How long does shingles last? It depends if you are asking about the duration of a shingles outbreak or if you are asking about its recurrence after an outbreak.
So far based on my research and on the case of my mom, the duration of a shingles attack from the very first visible sign of its symptoms to the clearing thereof varies greatly from person to person due to several factors. You want to bear in mind the following.
1. Immediate treatment will lessen the severity and duration of shingles.
Don’t let three (3) days passed by without treating your shingles. For my mom it takes around 2 weeks before the rashes clears up. Relatively faster than other people who failed to immediately treat their shingles… other’s I’ve read took them around 9 weeks.
How come? Because once the rash starts to appear she immediately takes a combination of anti-viral drug, natural topical remedies and natural supplements to speedup the healing process (see below). So the rash won’t spread, the pain will not get worst and overall the development of her shingles stops right in its track.
2. Making your immune system strong will help speedup the healing process and prevent recurrence.
This is a no brainer. Weak immune system might be from radiation therapy, stress, disease, or taking immune suppressant drugs etc.
If you are treating your shingles with antiviral drugs and still it last more than 2 months, consider having yourself checked for immune related disease if you suspect something is wrong. My mom’s doctor advised her to have an HIV test because her shingles was recurring. Although I know this may sound offensive to some people… my mom took it even though she knows for certain that she has no HIV!
At that time we didn’t know that there were a lot of people with cases of recurring shingles. So we really didn’t know why she keeps on having shingles since 2008… almost thrice a month! So to help her doctor’s differential diagnosis (I think her doctor watch too much Greg House lol) she underwent HIV test and the result was… as expected, NEGATIVE.
Based from my research, people with shingles especially seniors really do need to take things slow. Don’t exert too much effort. Reduce if not eliminate the stress in your life. With shingles, it forced my mom to realize that her strength is not what it used to be. She is an industrious person, I’m proud of my mom for that. But now, she learned that taking it slow and changing her diet really helps keep shingles at bay. This is important because we wanted to minimize the frequency of her intake of (toxic) antiviral drugs.
3. The first attack of shingles is often the longest and painful.
Possibly because you don’t know what it is at first. My mom thought it was just an allergy, even her dermatologist thought it was an allergy and gave ordinary creams for her rashes!
How long will you have to worry of having another episode of shingles? Sad to say, once you have been infected by the varicella virus (chickenpox virus), you will always have it. It will just hide dormant in your spine waiting for your immune system to get weak and re-emerge.
Again, in the case of my mom, it took her almost 5 years of fighting her recurrent shingles. Not until I was fed up with her doctors of not knowing what to do. One doctor even diagnosed her of having herpes simplex!!!! Duh, that’s a sexually transmitted disease and the location of the rash are either around the mouth or genitals…. Very different from my mom! I know this because first, I know what kind of woman my mom is… second I’ve done my RESEARCH. I can’t imagine most doctors are clueless or lacks knowledge on what shingles is!
My advice is for you to consult with an Infectious Disease Specialist. The one my mom visited said that it is really indeed shingles not herpes simplex. So with that, I finally decided to do my own research knowing that most doctors (not only here in the Philippines but also around the world) are still trying to figure out this disease.
I wanted to check for a natural and holistic treatment of shingles to avoid my mom in taking too much of her conventional (toxic) drugs.
After doing my research in the internet and encouraging my mom to try the natural treatments and ways to boost her immune system (thus preventing recurrence) she is now living a normal life. A life that she deserves in her old age. She also learned to look at shingles as a blessing in disguise, because with it she is somewhat forced to better take care of her health by having a healthier lifestyle.
Click here to see my mom’s video and how she reduced the duration of her shingles outbreak