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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Can Shingles Occur on Both Sides of the Body? Can Shingles Reoccur.

The Case of the Mysterious Rash: contact dermatitis, shingles, or staph?




About two weeks ago, I put up a fence of chicken wire. It had been laying on the ground. While putting it up, I got both wrists torn up with small puncture wounds. It didn't really hurt.  I put goldenseal ointment on it.  The wounds did not completely heal. I am frequently getting nicks and cuts while in the yard. I didn't think much about them. The next week, I weeded for two days without gloves.  Gloves don't fit me well so I avoid using them.  About two days later, there were nasty red welts all over the lower part of my wrists.  These large angry welts began to spread slowly up the wrist over nerves paths.  

First I thought it was chiggers, forgetting the wire damage days ago, since I was weeding.  The itching, tingling, burning areas were sore to the touch. The area felt like a burn.  The skin was so sensitive that even touching it was painful. I used everything on the welts in my medicine bag. I then tried less traditional remedies as well. Nothing had any effect on the itch or the spreading of the welts.  I got worried.  

The rash kept spreading in small patches and in a line.  Then welts appeared on my stomach and the back part of my leg, again spreading in a line. At this point, I went to a clinic.  It was diagnosed 'contact dermatitis.' I was convinced she was wrong. I knew it had all started with wrist wounds from dirty wire. She reluctantly agreed to test it for staph, even though it did not look like a 'classic staph rash'. I went ahead and got two shots.  The shots had no effect on the itching or burning.  

I rarely go the doctor or use standard medicine.  I have been using alternative therapies for over 30 years. I have always found an answer in alternative medicine for everything. 

I went back to the clinic so that I could get a referral  to a dermatologist.  At that point, this clinic doctor reluctantly prescribed me a antibiotic for 10 days.  Since nothing was working, I reluctantly am taking it.  She still stated she did not think it was staph.  I said what about shingles after researching rashes for several days. No, impossible she stated. Shingles only occurs on one side of the body. The symptoms matched Shingles but is on both sides.  I started taking Lysine which helps prevent and slow down the shingles virus progress. I also took Vitamin C, garlic and oregano in massive doses. A nagging inner voice just wouldn't let go of the shingles possibility. 

Yesterday, the rash stopped spreading. The itch and burning has lessened a few degrees. I got the first night's sleep in a week.  I have never had a rash where the skin burned and itched without relief.  Since using natural healing therapies,  I had never experienced a rash that my medicine bag could not deal with quickly. This is a first.   Over and over, I ruled out shingles because I thought it only occurred on one side. Every  shingles symptom matched other than that fact.   

This morning I researched shingles in a different fashion. I inputted 'can shingles appear on both sides of the body.' Now if you go to most standard medicine sites, it is stated that shingles only appears on one side.  

Those sites will tell you that shingles is not recurring.  

That is not true either.  Shingles commonly occurs on only one side of the body but occurs on both in some patients. This form of shingles  is not seen in the doctors offices frequently.


Article below is from Harvard on the subject of recurring shingles.


One of the main sites that came up in my search was an article by the Stanford University Medical Group.   Here is what they state in their patient education flyer. 


"Signs and Symptoms Herpes zoster lesions (sores or lesions) usually appear in clusters or patches and can be red spots or blisters. They may form a line and can occur on one or both sides of the body. If the lesions are on both sides, the herpes is called disseminated zoster. This condition is more concerning. Let your doctor or nurse know if you have lesions on both sides before you come to the hospital or clinic. Watch for these danger signals; contact your doctor or nurse if you have: Fever and itching that can be associated with skin that is sensitive to touch or painful. Red spots appearing in clusters or in a line. Fluid or pus-filled blisters Skin sores of any kind"

This is from Mayo Clinic,"Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.

  • This Web MD article first states that shingles occurs on one side of the body. Then you read further and it tells you about Disseminated Zoster, which is basically a rash that spreads over both sides.
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/shingles-what-happens.

Shingles on both sides is given a different name, 

  • "Disseminated zoster, which is a blistery rash that spreads over a large portion of the body and can affect the heartlungsliver,pancreas, joints, and intestinal tract. Infection may spread to nerves that control movement, which may cause temporary weakness"

Patient forum on shingles here! 

Staph and Shingles are misdiagnosed frequently by doctors!

I went on several blogs where it took several doctors to correctly diagnose it. It was ruled allergic dermatitis. They would not test for shingles.  So this happens quite frequently once you read the forums.  In every case, they were diagnosed incorrectly by several different doctors.

Staph is another infection for which doctors will not test for.  In their mind, if the rash does not meet the classic criteria for staph, they will not test it. I went through this with my husband. He got a wound on his forearm from the bag racks in Walmart. He works as a checker there.  One nasty gouge in the skin slowly increased in a line up his arm. We packed the wound with tea tree oil and goldenseal powder. The herbs slowed the rash spreading but did not stamp it out. Nothing worked on the itch. He wanted to scratch his arm to pieces.  

He called his doctor and was seen the next day.  His doctor said ,"looks like the wound is healing, probably contact dermatitis." I felt strongly that it needed further treatment. I wanted them to test for staph. He refused to test it.  I was very concerned we could not stop the rash completely and the herbs did not stop the itch. It was his arm and he decided to try what the doctor had suggested....no treatment.

A week later the rash had  advanced rapidly up his arm. It was nasty looking. He went to urgent care next.  Dr. diagnosed it as dermatitis there as well.  It couldn't be staph. I argued with his diagnosis and lost. He came home with a new ointment that did not work. The rash got nastier and the itch was debilitating.

It happened that he was scheduled for a dermatology appointment two days later.  The doctor immediately took a scraping. He thought it was staph, even though it didn't look quite like ' classic staph'. It was so advanced by then, he had to go into the hospital for IV Meds. He ended up suffering for two months because of misdiagnosis. 

I might add we were doing well packing the wound with goldenseal powder but the itching was making him crazy. It was his primary doctor who told us that it looked like the wound was healing so leave it open without any treatment. 

While we were waiting in one of the doctor visits, we talked to several people sitting there with us. One was a mom with a young child.  She relayed that her daughter nearly died from a staph infection that was misdiagnosed. Another patient sitting there has endured a similar experience.  This tells me that a majority of doctors are missing staph and shingles infections.  

Shingles can also be reoccurring. Most doctors will tell you, shingles does not reoccur. The real truth is that most people do not get shingles a second time. There is a low percentage of patients who do get shingles several times a year.  Most doctors do not seem to know that.  I went to a forum where there were over a hundred patient reviews who stated after seeing at least three doctors, their rash was finally tested for shingles.  The test came back positive for shingles. These people suffered needlessly because the doctors were not up to date on the subject. They had a closed mind. They refused to approve the tests for shingles.  They refused to test for staph.

   
I will find out the results of the staph test next week.  If it isn't staph, most likely is it shingles. Neither one is great news. Shingles is the only other rash that looks like the pictures and where the symptoms match.

I am not going back to the clinic.  Oregano, and kyolic garlic will be the regimen, along with high doses of Vitamin C, Lysine, and Olive leaf extract.   

After trying every topical ointment in the medicine cabinet such as neosporin, hydrocortisone cream, A and D, and caladryl, I took apple cider, and epsom salts baths.Nothing reduced the incessant itching. I looked through our  bathroom supplies for any other ointments to try, only  finding a tube of Preparation-H for hemorrhoids. The tube is years old. It states that it reduces inflammation and swelling. It also heals the skin.   It has been more effective than any other remedy. My sister told me they use it for cuts on their cattle and for other first aid problems.

I don't often use standard medicine ointments but I was really suffering. I had tried several natural ointments such as aloe, colloidal silver, goldenseal ointment and tea tree ointment already.  After several sleepless nights and painful days, I just wanted relief.

So the answer is not in yet on the cause.   I did not find the answer through the doctors either.  I will get about $400 in bills for the doctor visits.  I wouldn't mind that if they had solved anything. The one doctor did take a culture while maintaining that she did not think it was staph and it couldn't be shingles. She would not have tested it, if I had not pressed her. 

You must stand up to doctors and be proactive. You must fight them at times, when they do not listen or take you seriously. You must research your illness on your own.  You need to know more than the doctors on the subject.  I will let you know the results of the staph test, although she stated that since the blisters did not have pus in them, it would be more difficult to culture. So a false negative could be the result.  There is only one dermatology clinic in this area.  I was not impressed with them period.  They did not use gloves when looking at the rash.  The staff took my blood pressure, putting the cuff over the rash area.   If it is staph or a bacterial infection, their method of taking my blood pressure would contaminate the cuff. Then this same blood pressure cuff would be placed on the next patient.  They found years ago in the hospitals that staph was being spread from one patient to another by the stethoscope.  Now many doctors use throw away covers. When my husband was in the hospital for his retina surgery, all the staff used gloves and masks.  He was not being seen for a contagious disease.  They took great measures to protect their patients.

Staph infections are one of the most frequent infections spread from patient to patient.  You have a heart problem and end up with a staph infection. Resistant staph is a major problem today.  You need to be aware of that. I will keep you updated on this.  I felt it was important to share my experience on this blog. There may be readers who are being misdiagnosed. I hope this will help a few people going through this painful rash process.   Finding a doctor who will listen to you is the problem.  Finding a doctor who is current in the research concerning staph and shingles is even harder. They are using 'old training and research'' on these health problems. This is resulting in patients suffering for months longer than needed. I will discuss what happens on this rash so that others reading this blog might be helped. I would suggest that you visit the links above. Print out the articles and take them with you to the doctor's visit. When they tell you shingles only occurs on one side, give them the articles. The articles will prove they are using old school teaching.  

Note: Tea tree oil topically slows down a MRSA infection but does not seem to be enough. Goldenseal combined with tea tree oil  packed over  a infected cut is effective but it takes several days to do the job.  You must take goldenseal, oregano, or garlic internally as well. You must treat the sore and the bloodstream with the herbs. 

In my case, goldenseal didn't seem to be enough.  It is hard to treat large areas on the body. I have added Esseac which is a blood cleaner and olive leaf extract to the regimen.  I began the Esseac regimen yesterday and the rashes seem to be better today for the most part. They are not spreading at this point. The skin sensitivity is less severe. The itching over the first welts hurt and itch less today. The first ones seem to be healing slowly.  The ones on the upper forearm are still severe but have not spread further into the shoulder. Both arms look burned at this point with blisters in places.  So I feel I am on the right tract. The lab test results should be interesting. Rashes are very hard to diagnose even at a dermatology clinic.

I hope that this column will help someone who is suffering from a painful rash. There are over a hundred different rashes including allergic rashes, paracitic rashes, insect bite rashes, staph, strep, bacterial, and shingles.  The different kinds of rashes are daunting. Some of them are more easily diagnosed than others. There are several that look similar.

Important Note:

It is important to take herbs at least four hours apart from other medications.  Don't take them all at the same time. Herbs can have an impact on how the medicine works. It can either make is more or less effective.  There might be more side effects depending on the prescription.  I don't take standard medicine usually but many of you do.  

Some herbs such as St John's Wort cannot be taken with depression drugs at all. Combining blood thinning herbs and medicine is also dangerous. There are many prescriptions that could turn lethal if combined with herbs. I suggest you always go to an holistic doctor to supervise going off drugs and trying herbs. Never go off your medicine without supervision from a doctor.  

I will update you as I know more.       

This is all for today folks.  Have a great weekend and blessings!

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