Chicken pox and Shingles

I was forty-two the first time shingles got a hold on me. The commercials do not come close to describing the pain and the misery. I just wanted to rip my skin off. I was lucky to recognize the rash immediately and went straight to the emergency room that morning. The faster you get help the less time you'll spend in agony.

A year later, almost to the day, I again feel that dull throb that took six months to be rid of. One of the ladies where I work warned me the rash seems to reappear every year at about the same time. She has dealt with it for years. Myself, I'm a curious individual, so I wondered if it is perhaps the lack of sunlight, a change in diet or the holiday stress causes the reoccurrence?

According to what I understand about this affliction it does affect the nerves and lies dormant. If you had the chickenpox this sneaky beast tags along with it. It seems to wait for something to happen in your body to trigger it. Well, I had a hysterectomy years back because of ovarian cysts. I thought my life of pain was over, well, apparently not. I'm no doctor, but, I know I've had to deal with menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes, which the estrogen supplement helps to keep in check. This stage of life doesn't usually hit the women in my family for another ten years. I remember my grandmother getting shingles in her fifties and my Pappy, too.

The reason the virus is contagious to babies, children and pregnant women is because the open sores are the chickenpox virus which then lays dormant for decades to become the "shingles virus," which usually breaks out in a general area instead of all over. The importance of burning bandages and keeping the body clean and the shower area bleached down should therefore be emphasized. You do not want to spread this to the garbage man, the doctor's office or your friends by accident. Keep your hands washed and your bedding, too. As this often strikes the elderly it is important they receive the care of the younger generation. Be sure caregivers are washing with strong soap and changing clothes if necessary before leaving one home to go to another especially where children under five are concerned. It's hard to keep younger children from scratching.

Antibiotics and medicines are available to help ease the symptoms.

I have stumbled across these treatment ideas for skin sores and the nerves.


Cayenne Pepper-Use lotion or cream containing this herb. Capsaicin is the reason for it's effectiveness as a pain aide. Apply often to the effected area.

Lemon Balm Tea

Chamomile Essential Oil- You can add to your bath water to help soothe. Put it in a spray and mist it on. Consume in tea.

Peppermint Oil- soothe the skin.

Jamaican Dogwood is strong on the body for this condition and should be used under doctor supervision.

Passion Flower

St. John's Wart


Geranium Oil- calms the rashes and helps them dry up faster.

Plantian - Use the salve or oil. Add the dried seeds to a salad.