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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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Can I still color my hair even though I have shingles

Resolved Question:

I have been diagnosed with shingles on the scalp. No blisters, just swollen red patches. I am taking Valtrex. How long will this last.? I also have shooting pain in my head. I have been reading everything I can about shingles but the duration is confusing.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
If your skin is intact, and you are not exposing anyone else who could not be immune to the chicken pox, then coloring your hair (preferably in your home) should be OK.

The pains that you are having occur from the "herpes zoster" (shingles) and can last for weeks to months afterwards -- hopefully they do not last that long, but in a small percentage of people, the pain can last for several months or longer, giving them the diagnosis of "post-herpetic neuralgia".

So everything you've read about the duration of the shingles is probably correct - the time it takes to resolve varies greatly, from weeks to months, to in a small percentage of people, the pains never go away completely. Your being on valtrex hopefully reduces the risk of the long-term sequelae of the shingles to a minimum.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Mark's Post: I also noticed that the lymph node in my neck is very swollen, is this part of the shingles?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Yes, if it is on the same side as the rash of the shingles, it is possible that the swollen lymph node is due to the shingles.
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