) Scream out loud, moan or anything that helps you vent! I have been very fortunate with a loving, understanding spouse and that I am retired and 67 yrs and have been afforded the luxury to lay around in loose (or none) clothing.

I truly hope this might help even one person. THIS has been one of the worst painful ordeals I have EVER experienced. Usually I have a very stealthy tolerance to pain and have some chronic conditions that up until now frankly, have paled by comparison.

Warmest wishes and heartfelt speedy recovery to EVERYONE except for the most evil amongst us. Oh, btw, my doctor has advised me that I can still consider the vaccine once I am 100% well and that it "might" reduce recurrence but will definitely reduce severity in the future.
All My Best,

I'm 55 and was diagnosed 6 days ago. I believe I was barely inside the 72 hour window for Antiviral meds if you base it on when my rash appeared. The pain is the same since I was diagnosed, but the rash is subsiding.. Caladryl seemed to help.

My rash is on the left butt cheek, slightly down the back of my left leg. It's also partially on my scrotum and penis (all left side).. Lucky me.. Not fun... Any other males have this? Hurts like a son of a gun and is quite annoying as well as distressing. A deep dull, but strong ache with an occasional sharp pain.. Not only in the genital area, but lower back and down my left leg... if I stay active (during the day) I seem to cope. Sleeping and at night; forget it... I am taking a non narcotic pain med, but it's not really helping... I really don't want to go the narcotic route..

I should note that I first noticed lower back pain that went down my hips and legs (feet too) to the point where getting up from a chair or bed in the morning was an issue. This started 2 weeks ago.. I thought it was a "nerve in my spine" issue.. I'm nervous that the antiviral meds may be too late considering this time frame and the fact that I only got the meds after the rash... We shall see..
That's my story (and I'm sticking to it).. Thanks everyone for sharing yours. It has helped tremendously..

Hello to JA,

I was diagnosed with shingles last night and was reading this thread and saw that you had the outbreak at the same location. My symptoms started as severe lower back pain mostly on left side that produced numbness and broke out about 5 days later. The pain intensifies at night, literally bolts me out of bed. The day's pain measures from tolerable to painful, if I move around it seems to be better.

I was prescribed Valtrex for 7 days and I am researching the benefits of prednisone or other potential natural remedies. Any suggestions from those reading this ? Since you had it a year ago can you let me know how you feel today? I hope that you are fine! Stay happy !!

Thank you for reading,
Susanna in NYC

Good luck to all of you. My wife is going on her 3rd year with the pain and we have tried just about everything for a remedy but so far no success. Recently she had a nerve block performed again with out any relief. She is on Gabapentin and when the pain gets really bad Tramidol.

We have tried all the remedies on this forum with little or no success including acupuncture as well as and high dosages of vitamin C where some research has shown success. Very discouraging to say the least.

What we found to help the pain some (and not much) is keep the stress levels as low as possible, ice packs help, any anti-inflamitory OTCs like Advil help any inflammation, and a special cream made at a local Compounding Pharmacy. We are getting a new formulation this weekend to see how that works.

I would not recommend prednesone on a long term basis as I believe that is what made my wife's condition worse than normal in that she was on prenesone for over a year for another medical condition.

This is known to lower one's immune system which I believe caused her to not heal as fast as other people who have contracted shingles. I have done hundreds of searches and my wife has seen many doctors and none offer any solutions.

Hi seven weeks ago I went to my dr as I had blurred vision, I'd been suffering from high bp so thought that was the cause, it didn't get any better he told me to bathe it!! So I saw the optician who made me got straight to the hospital. It turned out I have shingles in my eye he gave some cream and drops and I have to go back to the hospital tomorrow so he can check on it.

But today I have them in my mouth, well more on my gums and my glands are sore also, the pain is awful I have co codamol but it not even touching it, I just want to pull all my teeth out....I will try listerine, here's hoping it works...

I am a very active and healthy 60 year old who went to the doctor for her yearly checkup. My cholesterol went up 60 points and my doctor suggested taking niacin and fish oil tablets. First day, upset stomach, second day numb lips and upset stomach and third night my tongue swelled as well as my throat. Scary! I stopped the regimen immediately, but 3 days after stopping a rash developed on BOTH sides of my torso. I thought it was from the Niacin, but doctor said it is shingles. I'm wondering if the stress from the drug reaction brought on the shingles. Anybody else have this happen? My "shingles" are an itchy rash, no pain and I am on Valtrex. One week into the treatment and the shingles seem to be improving but not the itch.

Well I'm certainly NOT a doctor, but your case so much more sounds like an allergic reaction than the shingles?

I'm into something like the 6th week of this thing (improving yes, but so slowly). This affliction appears to have many symptoms and in a variety of ways it affects everyone. The reason I am replying is that I have had many allergic reactions to antibiotics and a few food items and the symptoms you mention sound related. Now that I have experienced shingles - I can't relate any of these symptoms you mention. Just a thought...
Speedy recovery regardless of what it is! (Probably good that you are on Valtrex in any event...).

I am 71yr old living in India. I had shingles 2 years before during a family visit to Phoenix. The area was 4" wide starting from front centerline to back centerline, 3" above belly button, on the left side of the trunk. The pains during the time was beyond words. The rashes were over after one month. Then started the PHN. Even a light vest I am not able to wear, since the skin of the area has become very sensitive. During walking (bare bodied) the muscles in the area were paining. Only I could just drag my feet. One day I just experimented with a 6" wide strip of cloth tied tightly over the area. That gave me a very good relief while walking & sensitivity of the area for loose clothes reduced considerably. But expansion of the lungs to full capacity was the price paid for. But I could walk better.
During road travels, any bumps from the road due to potholes or speed breakers, gave a real punch on the area.
Then I modified the cloth to a 6" wide crepe' bandage, wound tightly over the area, & that made road travel a bit better. After a road journey of say, 1hour, the sensitivity & pain of the muscles increases, but subsides after 2 or 3 hours.

During take-off or landing of an airplanes, the speedy ride over the expansion joints of the runway, gives severe punches. I am now tying a 6" wide female rib belt very tightly over the clothes, during take-offs & landings, & holding my breath very tight, with lungs full. That gives me very good relief. I have tried LYRICA, but gives some relief for short period for only skin sensitivity, but not for the muscular pain during road travels. I have now abandoned all medications, & leading my life happily, forgetting all these discomforts, & engaging in my favourite activities.

Hi, Mr John,
I am 71yr old living in India. I had shingles 2 years before during a family visit to Phoenix. The area was 4" wide starting from front centerline to back centerline, 3" above belly button, on the left side of the trunk. The pains during the time was beyond words. The rashes were over after one month. Then started the PHN. (Postherpetic Neuralgia). Even a light vest I am not able to wear, since the skin of the area has become very sensitive.

During walking (bare bodied) the muscles in the area were paining. Only I could just drag my feet. One day I just experimented with a 6" wide strip of cloth tied tightly over the area. That gave me a very good relief while walking & sensitivity of the area for loose clothes reduced considerably. But expansion of the lungs to full capacity was the price paid for. But I could walk better. At home I remain bare bodied over the area. that is the best I could do.

During road travels, any bumps from the road due to potholes or speed breakers, gave a real punch on the area.
Then I modified the cloth to a 6" wide crepe' bandage, wound tightly over the area, & that made road travel a bit better. After a road journey of say, 1hour, the sensitivity & pain of the muscles increases, but subsides after 2 or 3 hours. During take-off or landing of an airplanes, the speedy ride over the expansion joints of the runway, gives severe punches.

I am now tying a 6" wide female rib belt vey tightly over the clothes, during take-offs & landings, & holding my breath very tight, with lungs full. That gives me very good relief. I have tried LYRICA, but gives some relief for short period for only skin sensitivity, but not for the muscular pain during road travels. Moreover LYRICA made me lousy for the first ~2hrs & its effect lasted for only ~5 hrs.

I have now abandoned all medications, & leading my life happily, forgetting all these discomforts, & engaging in my favourite activities.

I never got dejected during the course of the Shingles, nor now. I have taken these problems sportivly.
I wish & pray to God for a speedy recovery to you.

Diagnosed with Shingles 3 weeks ago. At 53 yr old, thought it was sweat rash from gym and I waited 4 days to go to the doctor! I suffered with blisters on top of blisters traveling my entire bra line on right side of my body. I did complete the prescribed anti virus medicine. I suggest using Balmex diaper rash cream or Calmosceptine worked well for skin surface pain, irritation and anti scarring. But the big reason I am prompted to write is LISTERINE!

I had been sleeping with ice packs to numb the intense pain and waking repeatedly in agonizing pain every night. I read this blog and bought the Listerine. I soaked a towel in Listerine and left it on the affected area, reapplying twice more in one night.

I experienced absolutely NO pain all night! Pain was much less today. Tonight will be a redo with the Listerine compress and I am hopeful to be free from all pain soon. Nothing else came close, please give Listerine a try. Thank you all for writing. It helped to read your words the night i was suffering beyond belief. Good luck, God bless all of you fellow sufferers.

I am a 62 year old who showed symptoms 2 weeks ago. This site is so affirmIng, I too have the excruciating pain at night and am seeking solutions. I will be trying apple cider vinegar, and I found a tolerable way to drink it that I want to share. I put it in a glass of tomato veggie juice, and it just adds a bit of tang; not bad at all. Thank you all for sharing your stories, this attack has been a wake up call for me to find ways to relieve my stress buildup.

I have had this pain and some blisters. But its my left side the pain is terrible feels like a bunch of bees stingi g me can't really find anytging to help with pain please I need so eting fr pain over the counter stuff. Can't afford to go to the doctor at this time I'm a diabetic am I in danger with my nerves system. How come don't have many blister with this pleaze smeone give me some advice on this please

Pam. Shingles pain is terrible. My wife has been struggling with this for years. She takes pain medication every day. However, if you can't go that route my wife finds some relief by using ice packs, Advil, and omega 3 fish oil. We believe that her pain is increased by inflammation which is why the above seems to help but in no way do these eliminate the pain altogether. They just reduce it somewhat. We've tried just about everything else with little or no success. Her main relief however comes from pain meds. Good luck.

I got Shingles at 20 so no, under 25 is not that "unusual" as per the posts on here. It was nasty, but Valtrex and getting it early helped a lot. It was very painful and I cried at night as it was on my chest and couldn't sleep.

I think some people genetically predisposed to having worse Herpes outbreaks of every kind than others, and we are the unlucky bunch. It can cause burning and pain in many parts of the body after as it throws your nervous system out of whack.

I found that Whey Powder with 1000mg of Lysene for breakfast, Apples, Apple Cider Vinegar and Water drinks, Vitamin B100 complex, Water and lemon juice drink help a lot with the neuralgia. If you've ever had cold sores (herpes), genital or oral, shingles or Polidilal Cysts outbreaks over and over again, you are genetically predisposed to PHN and your nervous system is fragile so boost your immunity and keep AWAY from COFFEE, CHOCOLATE, TEA (decaf or regular), any artificial sweetners, sugar, fast foods and keep a raw diet with milk and yoghurt, margarine and cheese and turkey and really helps

thank you thank you, this site saved my husbands sanity, after using pain killers that had no effect in the middle of another sleepless night I came onto this site and you all told us about listerine, and the effect was amazing thank you once again.

Don't use Peroxide Dr. Oz says it only worsens the infected area. Prayer, a cream, bathe often, and don't wear underwear at night, sleep in a cool room. May the Lord Bless U

That med u mentioned Gab didn't help me either it did hurt me causing severe short term memory loss twitching, tiredness. I'm now seeking natural remedies like apple cider vinegar.

I came down with shingles this week and had horrible nerve pain..... I had cold laser done at chiropractor and it helped right away. I also used tea tree oil on the rash.

I was just diagnosed with shingles a week ago, my granddaughter got a mild case of chicken pox after having been vaccinated & the doctor thinks I got it from her... I had what I thought were spider bites on my thigh/buttock, then it got itchy and then the pain started... the Dr. put me on Valtrex, he said it was a mild case and we caught it early... my pain is more like an ache and it's hot and burning... I've had a headache almost non-stop, don't know if it's the shingles or the medicine... going to try the Listerine.
So glad I found this site.

The shingles vaccine gave me shingles!!!
I had the shingles vaccine (shot) at my doctors office on Tuesday morning Dec. 24, 2013. During the night of Dec. 29 ( 5 days later) I woke with itching on my torso and then went back to sleep. The next morning Dec. 30 I noticed a large area of blotchy raised red rash across my right front torso and across my right back almost to the spine. I called my doctor and was given an appointment that afternoon. The Doctor was shocked that I had the shingles. He prescribed 7 days 3x daily of Valacyclovir 1GM tablets. - Dec. 31 effected area has increased and much of area is now blistered - Jan 1, 2014 I have a low grade fever and have been keeping calamine lotion on the rash & blisters. I have also been having a ear ache in my right ear ( I hope this is not related to the shingles).

Now it is Tues. 14, 2014 and on Sunday the doctor call in Gabapentin 300mg and told me to take one every day for 3 day and if that didn't help relieve the pain increase to 2 a day. The shingles pain started increasing after I finished the 7 day course of the antiviral med. Valacyclovir. I was concerned about taking Gabapentin, but the pain is so bad I am trying it.

I will be seeing the Doctor again on Thursday and I hope maybe there is something else they can do for me - This burning aching pain is so terrible! It has been 16 days and the rash is still there and look like it may take another week or two to go away. I hope and pray that the pain will go away with or before the rash and that this is not the start of a bigger problem shingles can cause like (PHN).

I had been thinking about getting the vaccine for many years, and now that I did - the vaccine gave me shingles!!!! I'm worried and concerned, but hoping for the best. I am 65 yr. old female who is good health and had been, until now, on no prescription medicines.

I wish I had read the information sheet on the vaccine before I took the shot - it said the vaccine is only good for 4 years - and no it didn't say that it could give you shingles. My doctors told me that it is a live vaccine and that I was one of the unfortunate ones.

I am about ten days in with Shingles on my upper thigh. I was just diagnosed yesterday by a physician. It all started with a deep itch on the outside of my thigh. It was in the inside of my thigh and all I could do is make a fist and rub the outside. My whole thigh started hurting, turned numb so I thought my back condition (Sondylo) was getting worse (pinching a nerve) so I started to go to a Chiropractor. About seven days ago, I saw these bumps (about twenty now)and I thought they were razor burn so I put pure Alovera on them. The bumps burned and my skin burned and hurt when touched. I don't remember ever seeing a weeping bump. I put triple antibiotic on them at night to prevent infection.

Still thinking it was a razor burn and the pains in my thigh and hip were due to my back being messed up. The third day with the bumps, I started putting Campho Phenique on them to try and deaden the pain and this is what really helped. The next day I started seeing the scabs. I put up with the pain until I realized I probably had shingles and had to go to the doctor because it hurt so bad. He gave me Lyrica 75mg twice daily. That really helped me sleep but when I got up the next morning my head was really woosey you would say. So deciding to take woosey over pain took another one today. I am going to stock up on Listerine, Apple Cider Vinegar, and start taking my Lysine again but I really think the Campho Phenique is my answer for the sores.
Good luck to everyone.

had shingles 3 years ago, now I am suffering from post shingles neuralgia, pain so intense I have considered suicide. Only options for pain are opiates which I do not want to take, does anyone have any answers for me

People's Pharmacy response: Opiates are not usually the best pain reliever for post shingles neuralgia. Your doctor could prescribe lidocaine, to be applied topically on unbroken skin. This is a topical analgesic that may be helpful.

Some home remedies that have resulted in relief for others in your painful situation include topical Listerine, as mentioned above. Probably more unusual and apparently more helpful is bee sting therapy (apitherapy):
We hope one of these suggestions helps!

Burning pain on my head from shingles (excruciating pain that would last 30 seconds, like a flame being held to my skin) stopped immediately after soaking a wash cloth in Listerine, and dabbing the areas on my head that were affected. I also drank 1-oz of apple cider vinegar (I mixed with apple juice - it tasted fine), I took an L-Lysine 500 mg vitamin, and a B vitamin.

All this just in the past half hour - so far - the Listerine began working immediately! I could see the color change on the areas of my head as I applied it!! I did drink the apple cider vinegar just before I put on the Listerine, you should try it! I will wait and see as the day moves forward what happens....

I do plan on dabbing some more Listerine on the affected areas periodically throughout the day (I am going to carry a small bottle of Listerine with a washcloth to dab on the affected areas of my head if I go out in public, just in case... since it seemed to work immediately) - and I plan on drinking the 1 oz of apple cider vinegar 3 - 4 times a day (if I get a pain, I will drink some immediately and apply the Listerine immediately as well). I plan on taking the L-Lysine (500 mg) morning and night, and a B vitamin once a day as well from here on out (I got these ideas from the blogs above - seems to work so far!). You can buy L-Lysine in the vitamin section at a drugstore.

I also plan on buying some Eucalyptus essential oil (at a herbalist, or over the Internet - since I did not see it at the drugstore). It is believed that the Eucalyptus is the active ingredient in the Listerine (all Listerine has it as an ingredient) that stops the burning pain. I waited about 5 days too long to start my antibiotics (Acyclovir) - so this is helping so far. Try to keep calm, as stress seems to bring on the pain as well...

Had shingles for a week now and it's a miserable disease, on a par with gout for pain. Blisters gone but pain remains. Many remedies/pain relief described here but one other not mentioned that works well for me, at least in the short term, is deep freeze pain relief spray.

Responding to the response from peoples pharmacy about contagiousness. Several mainstream articles have said that shingles in fact *are* contagious, but only in the sense that they can give someone chickenpox that hasn't had them or been immunized. They specifically warn about the blisters.

This is rare and also effects only those particular people, which is few in modern societies. And to further clarify, one can never get shingles from someone else that has shingles -- only chicken pox itself. This is because shingles only arises for those with an already dormant virus from previous chicken pox.

Sorry I can't provide citations at the moment, but please research this and post a clarification, since I belief you may be misinforming readers.

I am 51 year old male, in good health, non drinker and non smoker. Want out hiking two weeks ago, and when I got back home, noticed some 5 bite marks on my left shoulder. I thought I had had some insect bites on the hike, without noticing it. However, soon it came apparent that those were not typical insect bites. Some itching and deep pain followed. The pain intensified, and there were some more bumps. The pain was on the left side of the body, on the arm. My vision got blurred as well. The pain was so intense that I do not really remember much of those days. I had never felt a pain so intense before. I tried some topical creams, but they were totally useless and only made the pain more intense. That was horrible. Then I tried vinegar topically, which also only made the pain worse.

Finally, I thought of using baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, topically. I mixed it with water so I had a thick paste. Then I applied that to the rash. Within 30 minutes I felt tingling. Soon after that the pain went way down, and finally to nothing. Amazing! I learned that you have to LEAVE the baking soda on the skin. If you wipe it off, the pain returns immediately. Also, you cannot store that solution, since it goes flat in a few hours. It has to be freshly made, so do not make too much at a time. It is not hard to mix baking soda and water anyhow....

In a short time the bumps started having white heads, which I promptly squeezed out, and applied more baking soda on the top. Soon there was a red scab on the top of them. This worked out so well for me that I quit taking pain medication, and have only using baking soda. I have been slowly been able to use my left arm again. I am not a big baby, and can take a lot of pain. I seldom take any medication, not even aspiring. I refuse to take any antibiotics.

I think I have been under a lot of stress, but have subconsciously denied it. Finally my body told me to change something. I truly recommend using baking soda/water paste. It is clean, efficient, fast help, economical and does not damage your body in the process. I feel as healthy as I was two weeks ago, so HOORAY, and I do not have to claim medical bankruptcy. The box of baking soda costs 75 cents. My one application was about one teaspoon with 4 drops of water.

I have read every comment on here - very helpful info.
I'm a 38 yo male. I had the chicken pox when I was little so I guess I was in the shingles lottery, with a 20% chance of winning. 2 weeks ago, I noticed a rash and went to the dr about 3 days after it started. When he asked me what I thought the problem was, (before him seeing anything), my guess was poison oak/ivy since it appeared similar to those rashes I've had before and I had been hiking a few days earlier.

Upon showing him the rash (which was only on the right side of my torso both chest and back) he immediately diagnosed shingles and prescribed Acyclovir (anti-viral) and Hydrocodone (pain). I've tried ACV and would recommend it- for me it was more effective ingested rather than applied topically. I guess my case has been more 'mild' than others have described on here as I have been able to sleep fine, and haven't had constant excruciating pain, but have definitely had bouts of very very painful needle pricking pains.

Topically, I've tried witch hazel, calamine lotion, ACV, and cold packs. Each works to provide a little relief but there is no "silver bullet" among these that I've found so far. I'll try Listerine now as the blisters have mostly dried and the PHN is starting to set in. Orally, I've tried the meds prescribed and ACV.

I had a very severe case of shingles all over the mid right section of my chest and back. Despite having taken the shingles vaccine, nothing prepared me for the burning pain 24/7 that migrated from one cluster of rash to the other over and over again. I tried calamine, spray anti itch, advil, and even tried more serious pain pills, all to no avail.

I called the nurse who consulted with my primary doctor and was prescribed a creamy compounded medication consisting of: .2/5/5/2 1% cream. The compound had deoxy-D-glucose, gabapentin, ketoprofen, amitriptyline and tetacaine.

This stopped the pain! It wasn't covered by insurance but I was so desperate, that I eagerly paid $60 for a 60 gram prescription. I eventually needed 2 pump jars of this to get me through.

My pain could be described as clusters of needles being jabbed 1/4 inch into the flesh, sometimes the pain felt like battery acid eating into the skin. Since the blisters covered the entire area on the right side of my body, I couldn't sleep at all.

I was given Gabbapentin for peripheral neuropathy for my feet. Took 1 pill and by night had a rash on chest. Took another pill the next morning and by that night had full blown rash from center of chest to my right wrist. Went to PCP and was told it may be shingles. (I got the shingles vaccine a little over a year ago.) Was given Methyprednisolone. Went to ER two days later and diagnosed as shingles and given acyclovir. Used Emuaid (smells) and not sure if that helped after a week. I am into third week and the blisters have crusted and are gone. I am taking Olive Leave Extract (an anti-viral) that does the name as acyclovir. I am looking for something to get rid of the red and spots and most of all the pain.

I suffered through most of March and April of this year with shingles. Most of the pustules were located in clusters on the right side of the torso, too numerous to count. I tried everything to relieve the terrible stinging pain, all to no avail.

Finally my internist called in a script for a compounded cream that consisted of .2/5/2/1% cream
(60 g total) : Deoxy-D-glucose, gabapentin, ketoprofen, amitriptylane, tetracaine.

It was the only thing that relieved my pain.

Shingles affects people in different ways. Some get over the pain in weeks while others suffer for years. My wife is going on her fourth year of pain. We have tried just about every medicine, home remedy, holistic, acupuncture, high dosage vitamins, nerve blocks, special compounding creams, etc. treatments that are out there but to no avail. It's heartbreaking to see one's loved one suffer in pain every day of the week. For those of you in pain for only a couple of days or weeks count your blessings.

I really have to agree that the antiviral medicines are an enormous help from what I have read and my doctor's advice. I take Valtrex any time I get a herpes, and it cuts the severity of it dramatically. I took Valtrex as directed for shingles but it was diagnosed only after several days. I still had a terrible time for 4 months but I believe Valtrex helped. Then it was icing it at night with cold clompresses, gabapentin, tylenol that kept it at bay and allowed me a few hours of sleep.

I stared having a pain in my left side back on wednesday night. Thursday i got a small rash on the spot where the pain was, but thought it might be a hair worm or spider thru the night (i live in Bali)

I went to the doctor the next night as i thought it might be kidney stones from the extreme pain. She diagnosed me with bladder infection and prescribed antibiotics. Saterday morning when i was not better at all i searched the internet and realised i might have shingles. I got the right medicine at the chemist ( thank goodness as this is 3rd world) but suffered exteme pain and no sleep. This morning i came across your website and decided to try Listerine. THANK YOU! No more pain OMG, THANK YOU! Im going to sleep now....:-)

I just got diagnosed with Shingles today after initially thinking it was poison ivy for about a week and a half. I was actually just going to CVS for stronger poison ivy medication because the pain would not go away.

I noticed a clinic there in the store and decided to get a professional opinion. Sure enough, shingles.

The pain feels like a severe sunburn to me. It comes and goes but I would call the pain a 6 out of 10. I am only 37 years old so I didn't think it was shingles at all. Apple cider vinegar helps with the irritating pain for short spurts. My issue is I have the main rash under my armpit and I have been applying gold bond powder to reduce the humidity in order to dry out faster.

My question is since I obviously missed the 72 hour window for diagnosis am I going to suffer from permanent nerve damage? I just started taking the generic valtrex today and was told the pain should be gone in two days.

After reading this forum I am not that sure anymore. I will also try the Listerine and see if that helps. This sucks.

People's Pharmacy response: Not everyone who suffers an attack of shingles ends up with lasting neuropathy. Your young age may help protect you. You would be surprised how many young people don't think of shingles (sometimes even their HCPs don't) and so they too miss the optimum antiviral treatment window.

BROMELAIN is the great solution for pain. I had no pain with a bad outbreak of shingles on my chest.

i took about 6 pills when the itching started. after four days almost well.
because i'm eight years old i have to control inflation, so take about two pills per week.

It is an amazing pill, even reducing scar tissue. Check it out on the internet.
You must control inflammation on a daily basis.

Leah O., I've had shingles 4 times. Two months ago I had them in this one spot and last week I got a tattoo near that area. A few days later I had shingles again in that same spot. The stress to the skin in that area caused them to come back. My Dr. Said he had seen a tattoo do that one other time.

I broke out with the shingles the 26th of June. The week before the breakout I had a headache everyday and my scalp was itching. Then the 26th when I got up I stretched, and then noticed my thumb and up the underside of my right arm was sensitive. I noticed later in the day after a shower that there were several red spots under my right breast and wondered how I had hurt myself. Later in the evening I googled my symptoms and found I might have shingles. I called doctor in the morning and he said I did have shingles. He gave a scrub of prednisone and anti-virgal pills and hydrocortisone cream. I didn't have terrible itch at first but now have the pain which is terrible. I took the ibuprofen which helped some but now I take nothing. I am 78 and always had good health until this and have been on probiotics for over a year. Only reason I can think of is stress but didn't really realize I was under lots of stress. I did break out from under my breast all around to my back and now the rash has faded and looks purple but the pain day and night is terrible. I still do everything I always do which is lots. I like mowing and gardening but somehow try to block out the pain. I had thought since I started the anti-viral drug next day maybe I would not have the pain that last for months or years. Don't really know how people make it that long with constant pain, so not looking forward with that. What seems to help the rash a lot for me was I had some Icy hot roll on that my husband had used for something several years ago. It really doesn't do much for the nerve pain now though. What happens when it does damage the nerve? I feel sure now that is what is happening with me. Is there something I can do to not get nerve damage?
Thanks for any comments or help.

I'm 36, I was told yesterday morning that I have shingles, very glad I found this, so many suggestions to try, my shingles is on the left side of my face and in my mouth, and my left ear which is where the lightning pain is right now, makes it hard to put anything on it when it's in your ear. I just want to constantly put pressure on my ear to try to dull it down. I did try some listerine and that seems to help a short time. This stuff is just horrible

I am a 53 year woman. I developed shingles while on vacation in Baja. I believe it was caused from a trauma to my body. The pain is from my left hip/lower back down to my left knee. The rash was as big as my hand on my left front thigh.

I did not see a doctor until about one week after the start of it all as I thought the pain (started out dull the first week) was a pinched nerve and that the few tiny red bumps I saw the first week were bug bites. I did not relate the two as shingles. Plus I was in Mexico that first week.

Got home saw the chiropractor for a pinched nerve. He saw the rash and told me he thought it was shingles. Next day I was in the worst pain of my life! And I gave birth naturally 3 times and this was worse pain than that! I saw a M.D. that day and was diagnosed. Given the anti-virial Acyclovir and an oral steroid. The steroid helped with the pain, but was given only 5 days worth.

Marijuana with high CBC's was my savior. It really eased the intense pain I was in and I was able to SLEEP. I am 10 weeks into it and recovering slowly. The pain is now an ache that runs the length of my left thigh. I have also been on Gabapentin 300mg 3x's a day and a regular interval of Advil for inflammation. Honestly, I do not know how I would have managed with out the Marijuana.

Hope this helps someone else out there. : )

I had the same situation here; only I was home and thought it was my sciatic nerve. Did not go to the doctor until day 4 and by then, although I took the anti-virals, it was too late. It has been almost two years since I had the shingles but I do have nerve pain every day, though I can bare it. I am debating whether to take the shingles shot now, for I NEVER want to feel such pain again. And you are right, it was worse than giving birth. I describe it to people as being in childbirth, non stop for several weeks/months. I was on 1800 mg of Gabapentin daily and I honestly don't know if it helped or not.

Was diagnosed with shingles 4days ago got acyclovir I take five times a day rash under breast and on side of breast but my pain is in the center of mt back is this normal?

I had Shingles outbreak above left eye 14 months ago, ironically my PA knew less than me and I didn't know anything, it progressed to a VERY PAINFUL PHN..... Drs./Medical "professionals" seem to know only a teeny bit. So after depending on them and GETTING NOWHERE I took matters into MY OWN HANDS. First LISTERINE on areas then CALAMINE LOTION these past 8 days it HAS FINALLY BEGAN STOPPING IT'S COURSE! and last night I slept the most in 14 months. TRY IT.

Try rinsing w/ Listerine then apply Calamine Lotion w/ swab or Q-Tip, I had it around the eye, forehead, top of head left side. If you still have it, took me 14 months.

try rinsing w/ Listerine then apply Calamine , I had PHN following my Shingles after 14 months SOME RELIEF ! slept. for first time in 14 months LAST NIGHT ! hang in there. Joe

gabapentin didn't help me at all LISTERINE WASH FOLLOWED BY CALAMINE LOTION! finally after 14 months GOODBYE Shingles and Post Herpetic Neuralgia. It wasn't until today I realized by scrolling down these posts were here.

I found out a short while ago I may have had a "contributing factor" making my incidence of Shingles/PHN worse. My Primary after viewing my Blood Test/Liver enzymes suggested I try stopping SIMVASTATIN. After reading more about Simvastatin and Shingles I feel I found the reason why it was as bad as it was. And the reason could've been the Simvastatin aggravated the condition. I will ask my Cardiologist and I kind of know what his response will be ..... a shrug, typical.

Joe. Would you share your research information on this subject. My wife isn't on a statin but there may be other drug reactions that are causing Rhabdomyolysis. Not sure that symptoms are localized like they are with PHN. Thanks.

I simply typed a Google search " Statin Drugs that interfere with Shingles " sure enough it was there , try doing the same with Rhabdomyolysis , no luck there try vitamins and foods etc. etc. etc.that either help or contribute , just dig and dig and dig . I've been using Acyclovir these past 36 hrs. and still rinsing , it appears to be working . Yesterday I washed & applied 3 times, today I will try 6 times .

I'm close to 50 years old and was recently diagnosed with shingles. I had a bad fall and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer all within the same week. So mine is likely stress induced.

I developed stabbing pain down my left arm about 3 1/2 weeks ago with numbing and tingling in the finger tips. Skin on my arm was hypersensitive to touch as if I had a bad really bad sunburn. Went to the doctor 1 1/2 weeks into this and by then had 3-4 small blisters on my left hand. He looked at them and said right away it was Shingles and too late in the process to take any antiviral. Instead, he gave me Lyrica. Helps for about an hour and then the pain comes back.

The blisters on my hand have now (after 3 weeks) turned dark red/purple and I've developed about 20 or so more on my arm, thumb and tips of my fingers. They all seem to develop a red dot in the middle after about 1 1/2 weeks now but none of them are breaking/bursting. I started Listerine today - too early to tell. Felt good first time, second time no change in pain, however, noticed that the red/purple blisters feel less sore to the touch.

I'm taking extra strength Tylenol even though my doctor said that was useless as he thinks it won't help the pain. I also got the Apple Cider Vinegar and will try orally and topical. I'll go and get the Lysine tomorrow as well.

The area that is most painful is my thumb. Has about 5-6 blisters.

Have so many concerns - any advice?
(1) Few on this site seems to have had it on the arm. My arm is no longer hypersensitive to touch but now the pain is intensely shooting down my arm to my fingers - am I maybe misdiagnosed?
(2) My Dr. never prescribed anti-viral - am I going to have PHN because of that?
(3) My blisters are not popping after close to 4 weeks now - is that a good / bad sign? (4) Bumped my arms very slightly a few days ago and thought I was going to faint the pain was so bad - is this simply because the nerves are still infected?
(5) Finally, my husband thinks I need to stay away from our daughter (8) since she hasn't had chicken pox yet - any thoughts on that?

I had them for 14 MONTHS .......... it is a VIRAL INFECTION and an ANTI-VIRAL is the only thing that helped me after me insisting on it, Acyclovir 5% cream.
I'm into my 9th day using it, in most cases 10 day therapy is recommended (so I've read).

Wash it off, wash hands and apply.

I had it above / around left eye, top of head, was wasting a lot trying to apply so I removed / cut hair real close where blisters were and kept applying time after time after apprx. every 4 hours.


Anti-Bacterial / Anti-convulsants were no help for me in 14 months.

Bob, I've been taking Vitamin D3 2000iu twice daily along w/ Calcium 600 1 a day. The popping sounds in my ankle have stopped (had fractured fibula / plate & 5 screws) my arthritis pain in thumb is lessening considerably.

Read up on the Synovial Gland and Synovial Fluids part in Rhabdomyolysis to see if it plays a part, if so, go on from there, you have to dig, dig, dig.

My shingles / PHN is nearing it's end hopefully.

I cut my hair close to scalp, same with eye brow, the hairs cause a lot of cream to be wasted VERY COSTLY .

My name is Conny I'm 57 years old and I have shingles too found out on 8/13/14 and they HURT I'm on MEDICATION but it seems like it's talking for ever I still have the blisters I feel like a bunch of PINs are poking me I cry a lot especially at nite. I'm trying cold compress it's helping me a little also trying aloe vera. I would never wish this pain on my worse enemy I JUST want to b PAIN FREE..........

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