What can be done for post-shingles itching?

44 answers | Last updated: Nov 16, 2016
Mindy trautman ratigan asked...

The lady I take care of had shingles. Now they are gone but she is constantly itching. I have tried everything!


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Shingles is so tough! When someone develops pain or itching after the shingles rash heals, this is called post-herpetic neuralgia. Treatments for this include nerve medications (like gabapentin), local anethestetics (lidocaine or capsacin), pain medications, or antidepressants. You or one of her family members should speak to her health care provider to make sure that she gets treatment since she is scratching, which means she is uncomfortable. This problem can be treated, which will help improve her quality of life.


Community Answers

Joyous66 answered...

I have post shingles right now be suffering with it for the past 6 months


Tekadele answered...

been suffering from itching for 6 months after having shingles last spring, until now had no idea that it might be related to shingles, even my doctor had no idea what was causing the itch. Thanks for the ifo. I am on Gabapentin and lidocane cream so hopefully it will help. Sure hope this does not last too much longer. Quality of life is being affected by this awful itch. i feel like I have aged 10 years in the past few months.


Sunsea99 answered...

Many times homeopathic cures are helpful. My husband had a shingles outbreak years(8) ago and sometimes he experiences tingling (usually when it is sunny/hot & humid out). We found "pear juice" is helpful. I added a few more tidbits below and a link: . * A gel made from licorice root appears to be an excellent topical application. Doctors report that serious pain and inflammation are totally cleared in three days after this application.

  • Pear juice is rich in antiviral caffeic acid. Drink it as a fruit juice and eat lots of pears for shingles.

  • Avoid foods containing the amino acid arginine, such as chocolate, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds.

Here is the link: http://www.holistic-online.com/Remedies/Shingles/shingles_common-sense.htm


Walker j answered...

I had shingles in the the fall of 2011 and I suffered from an uncontrollable itch for about a year and a half. My doctor told me to start taking Zyrtec every 2 or 3 days. I started this and my itching has stopped completely. Give this a try. I've been doing this for the past 4 months without any problems.


Jobarb123 answered...

I just had a shingle a little over a week ago. It is now scabbed over. Now the area of it and around it itch like mad mostly at bed time. So I can't sleep. I already take zyrtec. Didn't know about the chocolate that could be it. Had chocolate yesterday and day before.


Justlora answered...

Also check your medicines. Shingles sensitized me to most pain medications. Not so much itching, more like the creepy crawlies. Antihistamines may help. Ask your doctor to review your prescriptions. He may recommend something less likely to have side effects


Susan1983 answered...

Hello! I, too, am suffering from postherpetic itching. I had shingles about 3 weeks ago and while the lesions are gone, I itch like crazy. I am relieved to hear that I am not alone. I have tried antihistamines (Hydroxyzine/Atarax and benadryl) and various topical ointments (Benadryl ointment, aloe vera, calamine lotion) to no avail, which, I suppose, makes sense since the itching is not due to dermal inflammation but is from a neuropathic source.

This itching is worse than pain; I have not had a good night's sleep in almost a week. I have read that postherpetic itch can last a lifetime; I get depressed just thinking about it!

Thank you for your posts! I am desperate to try anything. I think I will try Zyrtec (although I am not hopeful it will work since Atarax hasn't helped), Gabapentin and lidocaine cream. I also plan to try the homeopathic remedies recommended above.

My thoughts and prayers go out to each and everyone of you!


Kagey00 answered...

I thought I was going crazy and was the only one to have this awful itching. I had shingles in August but the itching will not go away. I'm on Gabapentin taking 1200 mg per day. Have not tried Zyrtec although I have used lidocaine patches, Benadryl, Capzasin, etc.Really hope it goes away soon.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I had Shingles three weeks ago for the first (and hopefully last) time. Whoa, what torture! Now that the sores have healed, I have an intense itch that'll come up out from nowhere. Out of desperation, I went searching in my freezer for anything that might give some relief. I came out with Bengay Ice. It's like the Bengay cream, but in a deodorant stick that you're suppose to freeze. I put it on, and WOW! First, the cool felt soooo good on my skin that had been agitated by my fingernails. Second, the tingling effect totally masked the itch! If you are planning on trying this at home, DO NOT put it on an open sore. I hope this helps someone find even a moment of relief.


Jjlg answered...

I have no answers only questions. My mother developed shingles 2 years ago and ended up with Ramsey hunt syndrome. The terrible pains have long sense subsided but she is left with this constant itching in her scalp. She is scratching so much that she is scratching her hair out. I just wonder what kind of cream or anything could she use on her scalp? I will ask the doctor about trying antihistamines, or Zyrtec. Then I will also try the holistic suggestions. Thanks for sharing this information. Obviously mom and I need to join a support group so she sees that she is not alone nor crazy.


Robing answered...

Icy Hot roll-on or cream works quite well! Just make sure your skin isn't very raw or doesn't have any open sores. Try it on a small area, first. It's working for me and feels wonderful in comparison to that intolerable itching!


Adirondack woman answered...

Well I had a bad case of shingles and I have to say there is nothing like this kind of pain it stops you in your tracks I read comments here as I was searching for answer to itching and I am glad I checked this site. I wanted to share somethings I did that has helped me the blue ice that you use in a picnic basket I used them day and night kept about 3 going all the time 2 in the freezer and one on me it was the only way I could get sleep I was on Gabapentin and Amitriptyline for nerve pain I used silver gel as silver is good for viral infections and I used 32oz spray bottle of water with 2 tsp of tea tree oil keeping the bottle in a cool place I would spray it on whenever shingles were inflamed and sore and it was refreshing and kills bacteria. Once the pain stopped I had the itching and so I thought Hydrocortizone cream it worked it stopped the itching for sure and I thought that I had found the answer to my problem went to the doctors and she said I would not advise using hydrocortizone cream for a viral infection as it is a steroid a friend also told me that it makes your blood sugar go through the roof I am diabetic did not experience that Doctor said use Apple Cider Vinegar it will help with the itching and scaring it does help. Health food store said if you take Ester C vitamin C when it first starts it will stop it in its tracks and to take couple every 4 hours. When my mom had it she only had a like 7 pus pockets skin unbroken ready to drain I read that Pau D' Arco tea is great for viral/fungal infections so I made poultice for her I took an old hand towel and put it in the huge pot of brewed tea on the stove and wrung it out good and put it on her side then placed a plastic bag over that to keep her clothes dry and wrapped a heavy towel around her to keep heat in while we did this twice leaving it on for about 30 minutes each time and it pulled the pus out and eliminated the itching and in no time she was over it. I still have the scaring on my skin and being diabetic healing is slow and I am wondering what to use if anything to heal my skin completely....


Adirondack woman answered...

I wanted to add one more thing that I found was key and that was to stay as calm as possible as soon as something happened that stressed me out my body responded to the stress and resulted in a relapse of shingles so it is best to stay on top of your emotions. Also I found myself sleeping a lot a warn down immune system needs time to repair itself sleep was also key.


Adja answered...

I had a bad case of Shingles 3 years ago on my right chest/back area. Since that time I have gotten intermittent itching/stinging in that area, but also on the left side and even higher up. The doctor said that the root nerves in the spine were probably slightly damaged. I can only wear 100% cotton tops now. Anything polyester itches like crazy. I can live with this and refused medication, mainly because none of the medication that I got when I had the shingles helped. I agree with the previous poster to try and remain calm. I've talked to others that had Shingles, and they have said that when they are stressed, the itching and tingling remind them to slow down, take some deep breaths, and relax. It really works for me. I've read everything that I can find about Singles and PHN, and the main thing that I got from it all is that "Shingles is a MYSTERY". I hope everyone can find what helps them the most.


Pghpat answered...

My husband had shingles about 10 years ago - only on his back - the pain wasn't as bad as so many people experience BUT ever since he has suffered terribly with his back being itchy all the time. He scratches it constantly with heavy duty back scratchers or by scraping his back against the corner of a brick wall in our sun porch. Last week he had the Shingles Vaccine and he has not scratched once since then. We find this totally unbelieveable and we're holding our breath wondering if this is just a temporary fix. Just have our fingers crossed.


Belle21 answered...

I came on this site to find some answers about Shingles, and I can't even begin to empathize enough with all of you - this affliction is horrible!!! Gotta admit, I'm really depressed after reading the comments since it is looking more and more apparent there is nothing to help with this disease. I just got my first outbreak the beginning of July. As others have mentioned, the pain is unbelievable. You can't describe it to someone that doesn't have it. My doctor even said "You got a real bad case of it". It goes from the middle of my back (right side) all the way around to the front - pretty much from spine to sternum - so I can't even wear a bra! I'm barely functioning with no sleep from the pain and now, the itching has becoming worse. Anything I've tried has been useless. There are a couple of topical creams I seen mentioned in other posts that I will try. Through my diet, I am trying to watch my arginine/lysine intake as I've read a diet higher in lysine may help, but I'm beginning to question that too. I'll keep checking back to see if anyone finds, or can suggest anything that may help. My thoughts are with all of you!


Selatino answered...

I know a patient with posthepretic itch 5 months post infection who was treated with an antihistamine (allegra) with good results. I also found this article on the subject, this patient was placed on a combination of antihistamine and an antiepileptic agent with good results although most people may get relief with an antihistamine alone. Hope this helps.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18427235


Jade2412 answered...

I have shingles right now and it's been almost exactly a week since my rash broke out. It's healing up and hasn't gotten infected or anything despite being in a very inconvenient place - my inner thigh. It began spreading down my leg, but with the anti-viral medications, it didn't completely break the skin, so the further break out is just red bumps under the skin. Now that the rash is healing, I too am itching like CRAZY. I had stopped taking the Lyrica I was prescribed because I thought it was bothering my stomach, but I took one just now hoping it will help the itching that is keeping me from sleeping right now. I pray that I don't get postherpatic neuralgia. My doctor said that since my mom has had 3 shingles break outs that I might have a genetic predisposition to shingles. I'm only 33 so he was surprised that I even had it in the first place. I am an RN, too, so I knew right away. . . even though I was in denial. I kept telling myself that the pain in my leg was from running (my exercise) and that the rash must be a heat rash. In my defense, it truly looked like a prickly heat rash the first 48 hours until it actually erupted and became blistered. None the less, it's shingles. It's a helpless feeling. I've been dizzy, hot and cold, exhausted, irritable, emotional. . . and just flat out upset with the situation. It's not fun feeling helpless and it's hard not to worry about the future with this darn virus. It's silly . . . "don't stress, but this could change your life". Awesome. Anyway, I will be praying for you guys. I'm thankful to see there are others. I'm not glad you've experienced it, but I am glad you shared here.


Kui answered...

I had shingles three weeks ago after the healing am itching like crazy glad I read it here am not the only one will try Zyrtec .


Galt answered...

I got shingles on the right side of my head from mid-scalp to below my eye. I got treatment fast (before blistering) consisting of an antiviral, Prednisone and hydrocodone (which I didn't take). This was over 3 years ago. I still suffer non-stop with itching and small pimple-like areas that never come to a head in my scalp, above my eyebrow, below my eye and eyelid. I have tried gabapentin, naturopathy, acupuncture (both traditional and laser) and nothing has helped at all. I am thankful that examination of my eye has never shown any shingles involvement within my right eye. My doctor just says to be glad it is itching and not pain. I haven't had a decent night's sleep for over 3 years and have decided to just live with it. Heading into 4 years of this and I don't think it will ever subside. Also, I took the shingles vaccine once I was over the active stage of shingles.


A camacho answered...

I am recovering from shingles which appeared on the right side of back of my neck, under my ear and on my right shoulder. I compared the pain to labor contractions it was so bad. I was in acclivor and 3 different pain relievers but what really helped was using an anti anxiety pill to ease me thru the pain. Then the itchiness started it was awful. I started with Benadryl and anti itch creams but no relief. Using frozen ice packs did help then my doc prescribed prednisone and lidocaine. I will add the Zyrtec advised here too.


Emilyb85 answered...

I had shingles when I was 25 (now 30) and I am experiencing strange pains in the same spot every time. It feels like I'm being poked with a needle and about the same time, a needle prick feeling starts on the same spot of my foot. I thought maybe it was related since my rash and sores were on my right side by my rib cage. The needle prick feeling on my foot is also on my right side, maybe traveling along a nerve. Thought it was kind of strange to happen 5 years post shingles. Maybe since I got shingles so young or the severity of it.


2much2do answered...

I came down with shingles one month ago. Thanks to the pill form antiviral I only got a handful of blisters. The pain was intolerable and I haven't yet slept through the night. Shingles is the single most debilitating thing I have encountered in all of my 50 years. Now the itching is the issue. WOW. Thank you all for your comments, I will try ALL the suggestions. My doctor said I have the worst case she's ever seen (she actually delivered it just like that). It goes from mid back to sternum in front and I can't wear a bra. The 100% cotton suggestion may work for me. Cold and hot both provide temporary relief as does pressure. My prayers are with you!


A fellow caregiver answered...

I have been diagnosed with MCTD in 2008, been living with it by taking Azapress (Immuno suppressents, Altosec (Stomach), Amloc (heart) & Cherlafer (Iron deficiency). Got hit with Shingles on the left side of my face resulting in total eye closure, rash, pain and the 'itch'! First dose of anti virals, by a newbie doctor in hospital casualty, resulted in me losing 20% vision in the left eye. Now the Opthalmologist has me on Lovire 400mg x 2 (5 x daily), Maxidex drops 4 x daily & Optive plus 4 x daily. Tries Panado, Grand pa, Disprin (all useless when it comes to pain. Read here about Zyrtec (Cetirizine), and am going to try it ... The idea is to stay strong through the pain, God Bless & good luck. I feel your pain!


Pamelamarlow answered...

I have shingles in my right eye..... The pain is like NOTHING I have ever experience... Any suggestions


Rufla answered...

my husband has had shingles for over a month. he got it around his eye area. He also complains of itching at night. He is taking 2 tylenol pm it knocks him out so he doesn't feel the pain. He also started walking and running which are lifting his spirits. Changed his diet more fruits and veges. Also read on another web site to stay away from tomatoes. He is still not better but this all helps


Aviatrix emily answered...

I am 20 years old. I had an extremely rare case of shingles AND chicken pox last year. My immune system was completely shot because the first doctor I saw gave me steroids for the pain. It started with severe chest pains and I thought my heart was the issue. Two days and three hospitals later I get shingles! Then I got chicken pox, then a string of other awful things (viral meningitis, double pneumonia, bronchitis, reinal failure, just to mention a few) Put me in the hospital for 2 months, in a coma for one of those months. It was so unusual, the CDC got involved and have taken what feels like gallons of my blood to do tests and experiments. I constantly had 5 or more different doctors just gawking at me in my ICU room. Anyways, Everyone is amazed that I'm still kicking! Ever since then, my skin (where the shingles were) is completely numb, but there is this horrible itching underneath the skin and deep pain, more prevalent at night time. I am a pilot, so there's a lot of medications that I'm not allowed to take. A year later, and my life is still turned upside down. Im worried that this pain will never go away and I will be forced to stop flying, which I'm sure will literally kill me. I have seen countless specialists and tried most of the medications listed above, but nothing seems to help. Any suggestions about anything I can do?


Haelleah answered...

I just got over shingles. Horrible. Unlike most I got it on my behind and down my thigh. So i couldn't sit. This week i have had the post insane itch! The itch was almost worse than the actual shingles. It's been 3 days since i have started taking zyrtec and drinking pear juice each day and the itch is pretty much gone. I also bought Recticare, which is 5% lidocaine. Who knows which 3 products damn near cured my itch but one or (or all) helped a lot.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I developed Shingles 3 weeks ago. Despite commencing the anti viral medication within 1 day of the first blister, I have developed post herpertic neuralgia. The rash on my shoulder and neck, although painful, healed relatively quickly but I have been left with severe pain and itching along the top of my back, shoulder and neck. I tried antihistamines, Lingnocaine gel, Ibuprofen, paracetamol and codeine tablets, but they barely took the edge off the pain and itch. Yesterday, I inadvertently lightly scratched my shoulder and I screamed with the pain. Excruciating. I went back to my doctor who has prescribed a 3 week course of the steroid Predisilone and Oxycodone tablets for a week. Today, the pain and itching has not gone but has improved a bit. Hopefully, things will eventually get better. I had no idea shingles was such a horrible thing. I will get the vaccination as soon as my doctor says it's ok. I'm in Australia and it is free for people over 70. I would advise getting the vaccination at any age to prevent shingles. It is well worth paying for it to avoid the pain.


Weliza answered...

I wrote the above about taking the steriod Predislerone and Oxycodone. Well, the steriods did not make much difference so my advice is not to bother. My doctor prescribed Lyrica which is an anti epilepsy drug. Lyrica has made a difference. My itch and pain has gone down from an 8 or 9, to a 2 or 3. Doctor prescribed 75mg twice a day. It makes you very sleepy at first but it does work from the first tablet. The effects lasts about 7 hours, so I have increased my dose to three times a day, with one Oxycodone 5mg taken at the same time. Highly recommend it.


Coldcompress answered...

Try using water with damp cool or cold compresses. Also a cool bath or shower. Combine with one or more of the other suggestions, from others listed here.


Honeybear17 answered...

I have shingles now (third time). First, Dr. said I had mild case which was just red splotches on my left should, then about a week later, I had scabs on my right shoulder. Had a second bout, which was on the right side waist area, which was the red splotches and underneath scabs. Now I have the scabs all across my shoulders and checked them out in a mirror and counted 17, Have had the itching with all 3 bouts, pain after the first and second one, and yesterday had a bad pain on the left shoulder. As for relief of the itching I use a lotion called Sarna which really works for me (that could be because I have not had a really serve case). I also have inner nerve itching, which at times can be all over my body and also a bad itching on the scalp, which I lather the Sarna lotion on my scalp and withing a few minutes the itching in the scalp is gone. The Sarna is a little pricey, but I find $2 coupons online, which helps the cost. And, one other thing I do, which REALLY helps, if the itching is really bad, get on my computer and play Spider Solitaire, which keeps my mind off the itching and on the game. Believe me, it works. Oh yes, I play the game till I know the itching has stopped., Someone said it's worse when they go to bed, which is very true in my case. Go to bed around 2am and around 5/5:30am, wake up itching like mad, so head for the computer. I hope this December I can take vaccine and "no more shingles". My best wishes to everyone with the serve shingles, itch and pain and hope you will at least try my suggestions. Charlotte - BTW, I will be 83 years old in July.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I am a mid-30s male who was diagnosed with shingles three weeks ago. I was prescribed Valtrex the first day the rash appeared. The pain is completely gone, but the itching would not go away despite using calamine lotion, cortisone cream, antihistamines, etc.

I was urged by a friend to use coconut oil (virgin, unrefined) as a topical treatment which did wonders, and just load up on echinacea, Vitamin C & other supplements. THIS has been the ONLY treatment that has worked. The itching completely went away the first day using coconut oil. Although my skin still feels numb at times, I am able to peacefully sleep at night.

Since I was told by my doctor that the shingles outbreak was most likely caused by stress, I've made a complete lifestyle change that incorporates essential oils, aromatherapy, massage therapy, eating cleaner, staying hydrate, and getting enough sleep (lavender oil drops on the pillows go a long way). Whatever treatment anyone reading this may decide, please also make sure to follow the simple and most obvious rule... TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Eat, sleep, relax.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I had shingles back in late 2010 due to chemotherapy treatment reducing my immune system to almost nothing, ever since then I've been suffering with severe itch on my right eye and forehead, I've been seen by a few doctors and haven't really found an effective treatment, it's been almost 6 yrs now and still suffering with itch and pain.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I was plagued with Shingles 3 years ago and I haven't had a pain free day since then. I've tried so many medicines and I've had two nerve blocks. Nothing seems to work. I haven't tried using Zyrtec but will purchase some tomorrow. This is maddening. I wouldn't want my worst enemy to deal with this. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you! Amy 50


cockeyed optomist answered...

I have been suffering with shingles about 8 weeks now. Most of the pain is gone (using Gabopentin and was using Tramodol also for awhile. The itch and burning is relentless now. I have used a number of creams, spray but what works best is a wet towel wrapped around the area. Thats ok but what want to know is how long is this going to last? I am hopeful that it won't last much longer. I am going to try the Zyrtec and Vitaman C route. Will let you know if this helps. Good luck and God bless to all of you suffering with this.


Sue1943 answered...

I am a 3-time cancer survivor (Leukemia, Melanoma (in-situ, - thank God), and Breast cancer! After the ALL went into remission, I came down with double pneumonia,which further messed up my immune system. And what do you know!? I came down with a real humdinger of a case of SHINGLES on my lower forehead up into my hair. It affected a trigeminal nerve, of course, and after the pain, I've had horrific itching as described by many of you. Topical meds really don't help of course, because this is a nerve issue. Capscacin and Lidocaine patches do nothing!! Gapapentin and Lyrica make me really dopey, and I can't seem to tolerate them. Oxycodone (5 mg 2 to 3 times a day) takes the edge off the remaining pain and some of the itch, but NOTHING seems to relieve the itch. I recently went to a Pain Specialist, and he performed a SPG Block (Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block). This is a well-known treatment for migraine headaches, but sometimes it helps with other issues, including PHN. Well, it worked for 1.5 days, and then nothing. There are two ways the block can be performed: up the nose with a spray apparatus (piece of cake!) or a needle through the cheek into the affected group of nerve cells. NO THANKS!! I think the medication is lidocaine or similar pain killer. However, this might help some of you. Ask your doctors or see a Pain Specialist. Hope this is helpful news folks.


Machino7800 answered...

I had a very severe case of shingles on my face back in January , I was only 26 and went a whole week in and out of hospitals until the doctor finally found I had shingles. 9 months later I suffer from a very terrible itch, I have seriously tried everything... Creams, lyric, wearing hats even sometimes helps keep the itch at bey, but it happens every day and it is killing my quilty of life !!! My skin is completely numb and doesn't seem to be repairing ... I can deal with the minor pain and headaches I get trough the day but the itching needs to stop! I'm desperate! I find myself scratching my head sometimes for 20 mins until a tingly sensations comes and it goes Away a little! I hope all of You get better! I know how terrible It is and I am only 27 !


Machino7800 answered...

Someone please elaborate more on the icy hot I tried that once and it worked for a little and then went back to itching .... Everything I've tried has seemed to work for a little and when I finally seem to be getting normal again I'll have a day where I scratch for hours and the itch doesn't go away !


A fellow caregiver answered...

My 87-year-old dad had trigeminal shingles in 2012. I got the shingles vaccine shortly after his diagnosis but still ended up with trigeminal shingles in 2016 at age 59. My dad's was on the right side of his face. Mine was on the left.

His was severe with really ugly postherpetic itching every day. He was miserable. After the first year his itching suddenly went away for 28 days straight, beginning the 12th day of his Vital Stim therapy, which was done at a speech therapist's office for (unrelated) swallowing issues. We mentioned how his postherpetic itching had gone away and the speech therapist told us that she had seen this happen before with other patients that had come in for Vital Stim therapy. So I don't know if it was related to the Vital Stim (electrical stimulation to the muscles of the throat area), but possibly..Note that his itching did return after that time, but the intensity of the itching, when it returned, was diminished and he began to have some days now and then without any itching at all. (At this point, 4 years later, he'll mention some minor itching only every couple of months or so and when it does happen it's easily relieved by Recti-Care on a Q-tip.).

Other things that helped my dad (somewhat) during the worst of his postherpetic itching in that first year: 1. Very hot water on a washcloth applied to the area on his face that itched, over and over. 2. Holding a Neutragena microdermabrasion device (without the pad attached) to his face for the vibration effect. 3. Petting a cat... or some other distraction.

My case of trigeminal shingles involved mostly postherpetic pain rather than postherpetic itching. It lasted only 8 weeks.
1. For the postherpetic pain, I used CeraVe hydrating cleanser on a washcloth, with very warm water, and ran it over my face where the pain was, again and again till the pain went away. Sometimes I would follow this with Vasoline. This normally provided relief for about an hour. I carried my cleanser and washcloth with me everywhere. On those rare occasions when I was not near running water, the pain level would get out of control very fast --like 7 or 8 on a scale from 1 to 10--and I would start crying. 2. I found Tylenol PM very helpful, both during my active shingles and during my postherpetic period. I guess because it made me sleepy and relaxed me. 3. For the two weeks that I had active shingles lesions I stayed in my own home instead of staying with my parents--where I was staying to help them. I think that staying in my own home during that time made a HUGE difference because there was nothing there to stress me out. I noticed as soon as I returned to my parents home that the things out of my control--such as loudness of the television, for example--made my pain level go up considerably. This taught me, once and for all, the importance of avoiding stress as much as possible on a daily basis. I'm a person who is neurologically pretty sensitive, especially to noise. I'm determined to never get shingles again and my primary tool is making sure I do what I need to do for myself--turning the TV down, taking time to pet a cat, sit outside in a chair and enjoy nature--all important to my good health and worth doing whether I feel like I have the time or not. I see tv commercials sometimes where the person has shingles and they're at the office where they work. Are ya kidding me? I can't imagine going to work while having either active shingles or severe postherpetic pain/itching. If it were me, I think I would have taken out a loan if I had to, to avoid stressing myself out even further instead of getting well.

Very best wishes to everyone who's going thru this horrid disease.


Geertruida answered...

Hi everyone, three weeks after a knee replacement, I got the shingles under my breast and was quite painful. Then one month after that the pro itch came along to say HELLO, but outstayed his welcome. Used creams and other suggestions, frozen beans or chips ( in the pack ) helped a little bit. I will purchase "ZYRTEC" today. It's fantastic that people are willing to write about this and help other people by doing so. Hope the Zyrtec will improve the damn itch and leave my scalp alone too. Will let you all know if it works. Trudie 81 years old.


Mrshallmark answered...

Hi everyone, my first bout of shingles was at the age of 29 after the birth of my first child. Severe pain but no scabbing. About 3 years ago at the age of 66 I got the shingles shot, thinking it was going to prevent shingles from occurring. Wrong! This past August at the age of 69 I developed a terrible case of the shingles. The itch and burning around my waist and stomach and hip area on the left side of my body lasted nearly 6 weeks and prevented me from getting much sleep. I did take the prescribed medication from my doctor. Now, here it is over 2 months later and the itch in the area that had the worst rash and lasted the longest is now itching frequently. I was worried that the shingles were returning. I'm not prone to being stressed mentally but think the physial stress of a hip that hurt badly with arthritis might have been the cause of my shingles. This site and the comments have made me feel better. I'm going to try the coconut oil and the Zyrtec and hope they help. Thanks to all of you who have posted and good luck to all of you!


A fellow caregiver answered...

I have some areas of purple discoloration but never had any blisters on my butt cheek. There is a pain..like burning and sensitivity. It also itches. It has been going on for months now. The Dermatologist said he thought it was an aborted case of the shingles, since it never developed the actual blisters, but had the purple blotches, pain, and itching. Anyone else ever have this?