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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can one still go to work while treating shingles infection?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15310 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 14 Jun 2018 in Infections
Question: Hello, I was recently diagnosed with Shingles. I have quite a bit of pain and some rashes on the side of my body, but no fever and minimal itching. The Doctor prescribed medication that I'm on right now. She said it might take two weeks to get rid of it. I caught it early ( about 24 hours after it started ). She said it helps a lot to get on medication within the first 72 hours. My questions to you are 1. Do most people still lead an active lifestyle while having this? Like working and such ? And 2. Is it common that it clears up within two weeks if it's caught early ? Also I'm 56 years old. Thanks !
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
yes, it can clear up quickly if caught soon after onset

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

(1) Yes, persons can still lead active lives unless the pain is so severe that it affects their daily activities.
While the blisters are present , the virus can be spread by contact with the fluid in the blister so the areas should be covered if possible.

The pain is mainly neurological (the virus affects the nerves) , that is the reason your doctor would have given you gabapentin but if you can, you can consider adding an anti inflammatory pain killer such as naproxen or ibuprofen or voltaren or cataflam , to see if one of these helps in your pain relief

(2)yes, if it is caught in the early stages the rash can clear up early. There are some persons who can have residual persistent pain, this is called-POSTHERPETIC NEURALGIA.
There are some who do not have this problems and the rash and pain clear up completely

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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