life self-care Wellness

How To Survive Shingles (And Not Go Totally Crazy!)

March 5, 2018

Remember that time I got the shingles? I know I won’t be forgetting that experience anytime soon…For anyone who has had or currently has shingles, you know this is a pain you won’t soon forget. They call it adult chicken pox, but I can assure you it’s far worse than chicken pox ever was. That or my memory is playing tricks on me!

But it’s not all bad around here. My Dad always jokes that whenever shit hits the fan around here, it makes for a great blog post and well, he’s definitely right about that. THM is my personal version of making lemonade! Or in this case, make shingles recovery out of shingles!

I’m going to skip over the whole medical diagnosis part since your doctor should probably be the one doing that but instead describe my personal experience with the shingles and what I did to nip it in the bud. The first thing I did when I got diagnosed, was immediately take to the internet to see if anyone had helpful tips for healing shingles. I read a lot of horror stories, some not-so-horror stories but also some really productive tips. I’m hoping this post can be that for some of you. Or if you have a friend or family member suffering, feel free to pass onto them. We got this!

So, first things first…

Trigeminal Nerve Shingles and healing shingles naturally


I actually told the full story in this Instagram post so I won’t go into too much detail. Basically, a couple days before the infamous shingles rash appeared, my lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and ear blew up. I then developed a lot of pain in my ear the next day so I went to the doctor to see if I had an ear infection. That morning I noticed two huge zits on my forehead which I thought was strange (because I never breakout on my forehead) but they didn’t occur to me as anything but zits. You know those huge underground zits you get? They looked and felt like those.

My doctor looked in my ear, felt my lymph nodes and informed me I did not have an ear infection but likely some kind of virus that my body was trying to fight. Neither of us thought anything of the zits and I went home feeling pretty crappy but relieved it wasn’t an ear infection.

Over the next few hours is when the rash really started to develop. A few more bumps on my forehead, one on my eyebrow and those big “zits” started to become really painful. The pain I felt in my ear started moving into my head and my swollen lymph nodes made it difficult to turn my neck. I later found out that the pain in my ear was likely caused by the fact that my shingles developed in my trigeminal nerve which is right next to your middle ear.

I knew pretty much as soon as the pain migrated to my forehead that I had the shingles. People have been shocked to discover that you can a) get shingles under the age of 60 and b) get shingles on your face. I knew both were possible because my Mom had them on her face when I was really young. Thankfully that situation clued me into what was happening with my own body but for any of you out there who don’t know this, you can get shingles at any age and they can happen at any nerve root in your body, including your face!

Shingles recovery and tips and tricks for how to heal your body when diagnosed with shingles


Because I pretty quickly tuned into what was happening, I was able to get started with my shingles recovery fairly quickly. If you manage to catch it within 72 hours of the rash appearing, the antivirals are most effective. I’m lucky I caught it within that window and am certain the quick duration of my symptoms was because of this. Of course, not everyone will know right away, but if you have a gut feeling or any of the symptoms I described above, go to your doctor!

Besides my antiviral 3x a day I was also prescribed pain meds, which I honestly didn’t end up taking. Heavy pain meds make me feel sick and groggy so except for the first two days when the pain was pretty excruciating, I used advil and tylenol to help manage the pain. For as hippie dippie as I may be, when stuff like this happens I think the path of least resistance is often the best. I wasn’t doing myself any favors by trying to overcomplicate.

Of course, I also turned to diet and lifestyle choices to also help manage the symptoms. I’m fairly confident that in addition to the antivirals, these choices helped to decrease the span of my shingles experience. So let’s get into that…

Healing shingles through supplements, diet and lifestyle changes - these are the best tips for healing your shingles and aiding in shingles recovery

HOW TO SURVIVE SHINGLES (and not go totally crazy!)

I think the most important piece of this post is this section. Of course, catching it early and taking the antivirals help a ton but shingles is so much more than just popping some pills and hoping for the best. I’m not here to throw conventional medicine under the rug. I don’t think I’d have had such a quick turnaround if it hadn’t been for the full course of antivirals I took, but there are a lot of natural treatments you can incorporate to also help speed up the process and the pain and itchiness that typically ensues.


In addition to OTC pain meds, I used CBD and THC to help manage the pain. I’ve been playing around with different types of CBD and found the Calm pen from Dosist to be most effective. For THC I used topical salve on the rash itself and it was literally a godsend to help manage the pain.


There’s a reason your body craves broth when you’re sick. Bone broth is super anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting. It contains vitamins and minerals that help support gut health and reduce pain and inflammation.

I’ve had two cups of bone broth every single day for the last two weeks. Currently obsessed with Kettle and Fire and especially their mushroom and chicken broth!


When they say “it all starts in your gut”, they’re not kidding! After my bout with SIBO I had to eliminate and then slowly add in fermented foods and probiotics. I can’t even tell you how much I missed kombucha…It’s been almost 6 months since then and I am now happily back to taking my daily probiotic and guzzling my Healthade kombucha. 5:00 PM became my “kombucha happy hour” and I think that’s going to stick around for a while!


Pretty much everyone under the sun will recommend a different supplement to you when they hear you have shingles. Truthfully, there are many MANY out there that could benefit you, shingles or not. I decided to stick with what I had from my Care/of packs and add in one that was consensus amongst everyone, L-Lysine.

Zinc – supports immune function and has an antiviral effect

L-lysine – an amino acid that helps reduce the spread of the shingles virus

Rhodiola – an adaptogenic herb that’s shown stress relieving properties

Astragalus – another herb that helps support immune function and has an antiviral effect


I wasn’t sure which category to put this under, so instead it gets a category of it’s own. Lemon Balm is an herb that is known to help reduce pain from shingles, both internally and topically. I pretty much got all my hydration from drinking 6-8 cups of Lemon Balm Tea a day and once the initial couple of days of pain went down, I used a topical lemon balm to help reduce inflammation, reduce pain and help promote healing. Someone on Instagram told me to order this Lemon Balm Salve from Amazon and it was literally the best advice I got from everyone. Within a week the rash had gone done and had begun healing.


I am a true believer in the healing power of food. Now I don’t think eating perfectly “clean” replaces other lifestyle habits or conventional medicine, but it is a great tertiary care to support your body. And truthfully, when you’re sick (at least when I’m sick), I’m not craving the same foods I normally do. I think when you really tap in and listen you’ll realize that the foods you crave like bone broth and vegetables are actually your body’s way of supporting you.

In my case I literally wanted all the warm, green veggies in broth. Particularly kale and bok choy. Interestingly my acupuncturist told me that bok choy is a common healing and cooling food in Traditional Chinese Medicine and that because shingles is excessive heat in your body, bok choy was a great cooling choice. Our bodies are crazy!

In addition to plenty of veggies, I also found myself gravitating towards antioxidant fruits like berries and lots of bananas. I didn’t intentionally do it, but I pretty much ate zero refined sugar for a week. As I started to feel better I was like “give me the brownies!!!” but while I was still heavy in the pain-zone I didn’t want any of it.

I also consumed more turmeric that I ever thought I could and especially loved it in my morning Matcha and Turmeric Latte. My body was NOT craving coffee so my morning matcha really did the trick.


I’ll be honest, when I’m sick I often turn to essential oils for primary support, but for shingles they definitely played second fiddle. I rubbed fortify on my chest and neck lymph nodes to support my immune system and diffused grounding and soothing blends like unwind, spa spirit and tranquility to help stay calm and promote self-care and relaxation.

*Note: After about two weeks I began seeing an acupuncturist to help with some peripheral nerve pain that remained even after the rash had healed. I highly recommend if you’re still dealing with pain but are out of the itchiness and scabbing phase.

Kombucha and how probiotics help in shingles recovery


I know that this is a lot of information so give yourself time to take it all in. Perhaps, more importantly take this one piece of advice: RELAX. Shingles is usually brought on by stress in your life. While I didn’t think I had a lot of stress (I’ve become a lot better at managing it!), when I listed everything on my plate it’s easy to see how my body was overburdened.

The biggest lesson learned through this process is how important it is to really, truly support your body. People often mentioned how lucky I was to be able to have a job that works from home, but when you’re sick it’s easy to just reach for your phone in bed or work on a project while recovering on the couch. The boundaries are less clear. Though I did the bare minimum I needed to do, I mostly took a lot of time to rest, nap, journal, watch TV and essentially do nothing.

I would have loved to have gone on walks or been outside but the pain of the wind on my face made it impossible. I was upset over this but C reminded me that compassion is a big part of the recovery process. So even though I felt stir crazy, I also knew that going outside actually created more stress in my life. Acknowledging those stressors and putting in plans of action to eliminate or diffuse them is the key to getting over shingles.

* * * * *

I’m still not 100% pain-free but that’s to be expected after 2.5 weeks out. I’m continuing most of what I listed above and easing myself back into work. I’m also doing acupuncture to help manage the pain and have also found it super helpful in reducing my stress levels.

Overall I can tell I’m drastically improved from where I was and also have learned one of life’s most important lessons: STRESS IS REAL and it can manifest physically, so don’t ignore it!

Have you ever had or currently have shingles? Any tips to add? Drop them below!


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  • Reply
    Emma @ Health Grinder
    March 5, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Great tips! Having a dad who’s gotten shingles twice (not sure why, he does stress a lot though), I can tell you that is isn’t a picnic. From what I’ve seen, the earlier the better. If you can start medication early, like when you only have one or two blisters that cuts down the time a whole lot. I think the medication the docs gave dad was valtrex or something like that.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 13, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Yup – I did a course of Valtrex too. Super helpful! Very grateful for western medicine and also the power of alternative medicine to support it!

      • Reply
        September 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

        Thanks so much for this post! I thought I was going crazy ! My doctors could not understand why I was in so much pain, I could not move my neck and my ear had swollen with terrible pain. I was originally diagnosed with a cyst ? I went back to see a different doctor a few days later as I was not convinced and it took two more doctors for one of them to finally say shingles. Unfortunately for me this was like 10 days later so the antivirals I have been given are not likely to work as well. I am hoping in a few more weeks it will clear , it’s in my head and top of neck so the pains I am getting through my head are horrendous. Like everyone else I never thought at 26 I would end up with shingles!
        Again, thanks for the post and hope everyone here is feeling better soon! X

    • Reply
      Kim Burr
      November 24, 2018 at 5:43 am

      I was just diagnoised with shingles today. And honestly I didnt have much pain just flu like symptoms in the begining. But Ive been on the pills for 5 days now and my skin is itchy af and burns. I havent wanted to do to much for awhile now. Im only 32 going to be 33 on Sunday. I really dont know what to expect. Im just starting to feel the headaches body aches bone aches and random as out of controll burning and itching. Ive had intense stomache issues Ive been trying to explain to doctors for years now. So I guess this is what it was all along. I need to sleep but I cant its frusturating. Im still just trying to adjust to having shingles now and it really scares me cause you can die from it. So I need to start taking better care of myself. And find a way to cope when I seen that your a younger adult with shingles I didnt feel so alone. So thank you for that support today I needed it.

      • Reply
        November 26, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        I have shingles- i know i do since beginning nov – and sick for 2 weeks b4 that- dr doesnt believe me yet (i feel like they are humoring me! ) cause theres only 3 spots on each end of the nerve- my back/ my right thigh. right thigh is numb – pain was deep in thigh…. they gave me prednesone pack 3 days after i went in and (didnt acknowledge the small rash) – isnt that a steroid? wonder if thats gonna make this last longer- was told to late to try antivirals now- when i went back last week…. ugh feel so under the weather still

      • Reply
        November 29, 2018 at 12:41 am

        Wow! I was also recently diagnosed with Shingles and has it been an experience that I will never forget. I have had my shares of urgent care visits, Dr on calls, and pain! I am also in my thirties and was terrified to think this was even a possibility. I have had my few breakdowns and just trying to keep it together. I have a pretty intense case of the shingles on my face and it created a swollen cheek with redness, blisters and even reached all the way to my eye. I have researched everything I could about healing and hoping to find something successful for myself. I’m terrified to leave my house but it’s difficult when I have class, a very active child and eventually back to work. Anyway I’m hoping for a smooth recovery and would love any advice… I’m trying to keep my spirits up. So sorry for anyone who has to go through this… not fun what so ever : ( I hope everyone hangs in there, and take good care of yourselves!

  • Reply
    Phoebe Lapine
    March 7, 2018 at 10:23 am

    oh girl. I can’t believe this expressed itself right after I talked to you. that ear! guess it wasn’t allergies…loved this post and all you shared. I had shingles in college on my BUTT, which I suppose is preferable to your face, but it wasn’t fun. #alltheshingleladies.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 13, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      Dude I literally woke up the next day with shingles! SO CRAZY!!!! Life is weird…Shingles on da butt sounds pretty awful too. Though weirdly it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this pain. #ALLTHESHINGLELADIES

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    March 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    You’re such a trooper! Thank you for sharing these. I think these tips are so helpful no matter what temporary illness someone is dealing with; it’s all about resting and treating your body the way it really wants and needs to be treated. And I so love and appreciate your positivity through this whole thing; it can’t have been easy to joke around and laugh about having shingles, but you somehow did it. Hope you reach 100% shingle-free status ASAP!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 13, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      It’s so true! No matter what the struggle is, self-compassion and care is the ultimate healing! Thanks so much for the support babes <3

  • Reply
    Kris Kelbrants
    March 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    This article so well done, had no idea but for some reason was intrigued to read this. LOVE your content!!!!

  • Reply
    Janice Snow
    March 11, 2018 at 4:33 am

    Hey, I love the way you write the article and amazing collection of photography and here I have tried some food photography

  • Reply
    March 16, 2018 at 7:54 am

    I just recently learned about the amazing benefits of turmeric. So I looked on the internet not long ago to see how much a few pounds of turmeric would be and let me tell you… That is one expensive spice. But it’s certainly worth spending the money on because of the amazing health benefits. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 23, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I was just diagnosed with shingles today so I needed to read this.
    I have trigeminal neuralgia (currently in remission). I cringed when I read where your shingles originated. Trigminal pain is as bad as it gets. I hope you never have to deal with it again.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    I’m two weeks post-diagnosis, and feeling zonked still. I’m only 35 and got on the anti-virals early, plus took Lauricidin, sat under a homemade infra-red lamp, and put on Aztec Healing Clay poultices, plus downed plenty of L-Lysine, The CBD and THC was also involved. I’m a health-supportive private chef, and only took one day off work, plus travelled and cooked a few 12-14 hour days for a Culinary Yoga Retreat over Memorial Day weekend. I’m also in school for Nutritional Consulting, and had to ask for a few extensions. The brain fog is intense!

    Although my rash (the size of a dime on my left hand) never opened up and the itching/burning there wasn’t too terrible, the fatigue and overall body aches have been the most challenging. I’m at the point where I WANT to want to go do fun stuff, but all I can really do is the bare minimum. I moved just 3 weeks ago, and I have no doubt that stress did me in.

    I also have Celiac, MTHFR, and Fibromyalgia, which seem to just make everything a little more challenging.

    From all the insane internet-ing I’ve been doing, it seems like more younger people get shingles than is assumed and/or discussed. So happy to see a piece from someone I can really identify with, instead of just feeling like I’m some sort of anomaly.

  • Reply
    June 6, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. This is really killing me few months back and sometime I can still feel the pain hunting. Do you have new pumps after your recovery? Seem like mine have new pump appears.

  • Reply
    Joe Agnew
    June 20, 2018 at 6:50 am

    A cup of coffee will greatly relieve Shingles pain. Try it, even if you’re up in the middle of the night.

  • Reply
    Erin B.
    June 22, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    I love this post because it’s pretty much exactly what i am going through! I thought I had ear infection, but I didn’t. They treated me for allergies, which I’ve never hadn’t. I went with it. But the pain I need my head kept getting worse, and my eye turned pink. I thought it must be sinus infection, but I didn’t have any cold symptoms. Went in again and they thought I had an atypical sinus infection and they put me on antibiotics and eyedrops. That night I noticed a tingling sensation on my eyebrow. It kept spreading across my eyebrow and I noticed a large red bump where the tingling had started. Then two blisters appeared on the side of my nose. I knew I needed to go back in. What do you know?! I had shingles … and at age 40! I was too young, they said, but I had it. They put me on antiviral meds 5 times per day, prednisone for 5 days since it was around my eye, and ibuprofen for the pain. I also had to go see an ophthalmologist to make sure my eye wasn’t affected. A friend also gave me silver gel to apply to the rash and blisters to help them heal faster (24ppm). I will say it totally relieved the burning pain I had with it and I have no scarring whatsoever. So I would recommend that, too. I’m 13 days into this journey and I’m starting to feel much better. I still feel fatigue and muscle pain, so I’m continuing to take it easy. I, too, believe stress brought this on, so Ireally agree with and emphasize your final point: stress can manifest itself in not good ways in your body. Do your best to keep it at bay!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Hi. I also get them and mine go on my cornea as well as the spots you stated. I used everything you did but I also ate raw garlic daily, rubbed raw garlic on the shingles and rubbed lemongrass oil mixed with coconut oil & manuka honey on them. I put colloidal silver under my tongue and I put two drops in each eye for two days. My shingles went away in 3 days without an antiviral. I get them often due to stress. As soon as I feel any tingle I rub lemongrass oil on the area. My doctor said to take 2400 mg of monolaurin daily for six months. It kills the virus by breaking down the fatty layer around the virus then it kills the virus. Monolauren is From coconuts. 😊 feel better

    • Reply
      December 2, 2018 at 2:18 am

      These sound like great tips! I had shingles without a rash in October (3rd time after catching chickenpox as an adult 13 years ago. Still not feeling well and very unmotivated). I believe it was systemic as my entire internal organs felt like they were being kicked and punched and stabbed, that was one occasion when I definitely felt close to death. I don’t want a repeat performance so will hunt around for some Monolaurin.

    • Reply
      Lisa Smith
      January 26, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      It is soooo nice to see other younger women having gone through this. I thought this only happened to older people. I am currently suffering through shingles in and around my eye. Started out with just pain in my eye and the ER doc and ophthalmologist couldn’t figure out what was wrong because there were no other symptoms for a week! The eye doc scraped my eye thinking I had a “foreign body” in it. Turned out to be nothing. Probably one of the most painful things I’ve experienced. Then the rash developed a couple days ago on my forehead, eye, and lip and I actually diagnosed myself at that point. My eye is swollen and I feel like the hunchback of Notre Dame, hideously ugly. Just got the Valtrex yesterday and bought lysine as well. Been using neuropathy essential oils and homeopathic mixture topically and colloidal silver ointment. I’ve never had a cold sore in my life, but this seriously sucks. Just drinking a lot of herbal tea and coconut water and popping the ibuprofen. Nerve pain is the worst. Does anyone know how long these blisters last??? Or the eye inflammation??? I honestly don’t want to go back to work looking like this. 👺🤒😷

      • Reply
        Davida @ The Healthy Maven
        January 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm

        Hi Love! I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Blisters were pretty obvious for a week but then subsided. The pain takes a bit longer. Biggest piece of advice: RELAX. As much as possible. allow your body to totally disconnect from the world and sleep a ton. Once I started to get my energy back I went to acupuncture and that helped a ton with pain. Thinking of you <3

        • Reply
          Lisa Smith
          January 27, 2019 at 8:31 am

          Thanks so much for replying! I have noticed anytime my anxiety level goes up, I feel it in my face. Tingling and pain. Relaxing is good advice and I’m working on it 🤞. I’ve slept more these past few days than I have in a loooong time. I think the pain really takes a lot out of you. Hopefully I can get back on my feet and back to work soon. I might try the acupuncture. I never have before. The needles are a little scary to me. Do they put them in the painful areas? That seems like it would cause more pain to me.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2018 at 7:22 am

    I was diagnosed with Singkes today and also need to hear this. I have a lot on pain in my lower back, headaches and terrible balance and hearing. I also had a small rash on my head and glands all down the one side flared up and ear blew up too. I haven’t been prescribed any meds as I unfortunately caught it later than normal. I’m really worried about it spreading into other organs? Especially brain (with the rash that on my head)

  • Reply
    September 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you for this information. I have Shingles at the moment, finished anti viral meds a day ago. I will purchase the L-Lysine, Kombucha/Probiotics, Bone Broth sand Lemon Balm. My pain is so bad some days and I am on Codine then, otherwise Panadol. I am hoping your recommendations will help. None of this was recommended by the Dr, their attitude was to ride it out

    • Reply
      February 6, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      That’s not good. I would change doctor’s. According to what I’ve read, if antivirals are not used within that window of time at the beginning the virus attacks the nerve and can cause permanent damage. I don’t think shingles is something you should willingly ride out or treat with home remedies alone. That’s what all the lab rats have died for, let’s not make their deaths in vain.
      I got Shingles a little over a week ago. I have actually gone to 6 different doctors over the past 8 months due to a mysterious fever, painful joints, red face, fatigue, and a short score of other symptoms. Only one said he thought I have some sort of autoimmune disorder. The rest just said nothing is wrong with me and sent me home (after having me take hundreds of dollars, and like five pages worth of blood tests). About a month ago I stopped going to the gym after two months of going because my knees were hurting. I had developed a heart arrhythmia, too. Then the Shingles started in my lymph nodes about two weeks ago, and developed into a rash about 10 days ago.
      Admittedly, I have some papers that I’m writing, but my life isn’t that stressful. However, last year was probably the most stressful of my 42 years, and about a month after the source of stress ended, I got sick and haven’t been the same as I used to be. I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong, but I know something is wrong with me (other than shingles)…

      • Reply
        July 5, 2019 at 11:45 pm

        Hey! As for the other symptoms, I’m curious if you have ever been tested for rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. I have the latter and it sounds very similar to what you are describing. I’ve also been able to get off all meds for my psoriasis and joint pain by juicing and drinking a head of celery every morning on an empty stomach. No joke. Anyway. I hope you get some clarity.

    • Reply
      February 6, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Oh, sorry, I just noticed you said you did take the antivirals… Well, from what I’ve bread, there isn’t much that can be done from the limited Western-Medicine Pharma-is-all-we-trust-and-need standpoint. But like you, I think this page and the comments hold a wealth of information for getting past that time after the meds are gone. Thanks to everyone for your comments, because I will be using those alternative medicines, too!

  • Reply
    September 10, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    what kind of advice, please is : ‘ride it out’ ?

  • Reply
    September 18, 2018 at 10:02 am

    We were in the middle of a very stressful move two weeks ago and I started developing swollen lymph nodes and ear pain, the next day brought large swollen but flat areas on my scalp. I went to urgent care and was given antibiotics for an ear infection even though the doctor said he didn’t see any signs of infection in my ear. The following morning I woke up with my eye swollen almost completely shut – I was supposed to drive the moving truck the next day! Another (different) urgent care visit and I was diagnosed with shingles. My eye ended up getting a lump just below my eyebrow which overnight scabbed over and still hasn’t fully healed. I just finished all my meds but I’m still feeling not quite myself – tired, weakness, dizzy spells and some nausea. I never had any pain, never had a rash, I felt all my lumps drain through inside the side of my face not rupture externally. Hopefully I will be feeling back to myself soon.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    My grandson had shingles’s really bad and then I had shingles’s and someone told me to use young living ravensara in two days my grandson shingles’s were clearing up it really works

    • Reply
      March 4, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      No body is listening to what I said about young living ravensara oil I’m telling you that it really works on shingles’s in two days my grandson shingles was drying use full strength

      • Reply
        March 15, 2019 at 7:41 pm

        I just looked it (Living Ravensara) up, thanks for the tip…..Was just diagnosed yesterday after suffering from acute pain during the past two weeks; until yesterday I was convinced the pain & swelling were the result of a ‘Core Class’. I even thought the hideous blister I have on my back was due to an allergic reaction from Tiger Balm – which I used to combat my ‘gym injury’. Was prescribed anti-virals and I started taking L-Lysine today.

        Planning to try some of these great tips also.

  • Reply
    Victoria Thostrup
    September 26, 2018 at 7:49 am

     I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia around 7 years ago although I’m certain I have had it much longer than that. I have suffered from sleeplessness, joint stiffness, severe pains, depression and fatigue. My neurologist prescribed duloxetin 40mg daily (Given as 20mg twice daily), although it did relieve some of the pain, I still suffered from joint stiffness and extreme fatigue. Finally, i started on Fibromyalgia herbal formula i ordered from Natural Herbal Gardens, this herbal formula did the magic! almost immediately i started usage, i started noticing a general reduction of symptoms including the very severe pains and fatigue. 9 weeks into usage, the disease has totally succumbed to this herbal treatment. The whole pains and terrible fatigue has seized and i am now able to function fully well again. (Visit www .naturalherbalgardens . com ) I’m able to get out of bed in the morning and have more energy to go about my daily activities.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

    All brilliant advice. Thank you. I’m in the middle of a horrible shingles episode and have been researching extensively how to speed up recovery. On top pf all your great tips: bone broth, L Lysine and foods high in Lysine (beef, salmon, leafy greens, Kefir, yogurt, cherries, cherry yogurt 🙂 I am taking 1000mg Vitamin C every hour – it sounds excessive but it has really helped with the excruciating pain in my ear. Wow! It’s so debilitating. It’s a week since I was diagnosed and the pain hasn’t let up yet. My daily routine is bed rest, bed rest and more bed rest. Oh I also read that foods high in argenine: caffeine, chocolate, grains, alcohol 🙂 are out. I haven’t cut out a morning coffee but instead of having it first thing Im taking it mid-morning after kefir and green tea. Hope that adds to the conversation. Big hugs to all shingle sufferers. xxx

  • Reply
    Eva Pierce
    October 31, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I am 3 1/2 weeks out from the onset of shingles on my head, and around my right eye. I did Valtrex really quickly, and gabapentin helped a lot with the pain. I also had a lidocaine cream for my face, which helped a lot. Pain has disappeared, though I still get pretty tired by the end of the day.
    HOWEVER…I am about to lose my religion from the tingling sensation that is lingering!!! It feels like something crawling on my head and across my eyebrow. It interrupts my sleep, and can get so maddening during the day that I sometimes have to knock myself out with Benadryl!
    I am back at work now, so this has become even more troublesome. Does anyone have any suggestions to help with this???

    • Reply
      Lily Lee
      April 15, 2019 at 6:27 am

      I’m going through this right now!! About 3.5 weeks out from my shingles on my forehead and around (but not in) my left eye. Was on antivirals fairly quickly and the awful rash and pain has gone but the lingering itchiness is kind of driving me nuts!! Did it go away for you and how long did it take?

  • Reply
    Janet Flaig
    November 9, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Mine Started a week ago with a headache and a dime sized rash on my shoulder. 2 days later I suffered a blow to the head and have stitches and concussion. Needless to say I am covered in blisters on large portion of my body and I can now feel the tingling in my face. I am glad to hear of some of these remedies. I am on the ant-viral meds.

    • Reply
      Christena Mejia
      December 12, 2018 at 12:54 am

      That sounds dreadful, Janet!! I’m hoping you are doing better. I have a bad case of shingles right now so I empathize, that sounds like the worst

  • Reply
    November 14, 2018 at 2:30 am

    I had what I believe to have been rashless shingles. I had chickenpox 13 years ago, and had tiny outbreaks of shingles since then, but the most recent bout was following an extended period of stress. I did a couple of particularly difficult exams, came home and could not get out of bed for 3 days. When I was finally able to get up I felt like I had been kicked and punched everywhere and was having stabbing pains in all my organs – heart, liver, intestines etc. Similar to what I had when I had chickenpox, but no rash.
    This went on for 2 weeks, and then I caught the cold that everyone else had. Except I got what I thought was flu. Again, I could not move from my bed and was ill for a week. I also had the odd ache in my ears, head, just behind my eyes. The last day, I had raging fever, painful hot/ cold feeling skin and the organ pains were severe enough that I thought about calling an ambulance but decided against it, as I reckoned that in hospital (here in the UK, which is notorious) I would pick up more infections than I went in with. So I thought I would just like there, and if I died, then I did.
    Woke up the next morning feeling much better, but the post viral fatigue has been hard. Uncharacteristically for me, I have been really unmotivated, thankfully I am not working at the moment and could take time to recover. It’s only really just now that I am gradually getting my mojo and enthusiasm back. All in all, the whole process from illness to recovery has taken about 6 weeks.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2018 at 7:07 am

    35 years old and on week 4. Pain is intense & fatigue still. I got the medicine in quick but not much help. Started as neck pain and rash traveled around front of chest. I have a 3 year old& a one year old, am a hairdresser and photographer, so not really much downtime. Trying to rest when possible but it’s definitely tough. Hoping for relief soon! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Cora huges
    November 22, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Fibromyalgia attacked my mother body more than 3 years ago after her knee surgery. She has been in a wheelchair for about six months, and she used a cane for another six months. She  did not even know how to walk anymore. We fought the fibromyalgia with a lot of pain pills and tears not until we had to give a try on natural formulas, we purchased a herbal treatment from  which help her a lot and bring her back to normal again, the herbal formula reverse the symptoms grammatically and she’s totally free from the Fibromyalgia that cost her pains for ages .

  • Reply
    Kim Burr
    November 24, 2018 at 5:56 am

    I was just diagnoised with shingles today. And honestly I didnt have much pain just flu like symptoms in the begining. But Ive been on the pills for 5 days now and my skin is itchy af and burns. I havent wanted to do to much for awhile now. Im only 32 going to be 33 on Sunday. I really dont know what to expect. Im just starting to feel the headaches body aches bone aches and random as out of controll burning and itching. Ive had intense stomache issues Ive been trying to explain to doctors for years now. So I guess this is what it was all along. I need to sleep but I cant its frusturating. Im still just trying to adjust to having shingles now and it really scares me cause you can die from it. So I need to start taking better care of myself. And find a way to cope when I seen that your a younger adult with shingles I didnt feel so alone. So thank you for that support today I needed it.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Berkey
    December 1, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I feel so great that I was able to read this post. It’s so comprehensive and I gain a lot of things especially about taking care of one’s health.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Great Ayurvedic tip: apply turmeric topically to the lesions and they dry up within a couple of days.

    • Reply
      Lisa Smith
      January 26, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      I’m going to try this. Thank you!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I started to have pulsations in my right ear so loud I could hear my heart beat in my ear. This was nothing new it started over the last year or so until it became so loud and disturbing I went to my doctor who said I had pulsative tinitus. a few days later a rash appeard on my upper back, felt like it was a raised rash, then sharp pain shooting up my left ear. rash spread to upper chest, shoulder and left arm. the pain was unbearable. I took the antiviral for seven days, no relief of pain. I am now on the 21st day of this, my left side feels weak and heavy, fatigue can’t do much without getting tired. I am trying to ride this out. There are no shingles vaccines and one has to put themselves on a waiting list, they might have them in a month or two. Not sure if I should get one now.

    • Reply
      February 1, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      Going through a bout of shingles now. Approaching the end of week 2. Wondering if there can be a connection to ear ringing/tinnitus. I’ve had the same thing for about the last year. The ringing has come and gone, sometimes it isn’t so bad, and sometimes it’s super annoying. Dr seemed to have no idea why. Felt sick as a dog the night before I woke up with the side of my face n eye swollen. I did have a red mark on my forehead for a couple days that I thought was a pimple. If only. Got on antivirals immediately which helped tremendously, and the rash isn’t that horrid. What sucks is the nerve pain from the top of my head down to my ear. Hope that goes once the rash does. Fatigue is no joke either. Thought about the vaccine myself after this, but understand it’s a bit pricey, and has a 51% effective rate. I figure I have similar odds getting this again on my own.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I think I’m the youngest to get shingles that I know of, cuz I’m suffering from it now and I’m only 18. I think the stress of completing my A levels was the cause of the shingles. I have a line of blisters and rashes from the middle of my back on my left side all the way around to the front across my rib cage. And I have today it hasn’t been fun. I can never get comfortable whether I’m sitting or lying down. So safe to say I haven’t been sleeping much. My doctor is making me take 10 antiviral tabs a day, 2 every 4 hours roughly. I recently got off my pain meds since after 3 days the pain seemed to subside. Glad I got meds early, but even then I think I’m gonna go insane before it clears up entirely. Thanks for all the helpful tips they really help me find some relief.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I think I’m the youngest to get shingles that I know of, cuz I’m suffering from it now and I’m only 18. I think the stress of completing my A levels was the cause of the shingles. I have a line of blisters and rashes from the middle of my back on my left side all the way around to the front across my rib cage. And I have to say it hasn’t been fun. I can never get comfortable whether I’m sitting or lying down. So safe to say I haven’t been sleeping much. My doctor is making me take 10 antiviral tabs a day, 2 every 4 hours roughly. I recently got off my pain meds since after 3 days the pain seemed to subside. Glad I got meds early, but even then I think I’m gonna go insane from the lack of sleep before it clears up entirely. Thanks for all the helpful tips they really help me find some relief at least

  • Reply
    December 9, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Ride it out means to endure something and wait until its over and its usually in reference to something you have no control over. With a viral infection many times you can manage the symptoms but ultimately you have to wait for your body to fight it off.

  • Reply
    Amy White
    December 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I’m on week 6. Day 40. I started 3x/day anti-virals within the 72 hours but it didn’t seem to do anything. I was 60-70% a week after it started, covered from spine to sternum. Shingles rash took a full 2 weeks to peak and dry up. I had the basic flu symptoms for that…loss of energy, low grade fever, loss of appetite, sore. When they dried up and started fading, I realized I was numb everywhere the rash had been. About a week ago (4-5 weeks in), a 2nd small rash began on my sternum (same side). It’s the lingering effects that I’m still miserable over and looking for relief from. Ibuprofen and Benadryl can only go so far. Phantom pains, the creepy-crawlies, itches, and searing heat in spots. Make it stop! I’ll be trying some of these things.

    • Reply
      June 11, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Hi there. My shingles rash first emerged on May 1 and I am still struggling a lot. I noticed you saying you were 6-weeks into the struggle. Do you have any update? I’m losing hope that I’ll ever feel normal again.

  • Reply
    Christena Mejia
    December 12, 2018 at 12:41 am

    I stumbled upon your site looking for answers and trying to figure out what on earth is wrong with me being 33 and getting shingles. My mom and dad both have had it and I remember them describing it as being awful, and now I definitely get it. Mine is right behind my right ear, which started yesterday and I have had nothing but sharp, searing pain 24/7. I caved and have been taking my pain medicine and it does not stop the pain at all. Been drinking kava tea to help me relax and hopefully get some much needed sleep, but it’s so hard when it feels like someone is holding a torch to your head. I think the most difficult thing amidst having a very demanding job, two kids in elementary school with extracurricular activities 3-4 nights a week, squeezing in gym time and “me time” as well as keeping up with laundry and bills and all the other fun stuff, is that I’m terrified to hug or kiss my babies right now. They’re 5 and 8 and they’re still my babies. I’ve Lysol’d everything and literally praying they don’t get CP. Anyway, your tips and tricks are amazing. I will be going to the store tomorrow to stock up on your recommendations. Hardest thing is finding cbd oil in Alabama 🙁

  • Reply
    December 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Hi–I have shingles now, also in same area of my face. Can you tell me what kind of TLC cream you use? I am in Texas and don’t know if I can get it, but the pain, esp at night–is bad.

  • Reply
    December 26, 2018 at 8:13 am

    I have been dealing with shingles chronically for the last 2 years. My first out break was when I was a kid.
    I can recall getting chicken pox or should I say pock.. literally one when I was about 6 or so. I wonder if my lack of an out beak cause what I consider an in break or the virus complied in my nerves that rears it s ugly head often now. My outbreaks are in for of blisters ranging in my nose, mouth, neck and inside my ear. I can tell now when my system is “on the fritz” and I get this nervous like shake inside my body. My wyes get goopy, and sensitive to light , I’m tired and body aches. It pretty debilitating but the show must always go on.
    A heatpad helps the jabbing neuralgia pain I get in my head and ibuprofen is a must.
    Lots of water and rest along with multi vitamin and of course taking the antiviral meds all help. I just received a prescription for the shingles vaccine Shingrix so hoping this will end my battle with this horrible condition. I am defeated and finally found. Doctor that understands how horrible having chronic shingles is.
    Did any other of your sufferers have a light case of chicken pox ?

  • Reply
    January 23, 2019 at 8:55 am

    What a beautifully written, thoughtful and supportive piece you’ve given us. Thank you for this post!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2019 at 1:36 am

    I must share this with others suffering the pain of shingles. I have it now, I tried pain killers like lortab, norco, tylenol, advil, lyrica, etc. nothing worked. 3 days of excruciating pain. After taking a 1000mg vitamin C I thought the pain was not as bad so I started one every 2 hours, it helped a lot. It would get worse overnight from not staying on the regimen. I am almost at 3 weeks into this and am nearly pain free now.
    It worked better than any of the pain meds. I hope this helps you too.

  • Reply
    Judie Ann
    February 13, 2019 at 5:46 am

    My Sympathy to Anyone dealing with this Nasty Virus. I just turned 50…in decent health I thought. Had taken myself off Sugar and taking Amazing Green Drinks Daily.
    In November 2018, right before Thanksgiving I got an itchy rash on my right shoulder. I had no idea it was Shingles….
    However, I had just closed my Embroidery business after 5 Very Stressful Years. Went from Great credit to Extreme Debt. Lots of Negative Emotions. I took Valcyclovir for 7 days. It helped a little. As soon as I stopped taking it-I was in terrible pain, itching and So Fatigued. I read Everything I could about Healing myself. Lysine was first to combat the arginine. It was the holidays I was eating Nuts, Chocolate, Black eyed peas, ect.
    All the Wrong foods.
    I started taking Lysine 3500 mgs, B12 1000 mcgs, Olive Leaf Extract, D3with K2 (mv7)
    Drops, Camu Camu and vitamin C 2000 mg,
    Noni capsules, Magnesium chelates 2000 mgs, Vitamin E and drank Amazing Green Drink Daily. The Lysine helped calm the itching. The Olive Leaf Extract is a natural antiviral. Strong! I cleaned the pox on my shoulder With ACV then blow dried the area and applied Calamine Lotion religiously every day. I used Beckmann 1802 Honey &
    Colladial Oatmeal Soap to bath and their body cream as my skin got extremely dry.
    And I slept for days. So Exhausted.
    Body Aches, Chills, Flu like symptoms.
    It’s now mid February and I’m just now starting to feel a little better. Still dealing with Fatigue. But the pain is starting to subside. Hydration is Important! REST is
    Very Important! A virtual nightmare of sorts.
    I felt I was dying at times.
    Not Pleasant. The meds the Doc gives you Only suppresses the virus. Best to go with natural herbs and supplements. Although thankfully I had muscle spasm meds and it got me through the pain. And Xanax.
    I’ll continue to take all my vitamins and supplements. Especially the Lysine and Amazing Green drink.
    I feel for anyone going through this ordeal.
    Mine seemed to go on for a Long Time.
    Try the natural remedies and mix with pharmaceuticals. But the natural stuff works Best and Time. Rest as Much as You Can!!!
    God Bless & Good Luck 🍀
    Thank You for Your Blog-So Helpfull.

    • Reply
      July 26, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      Try “Quantumin Plus Miracle Drops. You can also use SuperLife STC30 supplement, but I believe Quantumin Plus will be OK. Drink it as recommended, and rub the drops on the problem area. Thanks

    • Reply
      July 26, 2019 at 11:55 pm

      Try “Quantumin Plus Miracle Drops. You can also use SuperLife STC30 supplement, but I believe Quantumin Plus will be OK, because it got rid of my friend’s shingles. Drink it as recommended, and rub the drops on the problem area. Thanks

  • Reply
    Pat Shelly
    February 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    I have a question about the high argininine to lysine ratio in bone broth. Do you think the lysine supplement is enough to counteract this? Also, do you limit nuts and seeds and dark chocolate?

  • Reply
    February 14, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    I am now in week 2 of shingles on my scalp and face. It started with left-sided headaches until the worst day I ended up going to my GP for meds to make it stop. He gave me pain meds and a shot of Toradol in the rump roast. That helped tremendously and the headache let up. That night I woke up over and over again rubbing my face…it didn’t itch but it felt odd so I rubbed the areas and went back to sleep. The next day I noticed a goose-egg on my head. I thought I surely was to be the next contestant on Dr. Pimple Popper as it was going to be a doozie! The day after, a 2nd goose-egg and the lymph node behind my ear was swollen. It went to hell from there…small cluster of “pimples” on my left forehead and one in the middle. I went to the mirror and saw one at my hairline I didn’t even feel. I knew something was wrong at that point. All the lymph nodes on my skull were popping up and sore to the touch. I went to the doc knowing it was shingles and he agreed although I didn’t put the headaches and facial sensations together as a prodrome until yesterday. He insisted it would not go into/on my eye because it was the V1 portion of my trigenimal nerve and that ends above your eye…WRONG! He started me on valacyclovir right away and, I assume, it has done a great deal as they have dried up already and I’m only a week in. Now the creepy crawlies are starting and the scalp pain that feels like my ponytail was in too long. I’m mostly concerned with the fatigue! If I sit in one place too long without doing much, I want to nod off. I eat like a campground raccoon which probably doesn’t help AT ALL so I will try some of the suggested supplements to see if I can rouse myself until this virus goes dormant, again.

    Thanks for all the great info and knowing everything I am dealing with is real!

    • Reply
      July 26, 2019 at 11:52 pm

      Try “Quantumin Plus Miracle Drops. You can also use SuperLife STC30 supplement, but I believe Quantumin Plus will be OK, because it got rid of my friend’s shingles. Drink it as recommended, and rub the drops on the problem area. Thanks

  • Reply
    Lauren Sanders
    February 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I have found if you catch the blisters early a topical mixture of oregano oil and coconut (any carrier oil because oregano is very astringent and harsh) will help speed up healing. I also supplement this with oregano oil pills.

  • Reply
    Charlet Licwinko
    February 24, 2019 at 9:51 am

    I am 53
    Diagnosed march of last year.
    All I can say is my pain around my waist
    Up into my lungs in the back is no joke…
    Been living he for a year !
    Pain isn’t going away

  • Reply
    Charlet Licwinko
    February 24, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I am suffering everyday!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2019 at 8:59 am

    I have had 7 Outbreaks of Shingles. I avoid Tomatoes Wheat Germ Brussels sprouts Cashews Grapes Pumpkin Seeds Pecans Blackberries Blueberries Peanuts Chocolate Sugars. I recently was on medicine that gave me Hives, and that brought on the Shingles. Luckily I have had it several times now, and I got it early. Please everyone be careful if a doctor prescribes medicine. Last Year I was prescribed Ceftin for a Sinus Infection, and I had an awful Hives Breakout that lead to a very bad case of Shingles. This Year my Podiatrist Prescribed Lamisil. I normally don’t use prescriptions, unless I Absolutely need it. When I get Shingles it’s so Bad Natural Remedies don’t work. Thankfully The after Hours Clinic I go to has diagnosed me several times, so They give me stronger medicine. I hope I was able to help someone with this information.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Thank you, for writing this!

    On March 25th, I had the terrible pain on the left side of my face. I went to an urgent care center and was diagnosed with an ear infection and strep throat. I had no symptoms of the strep and I was told that the ear infection developed because of it. On March 27th I noticed a rash on my jawline. I assumed that I had some sort of reaction to the antibiotics I was prescribed. March 28th I woke up to a mountain of lumps and bumps on my jawline, neck, behind my ear, and in my hair. I freaked and went to the ER. I was told that I had shingles. I cried and thought THIS WEEK SUCKS! I was told that stress, and my body fighting the other illnesses, activated my shingles. Although my face hurts, the worst pain is the “shocks” I get throughout the left side of my scalp. Along with my smorgasbord of medications, I’ve been taking probiotics, and I made a sweet concoction of essential oils.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    My heart goes out to all of you. I was diagnosed last Tuesday with shingles on my left arm. of course I’ve got the fire ants sensation or I like to describe it as a poison ivy on top of a sunburn all the way up my left arm around my shoulder blade. The sores themselves on the other hand I only got two and a couple of tiny spots. I caught mine within 4 days and started Valtrex and B12. A week and a half later I barely have random needle poke Sensations or numbness. After reading a lot of these I thank my lucky stars that must be one of the lucky ones that got such a mild case. But I honestly think acting fast getting on the antiviral medicine and overdosing on B12 is what helped the most for me.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Hi everyone,
    I feel for all of you!
    I’m 54 and I’ve had shingles for 4 1/2 weeks now and I’m still feeling really ordinary!
    I first went to my GP with a sore eye and a couple of ‘spots’ on my scalp. It didn’t take her long to diagnose shingles.
    2 x 10 days courses of anti viral meds and steroid drops and Zoster ointment for my eye. My eye burns and consistently feels like there is something in it.
    My Opthamologist saw slight scarring and 2 small lesions on my eye…he says the scarring won’t ever go away but thankfully it’s not affecting my eyesight.
    First week was horrid to say the least…pain, burning, severe itching, nausea, couldn’t eat..slept a lot and just felt miserable. I found a hot wheat bag helped with all the shooting pains in my head.
    Thank goodness that shooting pain eventually went away but I still feel like my forehead and scalp are severely sunburnt, the areas of rash around my eye and nose are still numb and the itchiness drives me crazy!
    As each day passes I think I’m feeling a little bit better,
    It is a really slow recovery progress and I still get really tired. I can see light at the end of the tunnel but boy its been a struggle.
    My very best to everyone out there who is struggling too…I feel your pain!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Was diagnosed with facial shingles in September ’18. Am still dealing with crawling ants under my skin on my forehead and scalp. And the interior stabs, like voodoo needles trying to get out of my head. Always unexpected and horrific pain. Yet the same area itches and is completely numb. My eye is red and sore-can’t afford the eye appointment.
    Every Dr I have seen says it could be a year before it goes away-I personally don’t think it will ever be gone.
    I have no idea what I did to deserve this-and I don’t understand why it is getting more and more common at all ages. And there is no research being done to stop or even help.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 11:06 am

    My husband stopped taking rhodiola and ashwaganda because he said it didn’t make him feel any different. Two weeks later he has shingles. The rhodiola and ashwaganda helped with his stress and depression and being adaptogens take care of the body as a whole. He is on acyclovir and he’s back on my ayurvedic medicine.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    It is interesting about the monolauren. My first thought was if it destroys that fatty layer around bacteria and viruses, would it also destroy the mylenation around you neural cells?

  • Reply
    April 24, 2019 at 11:02 am

    3 weeks ago I had the flu — what I THOUGHT was the flu. Last week I visited my sister who lives 3 hours from me. The night I got there I was in the ER with what I THOUGHT was a kidney infection. The lower back pain is horrible. I also have fibromyalgia and my shoulder muscles tend to get balled up and I go in for trigger point injections and it goes away. The ER dr gave me a TPI for this and it just took the pain down from an 11 to a 5. I’ve been icing my back, taking Tylenol every 6 hours and bam! A week to the day of the mysterious back pain I get a painful bumpy rash on my upper abdomen. The back pain has turned into a burning, searing pain. I emailed my doctor and he prescribed the antiviral that I started taking the day after the rash appeared. I hope it helps keep the rash small. It’s about the size of a powder compact. The part that hurts worst is the dang back pain; I wish there was something that would make it disappear! Gonna send my daughter to Sprouts for some broth and lemon balm tea!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 2:27 am

    I was diagnosed with shingles 5 weeks ago. It started with me feeling pain in my shoulders on a Thursday and Friday. I initially dismissed it as a flare up from a previous accident. That Friday evening I also began to feel fatigued and just not well. Woke up Saturday with the pain in my shoulder isolated to my left side. As the day went on I massaged my shoulder and realized a had a rash on my back left shoulder area. Thought it odd, but dismissed that. Later toward the evening noticed blotches on the front chest/ shoulder area. Pain really starting to get severe. Woke up Sunday morning with ridiculous pain and rashes in both areas. I went to urgent care after a painful bout of putting clothes on and was diagnosed with shingles. What in the world…everyone’s first comment is, that’s an old people’s sickness! Well apparently not as I’m 41.
    The pain comes and goes and feels like I’m being stabbed. The worst to me is the itching, burning and feeling like my skin is being stretched.
    I was out on the antibiotics right away, given gabapentin and other pain meds. Every week a pharmacist suggests a different medicine for the pain/itching. The lidocaine patch was terrible and I didn’t last long with that. The other med with pepper just burned and made no sense to me. Calamine lotion has been my bff but only a temporary relief.
    I feel like I’m going to rub my skin off with all this itching trying not to really scratch.
    My skin feels rough and I haven’t had a good nights sleep in 5 weeks! I only missed two days of work though I could have taken off this entire time trying to find relief.
    5 weeks and praying this is it!!!
    I’m sorry that I’m not alone in this but glad that I’m not!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I’m 28 and in Vietnam for a month with my partner. I thought I was having a weird reaction to a mosquito bite (I normally react horribly to them) but I started to notice the red splotch spreading and then blistering. We were out in the middle of nowhere for the first 3 days of it and by the time we made it to Hanoi to a pharmacy it had spread from one little spot about 3 inches down from my armpit to a band across my back, side and right breast of angry red splotches and blisters which tingled. After the pharmacist gave me a topical cream I burst into tears on the street cause it just felt so disgusting and my gut told me something else was up. We taxied across town to an english speaking doctors office and made an emergency appointment – she had a brief look at it and said it was Shingles and ran a test. I’m on my 5th Acyclovir STADA pill and am taking codine for the pain which has been relentless for the last 5 hours. I have 3 days left of my holiday and then a 12 hour set of flights home to then attend my partners grandfathers funeral. I’m going to hit up the pharmacy tomorrow for some sleeping pills and more pain relief but I can’t wait to find some of the other items you have all mentioned. I’m in so much pain but it’s a small weight lifted to hear about things that have given you all relief.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 7:20 am

    thank you all for all these stories and experiences, i hope you are all better now or getting better. i recently also got diagnosed with shingles and im only 22. the pain is unbearable but im ACV medication course.

  • Reply
    Ginger Kleypas
    May 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    I believe I have internal shingles. Should I be restricted to bedrest?

  • Reply
    sasha gracia
    May 6, 2019 at 1:45 am

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  • Reply
    Brooklyn Johnson
    June 13, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    I like how you mentioned that it’s very important when you have shingles to relax because it is usually brought on by stress in your life. My husband has shingles right now, and I have no idea what to do for him because I’ve never had them before. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind when trying to take care of my husband and his shingles.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    I am very happy to read this article- dr told me today whatbi thought was just a burn from my blow dryer and some extremely swollen glands on my neck was also shingles. Hoping for the best, I just got back from store and picked up some komucha and probiotic water and some alkaline water and bone broth, and now that I am reading your article I am def getting that lemon balm tomorrow. Started vaulters and an anti viral cream hoping it stays put and does not move to my face ear or eyes. I’ve been super stressed, under brought this upon myself I’m 38 and this is def a lesson in better self care and mindfulness is a must.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    I am just wondering if anyone has any help for the stiff neck and jaw pain? (I’m sure there’s a specific term for this troubled area of pain) I am coming out of shingles today is my last day on prescribed medication —day 7. I feel like I’m almost back to normal but I would really like to shake off the feeling of being sore on my neck. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Reply
    July 27, 2019 at 12:11 am
    *#* Capsaicin cream is sold over-the-counter as Zostrix or Capzasin-P. *#* Another way to deplete substance P and potentially *gain relief from the itching is to expose the affected skin to hot water for 30-60 seconds.* This works very well for contact dermatitis from plants like poison ivy, and may be effective here as well. *#* A third topical therapy is *turmeric  paste.* To make this Ayurvedic remedy: use:
    1/2 cup of turmeric powder, with
    1 cup of water
    add 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper, (optional), then 
    boil this mixture into a paste for at least 8 minutes (you may have to add more water). Let cool before using. Then, apply to affected area.

    Be aware that turmeric can stain clothes and plastic container, so be careful when applying to affected area.

    In addition, a vaccine to prevent shingles has been recently approved by the FDA for use in people age 60 and older. The new vaccine, Zostavax, isn’t perfect – it works about 50 percent of the time. However, people who developed shingles despite receiving the vaccine seemed to have less severe cases than did those who got the placebo. Zostavax did prevent postherpetic neuralgia in 67 percent of the people studied. The vaccine seemed to be most effective in people 60-69 years old but also provided some protection for older groups. Side effects were mostly redness, soreness, swelling or itching at the injection site and headache. The vaccine is somewhat expensive – typically between $150 to $200.

    Having had an unpleasant case of shingles, Dr. Weil is inclined to recommend the vaccine for those at risk.

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