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How Long Will It Take For Shingles To Go Away

How Common Is Postherpetic Neuralgia

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Varicella-zoster virus causes both chickenpox and shingles. About 99% of Americans over age 40 have had chickenpox. About one in three people in the U.S. develop shingles in their lifetime. Some 10 to 18% of people who get shingles will develop postherpetic neuralgia. Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles.

How Long Before The Itching And Numbness Go Away From Having Shingles On My Face

hurah2

I’ve had shingles for 3 nearly to 4 weeks, started the antiviral when the first blister on eyebrow appeared. My eye continuosly waters and stings as is very salty, my face is numb and very itchy. I’ve been off work for the past 3 weeks now going into 4. I also own my own business so it’s not easy or cheap to be at home. When should I expect some relief? I’m at my wits end…although I am aware that there are a lot more people out there doing it tougher! They say 3-5 weeks? does it suddenly go away or is bit by bit?

Thank you

  • 4 years ago

    Hi

    Ive had shingles on my face and the back of my eye .This was Dec 2016 and I still suffer from a very bad itch and the only thing I get any relief from is E45 Anti Itch cream which I rub on my eyelid but be carful not to get any in your eye?

    I also have an extremely itchy head Ive tried any amount of products to no avail.

    Then my wife suggested using olive oil and haypresto no more itching I only put it on when Im not going out and wash it off when I do

    Belief me it isa godsend.but as for the white marks on your head these are the result of damage to the nerve endings and dont usually get better Im afraid to say

    I do hope these suggestions are of some help

    Clive

  • Posted 4 years ago

    Hi Hurah, I’m on my third week of pain and itching, having better and not so good days. Hope you feel better soon.

    Regards,

  • Can Postherpetic Neuralgia Be Prevented

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved a shingles vaccine, which can reduce your chance of getting shingles and PHN. The recombinant herpes-zoster vaccine is recommended to prevent shingles in adults ages 50 and older. The vaccination is given in two doses, two to six months apart. The two-dose vaccine is 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Protection lasts at least for four years after you get vaccinated.

    If you have never had chickenpox or have children who have never had chickenpox, getting the chickenpox vaccine can help prevent getting this infection in the first place. If you never get chickenpox, you will not have the varicella-zoster virus in your body and will not get shingles or PHN.

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    Facial Pain And Eye Damage

    Between 10% and 15% of the time, shingles affects the trigeminal gangliona triple-branched nerve that provides sensation to structures in the face. The medical term for head or facial pain due to shingles is “painful trigeminal neuropathy attributed to herpes zoster.”

    Specifically, the trigeminal ganglion involves the eye the cheek and the mandibular branch . Of these, the ophthalmic branch is the one most commonly affected by herpes zoster.

    According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology , 25% of the 300,000 to 500,000 cases of shingles that occur each year are herpes zoster ophthalmicus .

    HZO can affect any part of the eye, from the optic nerve to the conjunctiva . Without antiviral treatment, almost half of people who have shingles near the eye will experience eye damage or even lose an eye, so it’s vital to see an ophthalmologist immediately.

    How Long Does Shingles Last

    Well here I go again..... : shingles

    Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks.

    • The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
    • Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
    • A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
    • About one week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
    • A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.

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    How Is Shingles Diagnosed

    Your healthcare provider will do a complete physical exam and ask about your medical history, specifically about whether you have ever had chickenpox.

    Your healthcare provider will likely know right away that it is shingles based on the unique rash. The rash usually appears one area on one side of the body or face. It appears as red spots, small fluid- or pus-filled vesicles, or scabs.

    The healthcare provider may also take skin scrapings for testing.

    What Are The Symptoms

    The first sign of shingles is often burning, sharp pain, tingling, or numbness in your skin on one side of your body or face. The most common site is the back or upper abdomen. You may have severe itching or aching. You also may feel tired and ill with fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach or belly pain.

    One to 14 days after you start feeling pain, you will notice a rash of small blisters on reddened skin. Within a few days after they appear, the blisters will turn yellow, then dry and crust over. Over the next 2 weeks the crusts drop off, and the skin continues to heal over the next several days to weeks.

    Because shingles usually follows nerve paths, the blisters are usually found in a line, often extending from the back or side around to the belly. The blisters are almost always on just one side of the body. Shingles usually doesn’t cross the midline of the body. The rash also may appear on one side of your face or scalp. The painful rash may be in the area of your ear or eye. When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, symptoms can include headaches and weakness of one side of the face, which causes that side of the face to look droopy. The symptoms usually go away eventually, but it may take many months.

    In some cases the pain can last for weeks, months, or years, long after the rash heals. This is called postherpetic neuralgia.

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    Does Shingles Go Away

    Asked by: Beth Schamberger

    The rash usually clears up in 2 to 4 weeks. You may see changes in the color of your skin when the scabs fall off. In more severe cases of shingles, these color changes could be permanent. Even though the rash from shingles gets better or goes away in a few weeks, the pain may last longer.

    Stay Away From Certain Groups Of People If You Have Shingles

    How to treat shingles

    You cannot spread shingles to others. But people who have not had chickenpox before could catch chickenpox from you.

    This is because shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus.

    Try to avoid:

    • pregnant people who have not had chickenpox before
    • people with a weakened immune system like someone having chemotherapy
    • babies less than 1 month old unless you gave birth to them, as your baby should be protected from the virus by your immune system

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    How To Prevent Transmission

    You cant catch shingles, and you cant give shingles to someone else. But you can give others chickenpox.

    After you have chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus stays dormant in your body. If this virus reactivates, shingles occurs. Its possible to transmit this virus to others who arent immune while the shingles rash is still active. You are contagious to others until all areas of the rash are dried up and crusted over.

    To catch the varicella-zoster virus from you, a person has to have direct contact with your rash blisters.

    You can help prevent your transmission of the varicella-zoster virus by:

    • keeping the rash loosely covered
    • practicing frequent handwashing
    • avoiding contact with people who may not have had chickenpox or who havent been vaccinated against chickenpox

    Last medically reviewed on August 24, 2017

    10 sourcescollapsed

    • Cohen KR, et al. . Presentation and management of herpes zoster in the geriatric population.

    How Long Does Postherpetic Neuralgia Last

    Postherpetic neuralgia can last for weeks, months, or in some people, years after the shingles rash goes away. In most people, shingles pain goes away in one to three months. However, in one in five people, pain lasts more than one year.

    The pain from PHN can be so severe in some people that it disrupts their life. Researchers dont know why some people have severe or long-lasting pain and others do not.

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    How Long For Shingles Rash To Go Away

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    Who Is At Risk For Getting Shingles

    Experience

    People who have had chickenpox who are more likely to develop shingles include those:

    • With a weakened immune system .
    • Over the age of 50.
    • Who have been ill.
    • Who have experienced trauma.
    • Who are under stress.

    The chickenpox virus doesnt leave your body after you have chickenpox. Instead, the virus stays in a portion of your spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. For the majority of people, the virus stays there quietly and doesn’t cause problems. Researchers aren’t always sure why the virus gets reactivated, but this typically occurs at times of stress.

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    How Is Shingles Treated

    Specific treatment for shingles will be determined by your healthcare provider based on:

    • Your age, overall health, and medical history
    • How long the shingles have been present
    • Extent of the condition
    • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
    • Expectations for the course of the condition
    • Your opinion or preference

    There is no cure for shingles. It simply has to run its course. Treatment focuses on pain relief. Painkillers may help relieve some of the pain. Antiviral drugs may help lessen some of the symptoms and reduce nerve damage. Other treatments may include:

    • Creams or lotions to help relieve itching
    • Cool compresses applied to affected skin areas
    • Antiviral medicines
    • Anticonvulsants

    When Should I Contact A Doctor For Shingles Symptoms

    As soon as you believe that you may be experiencing a shingles infection, let your doctor know. Starting treatment with an antiviral medication within 3 days of your rash appearing can help decrease the severity of your infection and prevent PHN.

    Even if you have had the rash for longer than 3 days, contact your doctor for advice on how to proceed with treatment.

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    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    • Ive had chickenpox. Am I at risk of developing shingles?
    • What is the best treatment for my shingles?
    • The pain from shingles isnt going away. What can I do to make myself more comfortable?
    • Im on treatment for shingles. When should I call my doctor if things dont get better?
    • I have shingles and my children havent had the chickenpox vaccine. Should I get them vaccinated?
    • Is the shingles vaccine right for me?
    • Are there any risks associated with the shingles vaccine?
    • Will my post-herpetic neuralgia ever go away?
    • If Ive never had the chickenpox, should I still get the shingles vaccination?

    Skin Care And Itch Relief For Shingles

    Shingles: What you need to know about causes, symptoms, and prevention.

    To relieve itching and discomfort, try:

    • A cool, wet compresses on the affected skin
    • Soothing baths and lotions, such as colloidal oatmeal bath, starch baths, or calamine lotion
    • Zostrix, a cream that contains capsaicin
    • Antihistamines to reduce itching

    Keep your skin clean. Throw away bandages you use to cover your skin sores. Throw away or wash in hot water clothing that has contact with your skin sores. Wash your sheets and towels in hot water.

    While your skin sores are still open and oozing, avoid all contact with anyone who has never had chickenpox, especially pregnant women.

    Also Check: Can You Get Shingles Inside Your Body

    What Does It Mean To Let Shingles Run Its Course

    This refers to the typical course a shingles rash takes, even with antiviral treatment:

  • A person may develop a tingling sensation or pain in a certain area on the skin, most commonly on the waistline. This may last for several days.
  • Next, a rash develops in the area. The skin turns red, with fluid-filled bumps . Its during this time that a shingles rash can spread the VZV to another person who hasnt had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine.
  • After 1 to 2 weeks, these fluid-filled bumps start to crust over. At this point, the rash can no longer spread to other people. It can then take 1 to 2 more weeks for the crusted areas to fully scab over and heal.
  • Which Shingles Vaccine Is Best

    Eventually, your doctor will start mentioning the shingles vaccine which can help prevent shingles from developing, as well as reduce its severity if it does still develop. The shingles vaccine can also reduce your risk of postherpetic neuralgia, one of the most common complications of shingles.

    “Because shingles becomes increasingly more common as a person ages, the shingles vaccine is currently recommended for people over the age of 50. There are two vaccine options, Shingrix and Zostavax, with Shingrix being the newer of the two vaccines and the preferred choice as it is more effective.”

    When it comes to how the shingles vaccine works, Shingrix is a shot that requires two doses administered six months apart. There are temporary side of effects of this shingles vaccine that can be unpleasant, however. Shingles vaccine side effects typically don’t last more than three days, but include:

    • Redness or swelling

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    What Is The Most Painful Stage Of Shingles

    Typically, the peak pain of shingles is felt within 4 or 5 days after the first symptoms develop, and it comes along with a blistering rash. As the blisters scab over, the pain usually starts to disappear. In some cases, the pain does not go away. This is known as a condition called postherpetic neuralgia.

    Signs That Shingles Is About To Heal

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    Can You Get Shingles From The Covid

    There have been a few reports of shingles happening in people who were vaccinated against COVID-19. The varicella-zoster virus was reactivated in these people.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    If youve had chickenpox, youre at risk of developing shingles later in life. Shingles causes a rash that is contagious and painful. The disease can have serious complications. The best thing you can do to reduce your risk is to get the shingles vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Postherpetic Neuralgia

    Common postherpetic neuralgia symptoms include:

    • Burning, sharp, jagging or aching pain in the area where the shingles rash appeared.
    • Itchiness or numbness at or near the area of the former rash.
    • Pain that is constant or comes and goes. Pain typically lasts, on average, for three months after the rash has healed, but can last for more than a year or longer.
    • Pain at affected skin area can be brought on even with a light touch .
    • Pain gets worse at night or in heat or cold temperatures.

    Also Check: How Long Can Shingles Pain Last

    When Should You Call For Help

    or seek immediate medical care if:

    • You have a new or higher fever.
    • You have a severe headache and a stiff neck.
    • You lose the ability to think clearly.
    • The rash spreads to your forehead, nose, eyes, or eyelids.
    • You have eye pain, or your vision gets worse.
    • You have new pain in your face, or you can’t move the muscles in your face.
    • Blisters spread to new parts of your body.
    • You have symptoms of infection, such as increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.

    Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

    • The rash has not healed after 2 to 4 weeks.
    • You still have pain after the rash has healed.

    Dr Ellie Cannon: How Long Will It Be Before I’m Free From The Pain Of Shingles

    Shingles: What Are the Causes and Best Treatments?

    17:01 EDT, 25 July 2020 | Updated:

    I had shingles a few months ago and was given tablets. The blisters have gone but I still have pain across the side of my ribs where they were. Will it go away?

    Something I noticed, during lockdown was a larger-than-usual number of my patients getting shingles.

    Its a nasty condition caused by the same virus as chickenpox, which lives, dormant, in our bodies after we first get it as youngsters.

    It can, for a variety of reasons, become reactivated.

    Most people will suffer for a few weeks but for some it may go on as long as a year and it is hard to say why it persists, writes Dr Ellie Cannon

    No one knows for sure why it happens but its thought its linked to a lowered immunity.

    Stress, sun exposure, illnesses or medicines that suppress the immune system, and simply older age, are also thought to raise the risk.

    The virus varicella zoster lives in the nerves and so the blisters usually appear along a line the nerve supplies.

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