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Shingles virus

Old 12-22-2008, 10:13 PM
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Default Shingles virus

I have had the shingles virus on my face, the symptons started last Tuesday, but the rash didn't appear above the eye until Thursday. I began treatment on Saturday, the pain has subsided to nothing, my eye is still a little screwed up. I was wondering how long it takes for most of this awful rash to heal and disappear. Btw this virus is the most painful sickness I have ever experienced.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:42 PM
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Default RE: Shingles virus

Shingles is apparently caused by Herpes Zoster and there is a co-relation with chicken pox. But there is also a vaccine available.

Start here: http://health.usnews.com/articles/he...ccination.html
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Shingles virus

I have a friend that experience shingles on the heels of chemotherapy. Apparently the chemo weakens the body and the virus can creep out of the lower spinal column. As I understand it, maybe wrongly, just about everyone has the virus in them, something like chicken pox, part 2.

The rash lasted around 3-months, maybe more. He had it pretty bad, face, abdomen, sides and back, and one leg. But like I said, that was following chemo so maybe not the same for you.

Sorry you are having to experience this. Wishing you all of the best with it.

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Old 12-23-2008, 04:17 AM
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Default RE: Shingles virus

kerno - 12/23/2008 1:42 AM

Shingles is apparently caused by Herpes Zoster and there is a co-relation with chicken pox. But there is also a vaccine available.

Start here: http://health.usnews.com/articles/he...ccination.html
Yup!

I don't know if a vaccine will help you now that you already have an outbreak, though. There are some anti-virals meds that can help slow it down that you might want to consider. Its no fun!! Check with your doc to see what he or she recommends.

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Old 12-23-2008, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Shingles virus

Thanks guys I have been taking the propper medications (valtrix, and steroids). I just can't wait for these nasty looking rash/scabs to disappear.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Shingles virus

Vaccines are taken to prevent the occurence of a specific disease. They trick the body into thinking it's infected and the immune system makes anti-bodies for that virus. Then when the body actually encounters that virus, it's protected.

Once you actually have the disease, vaccines are normally considerred useless. There have been trials where infected people are given large doses of vaccine to stimulate the body's defenses but the results were inconclusive.

...and that's all I think I know about that.

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Old 12-23-2008, 06:11 AM
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Default RE: Shingles virus

35donzi - 12/23/2008 1:13 AM

I have had the shingles virus on my face, the symptons started last Tuesday, but the rash didn't appear above the eye until Thursday. I began treatment on Saturday, the pain has subsided to nothing, my eye is still a little screwed up. I was wondering how long it takes for most of this awful rash to heal and disappear. Btw this virus is the most painful sickness I have ever experienced.
Be Super agressive with this especially around your eyes. My father in law had sight problems from shingles. I am not trying to scare you, just be diligent please.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Shingles virus

I had an outbreak a couple of months ago, on my scalp, creeping down towards my eye. I was lucky, by all accounts, because it was not painful at all, just a little itchy. I still have a slightly swollen and tender lymph gland under my ear, which the doc says may last another month, or so.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:25 PM
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Your doctor has probably already told you this, but I remember being warned to stay far away from infants and young children. It can be very dangerous to expose them.
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:12 AM
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Be prepared for flare ups. My father had his 1st out break about 15 years ago. It seem live every other year he gets a breakout of it that will last for 3-4 weeks. He gets them on his back and around his eyes
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Shingles virus

1. Shingles is caused by the exact same virus as chicken pox (Herpes zoster). It is like a limited form of recurrent chicken pox.

2. Most everybody on this board has had chicken pox as a youth and, thus, is susceptible to shingles later (though it may never occur in some or be recurrent in others).

3. Youth of today are getting varicella vaccines and are not getting the actual chicken pox so they will not get shingles later.

4. The worst location is facial with direct eye involvement. The risk is corneal destruction but caught early it can still be managed. Note that chicken pox comes out in the dermatomal distribution of a single nerve (which is why it is not widespread and is unilateral).

5. Typically the rash does not last real long and is non scarring.

6. Some individuals have long term pain in the region where shingles occurred. This is called post herpetic neuralgia (PHN). There are some medications but this can be disabling for some.

7. Zostavax is recommended for those 60 and older whether you have had an outbreak of shingles or not. It has been proven to reduce the risk of an outbreak and thus reduces the risk of PHN (which is the importance of the vaccine).

8. Note that medications do not cure shingles, they just shorten the course.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:32 AM
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606zpx - 12/24/2008 8:26 PM

... Hope this helps.

If you know, does the virus live in the lower spinal column? Not that it matters, just curious.
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Shingles virus

Usually in a nerve root rather than the spinal cord itself (typically a dorsal root ganglion)
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Old 12-25-2008, 01:32 PM
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Brutally painful and bi-lateral which simply means it is only on one side of the body. I had it at 18 years old near my arm pit and walked around with my hand in the air for 6 weeks due to the pain. Still have scars. Not bad but they are there. Talk to your doctor about putting Vit E on the area to reduce the scarring. DO NOT PICK, it will make the scarring worse. BE VERY CAREFUL about touching the area and rubbing your eye. Wash your hands with medicated soap after you touch the area.

Sorry to hear it. It can be rough and the worst thing is that you can have a re-occurrence at any time.
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:54 PM
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How many have had a re-occurrence, and at what interval? My dermatologist told me that at age 60, I would not likely ever have it again.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:59 PM
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Oh SHINGLES virus... I thought you said SINGLES virus. I had that before I got married, the Doc gave me penicillin, cleared it right up.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:46 PM
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JAGS, Bilateral means both side, unilateral means one side. Anyway, shingles is unilateral because of its nature of residing in a nerve root.
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:35 PM
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606zpx - 12/26/2008 7:46 PM

JAGS, Bilateral means both side, unilateral means one side. Anyway, shingles is unilateral because of its nature of residing in a nerve root.
That's true, but it hurts the same whether its bilateral or unilateral.


Hang in there. Take your meds. It'll be over soon enough.


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Old 12-26-2008, 07:39 PM
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Hydro - 12/26/2008 6:35 PM
606zpx - 12/26/2008 7:46 PMJAGS, Bilateral means both side, unilateral means one side. Anyway, shingles is unilateral because of its nature of residing in a nerve root.
That's true, but it hurts the same whether its bilateral or unilateral. Hang in there. Take your meds. It'll be over soon enough.


No doubt, the patients I have had with major post herpetic neuralgia were exceedingly difficult to manage. Even with the variety of medications today, trying to achieve satisfactory symptom control is difficult.

I wish you the best.

For all of those who are 60+ years old, try to get Zostavax if you can. If there is even a small chance of shingles prevention it is worth it. (now if they would only come up with a vaccine for kidney stones!!![img]../jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-laughing.gif[/img]---I have had two so far and would not be disappointed if I never had another).
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:42 PM
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glacierbaze - 12/26/2008 3:54 PMHow many have had a re-occurrence, and at what interval? My dermatologist told me that at age 60, I would not likely ever have it again.


Hmmm that is an interesting statement on the part of your dermatologist. Seems like the older population is where I see most cases in immunocompetent people...I am going to go back and look at the demographics on zoster.
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