Posted by: Gregoryno6 | July 1, 2010

Continuing adventures in self-medication.

Our story begins here…

I persisted with the echinacea treatments, moving to a higher strength liquid form. Imagine a dark brown fluid… like Vegemite, but runny, and sweetened. With spices added. The chemist warned me that there would be a strong reaction on my tongue, and she wasn’t kidding. Next time I want a sensation like that I’ll lick an electric cable.

I coupled this with Rhus Tox for the warts on my hands, using a higher potency form of the Rhus as well. I was applying Rhus to the affected area above my eye, but by the middle of last month I was feeling that progress had ceased. There was still irritation, and the echinacea particularly was beginning to mess with my system. Because it accelerates the metabolism so as to raise the body temperature beyond what the bugs can endure, I was constantly hot-headed and tired. No point exhausting myself, so no more echinacea. The Rhus Tox is not so severe in its effects so I am still applying that to the hands.

With regard to the itching, technically known as  Posthepatic Neuralgia, a new suggestion was made: Capsaicin cream. There are several brands on the market but I was able to buy a tube of Zostrix, which is rated among the better quality products of its type. I was warned that it would burn, and once again, the medical professional did not deceive. It burned like a cupful of paint strippper. After the first application I decided to  pause a while and research my condition.

I discovered that the neuralgia that follows shingles is caused by a neurotransmitter called Substance P. What a fabulously enigmatic moniker for a chemical which is not only connected to shingles, but to vomiting as well. And arthritis. Then again, beside the first paragraph of this entry at Wikipedia, it kind of makes sense.  At any rate, as soon as I began applying the cream regularly, three or four times a day, the itching began to fade. Depending on which authority you defer to, capsaicin cream may eradicate the problem entirely after a few weeks, or longer, or not at all. I’m opting for the first or second possibilities; already I’m learning how to apply it to my eyelids and surrounding area without getting it in my eyes. That’s trickier than you might think. The cream is active even in very small quantities, and it lingers on the surface. Rubbing or touching the coated skin even hours after it was applied can pick up enough to cause irritation. You don’t use capsaicin without washing your hands thoroughly afterwards. I’m speaking as a man here. If you catch my drift.


  1. My but your blog is interesting! Such variety you offer us with music, humour and great information. Well worth a gander.

    My older sister just had a bout of shingles and I was expecting her to be in extreme pain etc. However she went to her gp and the gp said that she would not be in pain as she handed over a script for some drug. And the gp was right. Don’t know what it was I will ask her next time I talk to her.

    • If you catch it early, it seems you can whack it down very successfully. I left mine several days because I thought it was just an allergic reaction to something I’d touched while I was gardening.
      I’d be interested to hear what it was the doctor prescribed.

  2. wow – you are having a fun run aren’t you G6 – hope all is getting better for you 🙂 x mp

    • Thank you ms Pants. I’m sorry I haven’t been over to your site lately, but with all the incomplete installs on the new computer I’m not able to see pictures on some sites. Mostly Blogger blogs, actually.

      • No problemo – i have missed you and gleefully await your return 🙂 xxx

  3. I shall ask her as I would like to know too just in case I end up with it as well. I’ll be off air for a while in the near future but I will return with the answer.

  4. Oh dear, still having problems! I had shingles years ago. By the sounds of it I was fortunate to get through without any probes. Is it normal that people have ongoing issues?

    • The neuralgia is not uncommon. Sometimes it disappears of its own accord, over time. But there haven’t been any fresh breakouts on my face.

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