Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Susan Evans, MD posted:
    Dear Readers,

    Shingles is an illness caused by varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chicken pox. However, in the case of shingles, it takes hold in your nerve roots, resulting in a rash, typically on one side of the body or other.

    Worse than the rash is the resulting nerve pain that is often associated with shingles. Because it is a nerve-based pain, it can be debilitating. The most severe cases can experience pain for six months or more, requiring more aggressive treatment than the initial anti-viral and pain medication prescriptions.

    If you are experiencing pain for longer than two to three weeks, please return to your doctor. You may need additional treatment to deal with the pain. This can take the form of lidocaine patches, timed release pain medication, or even anti-depressants that will help you to deal with the pain until it finally disappears.

    Some people are reluctant to start on the antidepressants, however, if you look at this as medication to treat a condition, you might change your mind. You will not necessarily have to remain on this medication. It is designed to help you through the horrific pain of the post-herpetic neuralgia that can affect any part of your body, including your eyes.

    Do not delay seeking treatment if you suspect that you have shingles. Starting on medication within two days can really ease your symptoms and lessen the likelihood of developing the debilitating nerve pain.


    Dr. Evans
    Was this Helpful?
    9 of 17 found this helpful
    chrisbbbb responded:
    How does one shop, etc while experiencing shingles? If the area is covered, can I go to the grocery store, etc.? I have no one else to do the shopping for me.
    Susan Evans, MD replied to chrisbbbb's response:
    Dear Chrisbbbb,

    Yes, keep the area covered when you go out in public. The worst problem is coming in contact with individuals who are immunocompromised. As long as you are responsible about your illness, you should not spread the virus. Once the rash blisters scab over you are less likely to be contagious.


    Dr. Evans

    Featuring Experts

    Mohiba K Tareen, MD is a board certified dermatologist who has an innovative practice in Roseville, Minnesota. Tareen Dermatology ( www.TareenDermato...More

    Helpful Tips

    Tea Tree Oil helps
    I got have a keloid scar from the chickenpox on my chest. I 've had this scar for 26 years and have tried many things from silcone sheets ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 0 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.