HERPES ZOSTER RASH, SHINGLES PAIN
Shingles pain starts 4 days before the rash appears.
The pain will be in one limb or on one side of the trunk (chest or abdomen.) I have never seen it on two sides at once, but see
where you can see good pictures as well.
You can test yourself with a pin during these 4 days before the rash appears, to check for this condition. Compare the area of the pain with the same area on your other side.
The skin in the area of the pain may have reduced sensation to a light prick, and increased pain from a firmer prick.
Initially just draw the pin quickly over a larger area, including on either side of the area of pain. See if the sensation is varying anywhere.
The rash consists of multiple groups of tiny blisters, in a band around one side of the trunk, or down a limb or over the head.
As well as having pain and rash, people with shingles often feel generally unwell and have headache.
Your treatment options for shingles pain relief
Early diagnosis of herpes zoster is very useful, so that you can start antiviral treatment ASAP.
Before these drugs became available, I used intravenous vitamin C. This was useful, but it quickly became so obvious that the drugs were much better, that I stopped using it.
Note 31st August 2013. This was my experience, but it may have been due to inadequate dosage of vitamin C. I've just turned up notes from a lecture by Dr. Joe Goldbaum in 1982...
" Herpes Zoster 30 - 45gm intravenously at once gives immediate relief of pain and itch, in severe cases. Follow with 1 teaspoon (4 gm) 2-hourly. No superinfection nor post-herpetic neuralgia seen."
I was using 7.5 to 15 gm.
It is possible that there may be some advantage in using both together. It makes sense to me, to give added nutritional supplies, when the nerve is in trouble.
I believe vitamin injections are definitely still useful.
In the early stages, intramuscular vitamin B12 2000mcg, is very valuable for rapid pain relief, even when antiviral drug treatment is used.
This may be repeated 2 or 3 times, as needed.
Herbal remedies are recommended on various sites. A naturopath patient of mine advises black walnut (orally) for herpes zoster ophthalmicus, to protect the eye.
Fresh plant extracts (topically) of Lemon balm and Marigold, have been advised.
An extensive list of all sorts of treatments is at an unlikely sounding site3
Post herpetic neuralgia
When pain persists after the rash subsides, injections of high dose B complex are definitely of some use, in my experience.
I also use a multivitamin infusion called Cernevit, which is more complete, being designed for total parenteral nutrition.
Nothing is a guaranteed cure for this condition, and one just tries all the options.
Skilled acupuncture treatment often helps, provided it is in the first six months after the rash.
More treatment options depending on why you got shingles
I have the distinct impression that one reason people get shingles is an osteopathic lesion in the spine at that level. This probably explains stories of pain for weeks before the rash.
I also have the distinct impression that treating such lesions can help relieve persisting pain after shingles. This is not really shingles pain any more.
In some cases, shingles may be set off by pressure on the
nerve roots, by radiotherapy at the level of the affected nerve root or by spinal surgery.
General immune deficiency may have predisposed to this attack of shingles, and need treatment in its own right ( which would depend on the cause.)
Reduced specific immunity to VZ virus is probably contributing to the increasing incidence of shingles. Childhood vaccination is preventing wild virus infections, so later its waning effect and the reduced exposure to the wild virus is reducing older adults protection.
...and your other characteristics and any other symptoms
Homeopathy is prescribed after an overall assessment, rather than based only on the presenting complaint.
Staphylococcinum, Croton tig, Ramunculus bulbosus, arsenicum album, Daphne mezereum, Kali phos and Rhus tox have all been recommended.
Louise Hay1 is very often right on the money, with her spiritual causes of various ilnesses. For shingles she tells of "Waiting for the other shoe to drop,"2 fear and tension, too sensitive.
Painful rash - more conditions causing same
Erysipelas is a red, swollen and painful rash caused by the Streptococcus germ, and needing penicillin quickly. Otherwise it spreads rapidly and makes one quite ill.
It has a sharp, raised edge and looks a bit like orange peel.
Erysipeloid is similar, not as dramatic, caused by a different germ caught from handling fish or meat.
Urticarial vasculitis is hive like rash caused by immune system mediated damage to blood vessels in our skin.
Hives or giant hives are itchy red spots or areas, often with a raised white spot in the center. These appear and go away within hours, leaving no trace.
The spots in urticarial vasculitis are painful, last more than 24 hours and leave a faint bruise. They can be connected with disease of internal organs.
Hand foot and mouth disease is tender spots in all those places, lasting up to a week. This is a common virus infection. The foot below belongs to one of my patients. He caught it from his child (the rash, not the foot.)
Delayed pressure urticaria can be painful as well.
The swellings come on feet, hands, waist etc, about 4 hours after pressure.
They last a couple of days.
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References for shingles pain page
1. Book "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise L. Hay