I am a 53 year old white female. I was diagnosed with shingles Oct 5, 2012 on forehead and scalp; left eye swollen hideously. I was put on acyclovir and a round of steroids prescribed by ER physician. The actual crusting and healing of those lesions occurred within 3-4 weeks. After that I itched so severely on my scalp that I broke down in frustration and scratched vigorously to the point of making sores. I found a primary dr that I could barely afford and was given another round of acyclovir and 100 mg neurontin orally every 8 hrs. The sores on scalp have yet to go away. Once the scabs get so dry they itch and scratching causes the scabs to break loose along their edges. I tried keeping antibiotic ointment on the scabs so they didn't dry to the point of itching, but all that happened was that large, moist edges pulled free and because it never quits itching I end up scratching off most of the scabs, leaving sores that will be more scabs - a vicious cycle. This has gone on for 5+ months now and there is no relief in sight. I now take 100mg neurontin every 6 hrs and the doctor said there's a good chance I will have to take neurontin for the rest of my life. I'm afraid I'm going to get an infection from these sores never healing. HELP! What should I do?
PHN on scalp causes severe itching resulting in sores that never heal?
Question posted by Royce Jean on 2 April 2013
Last updated on 28 July 2021 by Gerald Maze
I have a similar condition but mine causes severe pain. I have been using 150 MG lyrica 3 times a day along with 10 MG nortriptyline hcl and percocet 4 times a day. I understand your frustration. I found ice packs were helpful especially at night which is when flare-ups usually occurs. I hope this helps.
I have had Prurigo Nodularis (autoimmune disease) which makes my skin
itch, including sores that get worse from scratching. I tried a doctor; and 3
different dermatologists. The dermatologist I go to now put me on Gabapentin
and today I went to him - he says my sores are healing - however my back
broke out two weeks ago and itches like crazy - for this he prescribed a
stronger steroid cream. I have another cream that works well, but it takes
time. My scalp has been a mess of itching sores, which I have picked and picked - and it feels like blood vessels coming to the surface, driving me
nuts. My dermatologist gave me some samples of a shampoo which is
called - DHS Clear Shampoo. I haven't had time to try it, but I am passing
on this information to you Royce Jean in hopes that it will work for you.
I will get back to you when I use it and what happens. I know the agony
you are in - as I am suffering with all of this - AND I just had a corneal transplant a month ago and am going through the recovery of this, which
only adds to my awful discomfort. Some days I wonder, what the heck is
happening to my body. I am 73 years old, a young 73, and I am a published writer, to give you some of my background. I am praying that this shampoo
works, if it does I will happily let you know. Knock on wood. And good luck to
you, my dear. Bless you. Trish
My Shingles was also on my forehead and into my eye. It all started in July and I had it twice within 3 weeks. The PHN itching is still going on and it is November. On my forehead, the thing that makes it stop is Vick's Vapor rub. Not sure what it is about the menthol, but it works! Sometimes getting it as close to your hairline without getting it into your hair will help with the scalp itching too. I'm glad to know this wasn't just my imagination and others can relate. I hope we all get relief soon.
I am 47 have had shingles on scalp for 3 months & was misdiagnosed with dermatitis. Until I saw a dermatologist by then mine got infected & biopsy done still waiting 8 days later no results I broke out again in different part of scalp the itching the second time was so intense I was gonna shave my hair off! I found relief with a rx called Mometasone Furoate topical Solution it does burn very bad for 5 mins but takes away the itch right after for hours along with apple cider vinegar to the sores helps them heal faster. & Benyrdryl. I now have headaches all the time with face numbness it's PHN damage to nerves not given medicine for it but it is scary I also still have swollen glands & fevers & sweats all day still not 100% yet praying it goes away soon as I am sick of being sick. So I feel your pain. Age 47 as soon as I get a break in them I am getting the shot praying they never come back. Hope this helped?
Hopefully, you have already found relief or it has gone away! Since you can't soak that part of your body, cold cotton cloth compresses can help with the itching and keep things softened. You might try to find a way to add finely ground oatmeal to the compress. Calamine lotion, antihistamines, or aloe vera gel are the most common things to lessen itching in general. In your case, maybe the aloe vera gel to help with healing. Sometimes your doc might prescribe a corticosteroid instead of the home remedies. Some people recommend wearing those white cotton gloves when going through the shingles itches and blisters to remind you not to scratch and to help prevent scratching as severe when sleeping.
You can try taking an antihistamine and if an otc one doesn't help ask your doc for vistaril or periactin. They often help for itching. You've been thru the wringer. My bf had shingles in the same place and he itched too.
- Acyclovir uses and safety info
- Acyclovir information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Acyclovir (detailed)
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