How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Julia Kizhner Your Own Question
Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
23717712
Type Your Health Question Here...
Julia Kizhner is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have had eye, forehead and scalp shingles for two and 1/2

Customer Question

I have had eye, forehead and scalp shingles for two and 1/2 months. I am 57 and 1st time with shingles. My scalp is very sore and tender, my forehead/eyebrow/tip of nose is numb and tingling I also get shooting pains in my head and left eye gets burning sharp pains that cause a redness and watering of the eye and nose. I currently take Cymbalta and Gabapentin, pain and tingling is all the time with 2 to 3 head and eye attacks a day. I am a diabetic on pills to control. I am very frustrated with the pain and these lingering symptoms, is there anything else for me to consider doing?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse Milli, RN replied 5 years ago.

Hi there and thank you for the question. I am a Registered Nurse and will be happy to help you today.

 

Has your Dr treated you with something like Valtrex or other anti-viral medication? The Gabapentin and Cymbalta is good for the nerve pain but just wondering if you have had anything for the virus itself. Taking the antiviral medication will help shorten the duration of the outbreak and the pain.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes I have taken valtrex and have been to the eye doctor several times who put me on eye drops to help the lesions. Is there anything else to try and when can I expect soreness and pain to go away?

Expert:  Nurse Milli, RN replied 5 years ago.

Well, that is the tricky part..knowing how long it will take to clear up. The problem with Shingles is even after the break out subsides, the pain you are left with (nerve pain) can go on for an indefinite amount of time. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, it is just going to take some more time for the lingering soreness to subside...and it will.

 

There are some topical creams that have been used, but not for use around the eye (the forehead and nose, but not the eye)...and also there is a group of drugs called NMDA receptor antagonist that will help (Namenda).

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Just would like another opinion.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question,

I am very sorry to hear you are suffering with this condition. What you are experiencing is a condition called Post-herpetic neuralgia which is a common condition following a shingles outbreak.

At this point taking anti-viral medications will not do any good. Anti-viral medications are only good within the first 48 hours of onset of shingles. At this point the focus should on controlling your pain which, unfortunately, is very difficult to control due to the fact that it is nerve pain.

You are taking the right two medications (Gabapentin and Cymbalta). Your other option would be to switch from Gabapentin to Lyrica which is somewhat easier to dose. Also, pain medications such as Vicodin or Tramadol are often used in post-herpetic neuralgia. These 2 medications are narcotics but, unfortunately, there is nothing else on the market which is specifically targeted for this condition (besides Gabapentin or Lyrica).

I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to follow-up with any other questions you might have.

If you are satisfied with the answer, please do click 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work.

Best wishes and good luck,

Julia

Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience: 7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
Julia Kizhner and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Health Questions