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Just for comic relief from mom's "I have something like leprosy" routine, my poor husband has come down with shingles on his backside. He's on an antiviral and pain meds and I'm slathering his butt with antibacterial/benzocaine cream, both to prevent secondary infection of the blisters and to ease the pain. Any and all suggestions are happily accepted. Happy 4th of July!

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Rainmom: I don't call that a dream! I call that a nightmare! UGH!
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It's 2:15 am and I just woke up an angry, hot, itchy mess. I dreamt I had the chicken pox! The dream was so real I had to get up and look in the bathroom mirror. I blame this thread - thanks ever so much. lol!
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Babalou: Great news and btw, we have urgent care facilities open in the Millersville, Maryland area on Sundays.
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My sympathies to all of you out there! My husband is healing up nicely, thanks to a very alert Urgent Care doctor and a pharmacy that is open on Sunday. There ARE some benefits to living in NYC!
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I can think of much, much worse things to smell of than an Italian restaurant, Bicky! You poor thing, that really is a terrible site for the rash to develop.
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I empathize with your hubby. I had shingles about 8 years ago. The lesions were around my rib cage. The only thing that allowed me to find a semi-comfortable position was Percocet. I wish I had known about the apple cider vinegar then. Also, Aveeno puts out a very soothing, oatmeal skin cream which is helpful. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
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For my shingles on my forehead at my hairline then progresses into my eye and ear. This led me to my eye doctor since my eye felt scratchy, she correctly pit me on an antiviral. You have to get on it quickly! Them the combo itch and burning was maddening. Fortunately I found out about lNorth American Oil of Oregano. Yes it burns when you put it on, but stopped the itch and best of all prevents the post lingering of the pain. Do not get in the eyes! You will smell like an Italian restaurant but the relief is worth it. I did suffer permanent nerve damage inside that ear, since I did not put it in the ear. I get my doctor to look in that ear if I have a sore throat, since one doctor I saw for a throat infection after the shimgles were gone, found a bad ear infection that she could not believe I could not feel! Good luck. Never have had shingles since, and yes I had family issues and stress at the time when I broke out. A pharmacy aide said that the first vaccine could give me shingles again, so have never taken it in these 10 years since. I am 72 years, female.
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Nothing to add, but my deepest sympathies. I understand the shingles shot is available OTC, but when we tried to get one with a prescription in hand, and medical insurance, they told us we would still have to pay $200 for the shot. ??? But they were 'out of the vaccine in any event that week because it has to be refrigerated'. ??? They say everyone should get a shot but they make it difficult and expensive - and it isn't all that effective against shingles anyway. Though its better than no vaccine, and even if you do get shingles, the shot will make it less horrific to bear.
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Shingles, chicken pox, herpes are all kissing cousins. Personally, even if you've had shingles or chicken pox I would still get vaccinated- and I'm a bit in the anti-vaccine camp. It is possible to get these miserable viruses a second time - usually not as bad as others have noted. Still - I had chicken pox when I was five and I still remember how awful it was - I did get a Play-Dough Factory out of the deal but it was of small consolation!
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yes, Garden Artist! I have a book about all the things Organic apple cider vinegar is good for and it does seem to be good for almost anything lol! I drink the 2 tablespoons at least once a day in water just for cheap insurance. And of course, no side effects either...like alot of meds they give these days!
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I think you're probably right about the reason, Babalou - it does seem to kick you when you're down - or, at least, stressed out.

My Dad broke three ribs falling off his motorbike, went back to the doctor when the pain got worse instead of easing up, and was given the news that he had contracted shingles in the classic band formation around his chest. To paraphrase PG Wodehouse, it is never difficult to distinguish between a man with shingles and a ray of sunshine.

It is very catching, but only if you haven't had it or chickenpox or any of the other varicella, is it? family members. Sensible precautions, and don't let him bathe with babies or old people or anyone having chemotherapy, but you don't have to lock him in a box in the basement.

My weird youngest child presented with it when she was about four. The GP stared at her in disbelief before frowning and saying "Z, have you got shingles? Little girls aren't supposed to get shingles!" My personal theory is that her immune reaction got messed up because she had chicken pox very early on, less than three months old, but not properly - nine poxes, and that was it.

Mind you, that's nothing. I personally know of two different GPs who completely failed to recognise it, in adult patients, and sent them home with antihistamines and an anti fungal px respectively.

You could also remind your husband consolingly that there are worse locations to get it. But you might want to remind him of that and then run like the wind.
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Babalou: If you, yourself, have had shingles, you can get them again. Either way protect yourself and get the shingles injection. You will first need a script from your doctor and you will have to locate a pharmacy that carries in stock the vaccine For your husband, it would be wise to get one of those donut cushions.
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Put vinagar in a spray bottle and spray shingles three or four times a day .i did this to my husband and they started going away the next day .
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Since my husband had shingles it is extremely painful for the spouse to watch, however, it is a virus (which antibacterials will not help), and time is the best healer. You can add anything with benzocaine (pain reliever). Spraying it on is probably best depending on what he can tolerate. I put some calamine plus lotion on a tiny rash I had, but the best prevention is the shingles vaccine even if someone has already had shingles. I participated in Merck's research study for people 50-59 yrs. and I have had a recent vaccine (because I didn't know whether or not I got the real vaccine in the study), and so far no major breakout! Reducing stress is most important and keeping the patient cool, calm, and well-hydrated will help. Shingles affects the nerve endings along one side of the body, so it might be wise to try acupuncture as well. The small needles will calm the nerve endings. Best wishes!
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After my father passed I developed a mystery rash that hung on for months. I saw Drs and demonologist with no real diagnosis - they eventually decided on stress induced eczema, which they said was unusual to develop at my age. Anyhoo - I was self medicating with home remedies and did raw apple cider vinegar- hard to deal with the taste but eventually got use to it. Also did coconut oil - hard to get use to the texture but eventually got use to it. Tried kumbucha- yuk - really hard to get use to the taste - but eventually got use to it. Honestly - not sure how much any of that help. Certainly weren't miracle cures and I imagine you have to take any one thing for a while to see a benefit. It's funny how old fashion remedies cycle through and become popular again. For the record - leeches are out for me, I don't care what I have! Soooo creepy!
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Lol Babalou! I feel the same way about my parent's diet lol! I just keep praying!!
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For what it is worth, I just talked to my friend who has shingles on her face, neck, ear, both inside and outside. She has rash inside her mouth, throat, ear, and on the outside also. She said it was awful crying from pain in the doctor's office and they can't help her. She went online and this is what she tried and swears by.
She got organic, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar, it has the mother in it. She puts a wet rag soaked with this vinegar diluted just a little bit in water on her face and neck. The drinks 2 Tablespoons of vinegar in a large glass of water two times a day. She said she started out drinking it 4 times a day. Now she just sips 2 or 3 glasses all day. She has lost hearing in her good ear, the gums on the affected side are numb. She was crying and thinking suicide, she said it has been like a miracle for her and she hopes it helps him.
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Nickie, apple cider and vinegar for years was also considered good for those suffering from arthritis. Mom and Dad both took it. My father was spry up into his 90's. Maybe it's time for him to go back on the cider vinegar remedy. Maybe time for me, too!
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My husband's diet????? Buttered rolls and coffee in the AM; I have NO idea what he eats for lunch. Dinner in balanced with veggies, protein, etc., except April-June when work is crazy. Come to think of it, that's probably why he got this now.
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Organic Apple cider vinegar helps if you put on a washcloth and pat the area 3-4 times a day. Drinking a couple tablespoons a day in water is good just for overall health. Shingles definitely is a sign of a low immune system, which we know is caused by diet (I know it's hard to control with our parents!), stress, and lack of sleep. Look up different foods/supplements that increase immunity, such as acerola cherries, vitamin C supplement. Hope that helps!!
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Tooyoung, thanks for the tip! My husband actually got the antiviral within a couple of hours of the blisters coming out, so he's already on the mend.
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Lingering side effects and neuropathy are more common in older people, but I have know many who have gotten shingles at a younger age, even one young woman barely 20. Interesting to hear about the cold sore medicines working on the blisters though!
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I had shingles 4 years ago at age 59, which is early onset. Realized with two blisters close together that they were not zits on my butt. Went immediately to the dr. Got an Rx for Valacyclovir, which only works if used at begining. Too late for initial poster, but good advice for others here. Dr said to use Abreve cream on blisters. Its for cold sores, but she said they are in same "family" as shingles. My 2 blisters cleared up in a few days. A couple months later i got the vaccine. Once a year, very year, I get 2 blisters in the same place. I apply Abreve creme on them & they are gone in a couple of days. Abreve is pricey, $20-30 for a TINY tube, but a little goes a long way. It is worth it. It helps with the pain & speeds up the healing.
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DH will ask about Lidocaine topical. I'm seeing many lidocaine products as OTC offereings, but they all say " do not use on blistered areas" and/or " do not use on large areas". We are using generic neosporin with a topical analgesic and he will seek advice from his pcp tomorrow. Again, thanks to you all for the amazing support and advice.
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Another idea that might help relieve some of the discomfort...
Lidocaine is a common topical pain reliever. You can get it over the counter as well as a stronger dose by prescription. Check the % on the box, tube or bottle. And one place you might want to check in the section where condoms are sold. A topical product that men can use to delay.....may have a higher 5 or may cost less than what you may find in another section of the drugstore or "superstore"
You should get the Shingles Vaccine.
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Thanks to you all!
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BaBaLou, OMG! I had shingles in Feb., 2015, lasted 3 months...........excruciating pain, burning, and itchinggggggggg!!! Blisters, from middle of low back, entire buttock (I am going to keep it medically correct), blisters from the back wrapped around toward the front, to my navel, and down to my upper thigh and all the skin in between...........m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e ! ! !

Could not sit, lay down, bla bla bla, ran to the acupuncturist early that day because I "had sciatica pain". When I was ready for the needles, the Acup. said: OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You have shingles, I cannot treat you. Go to the MD and get the antiviral, a nerve pain med.....what was that called........oh........mmm......poof, who knows.

A friend assessed me, and I agreed to taking Super Mega B Complex, Vit. C, Sublingual B12 at 5000mcg., and ONE MORE THING.........if I go into my room, where I have them, my mom will KIDNAP ME..............I'll get back to you later on the one more or 2 supplements.

LOTS OF REST

...============================================
While I was sick, mom would ask, on a daily basis or more: Are you sick? What is wrong? Do you need to see the Dr.?

I finally wrote a PAPER, which said: I have shingles, I am sick, I need to sleep.

SHe would peek on me to see how I was doing, after reading the sign.

Three months, I am telling you.

=================================================
I did get the vaccine, 8 months after I was well. Once in a lifetime vaccine. Pricey ($260.00) here in Calif. if no insurance. I had insurance then, covered 100%.

If I get them again, *heaven forbid*, the MD said it would / will be a MILD case.

Anyway, that is my episode with the shingles...............................

I looked up in my book "Prescriptions for Natural Healing", and did most of what they suggested.

M 8 8
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So, irregardless of the communicable beliefs about shingles, practice good isolation techniques especially with towels,clothing- separate from family's towels.

I believe what others have written about catching chicken pox from the blisters, use gloves. I don't think enough is known about shingles (hiding in the nerve root) to be sure you don't catch shingles, then at a later time, you've got an outbreak.

I too, am an alarmist, worst case scenario," better safe than sorry" thinking type of person. For me, that works, for others-they just do not appreciate too much information, and I understand. Just the other day I got a call that made me glad not to be an "I told you so" type of person.
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Another online source for the treatment of shingles-especially the pain-would be doterra essential oils/lavender, but I have never had shingles. If you are pro-essential oils or alternative natural treatments you can look it up. Remembering that Lavender is also calming.
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Babalou, My doctor recommended a shingles vaccine, so I read up and found it was only good for so many years, and when I said that I will wait, he volunteered excitedly that is a good decision since 'they' are coming out with a more effective vaccine in the near future. Shingles vaccine is about the only vaccine I would consider. Still, I am very reluctant.
I don't think one outbreak of shingles confers immunity, and I don't know if the vaccine can be administered after having shingles.
It is something to ask the doctor about.
Hoping your husband can get his immunity built up with foods and supplements.
Another thing to consider is the sun's effect on shingles. Can sunshine help cure it? makes it worse,? or do the medicines prohibit going in the sun?
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