Suggest remedies for severe itching while recovering from shingles infection on the scalp

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Posted on Tue, 1 Aug 2017 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hello...I am recovering from shingles on my scalp and farhead...right now the area is all healed, but I'm experiencing a lot of itching and the nerve endings are really itchy...is there anything I can use to relieve the itch? It's driving me crazy.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Hello Ms. XXXXXXX

If it isn't from the blisters of the skin healing, the itching may be neuropathic (post-herpetic neuralgia). Nerve problems can sometimes be experienced as itching. A couple of treatments for that are amitriptyline (Elavil) and gabapentin (Neurontin).

Amitriptyline is an old class of antidepressant (tricyclic antidepressant) that has effects on the nerve-muscle junction and has been used effectively for migraine headaches and post-herpetic neuralgia.

Gabapentin is still relatively new. It is an anti-seizure medicine used for nerve pain and many other issues.

I have had good success prescribing amitriptyline in a low dose for a period of time for people with post herpetic neuralgia.

With either of these medications, start low and gradually increase so that you minimize side effect potential.

So consider seeing your doctor to discuss these options.

I am sorry about your itching - that is very difficult. Shingles is an awful illness!

Please let me know if I can provide further information.




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3133 Questions

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