I’m sorry if you or someone you are caring for has developed Shingles, it can be a painful condition and I know because I have suffered from it myself – it’s symptoms can be extremely distressing. Luckily, I was able to draw on the amazing therapeutical benefits of homeopathy and I recovered quickly – now so can you!
What causes Shingles?
Shingles is a reactivation of the same virus which causes Chickenpox ‘varicella-zoster’ or ‘VZV’.
Why did I get it?
Unfortunately, the VZV virus stays in the body, dormant, nestled in one of your body’s nerve ganglia, the dorsal root ganglia for the rest of your life. It reactivates when triggered by stress or another illness when your immune system is struggling or under par. For me it happened straight after a serious flu.
My first symptoms were extreme muscle pain, I thought I had wrenched my shoulder somehow because the pain felt exactly like an injury yet I was puzzled because I definitely hadn’t! Often at this stage people feel under the weather with various symptoms such as headache, exhaustion (malaise), and photophobia. Then the rash appears. Herpes Zoster commonly appears on the trunk along a thoracic dermatone (an area of skin on the body which follows the path of a nerve connected to the spine). Dermatones are like a map of the body and Herpes Zoster most often shows itself in one or two adjacent dermatones, its also useful to know that it never crosses the mid-line of the body.
The rash can be very painful, is usually itchy and tingly. You will see clusters of tiny vesicles (blisters) which gradually form over around 3-5 days then slowly scab over, dry up and heal in around 2 to 6 weeks. There can be a patch of skin discolouration left by the rash which takes many months to fade.
Afterwards, neuralgic pain
Postherpetic neuralgic pain is one of the most common after effects of Shingles and this can be very persistent lasting for months or years although you are less likely to suffer from this if you are under 40 years old.
If Shingles breaks out on the face and around the region of the eye affecting the ophthalmic division of the Trigeminal nerve your vision can be permanently affected – always seek medical help immediately if your outbreak affects your eye. Homeopathy can still be used to support your recovery but don’t hesitate about seeking appropriate conventional treatment too.
Further involvement of the nervous system (Disseminated Zoster) is rare but can affect the central nervous system, the lungs and liver. This usually only happens when you have a severely compromised immune system. Always seek medical help if you are unsure.
Homeopathic Remedies which help
Apis – particularly effective if the shingles affects the left side of the face, severe burning pain, pronounced swelling and feels better for cold application.
Arsenicum album – right sided symptoms affecting the face, neck or torso, vesicles have severe burning pain, pain worse at night between 1-3am and is better for warmth. You may feel exhausted, restless and anxious.
Cantharis – Often affecting the nose, large blisters containing clear fluid or small but always with exquisitely burning pain. Worse for cold bathing but warmth brings relief.
Graphities – Left side of the chest, large blisters with marked burning sensation which break open and ooze thickly. Worse for touch and better for open air.
Hypericum - One of the best homeopathic medicines for neurological disorders and well indicated for post-herpetic neuralgia. Intense pain radiating along the nerves in the affected area (pain radiates from the periphery to the centre of the body). Pain worse for touch and jolts.
Mercurius – Can appear like a girdle round the abdomen, the blisters burn, erode the skin and are itchy and extremely sensitive. Worse at night in the heat of the bed and when touched.
Mezereum – Affecting the intercostal (rib) area or the right side of the face in particular, tiny blisters containing dark brownish fluid, which rupture leaving thick yellowish scabs and underlying pus, severe itching and burning neuralgic pain which comes and goes leaving a numbness, a cold feeling as if cold air were blowing in the eye. Worse night, warmth, becoming heated and slight pressure, better for cold compresses.
Natrum Muriaticum – Often affects the face, particularly mouth and nose, large fragile watery blisters. Worse in the sun and if the eruption appears after a grief or loss.
Ranunculus Bulbosus – Left sided particularly on chest, ribs and flank, stinging, itching, painful large vesicles containing bluish fluid, shooting pains, oversensitive to touch. Hard crusts as the blisters heal Worse motion, breathing in, pressure, wet weather.
Rhus Toxicodendron – Left sided, scapula or right sided leg and thigh most often, vesicles containing clear lemon-like fluid on a red skin, intense itching and burning. Very restless with the discomfort. Worse at night and better for warmth or direct heat.
If you are finding if difficult to pick the best remedy for you, make things easier on yourself by booking in for an acute consult with me now so I can help you to recover more quickly.