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February 24, 2017
Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Shingles is a lot more common than you may think. Shingles,
the common name for the disease caused by the herpes
zoster virus, affects up to 20% of the US population. Most
cases of shingles appear after you are over 50 but, because
the virus is highly contagious, the disease can appear at any

You will know you have shingles when you see it. The virus
causes bumps which appear to be filled with clear liquid.  
These may be preceded by a series of red spots.

When you learn that shingles is caused by the herpes virus,
you may think instantly of the herpes virus that causes cold
sores.  But actually the heroes strain which causes shingles is
the very same strain that gives you chicken pox.  After you
are first exposed to chicken pox, usually as a child, the
disease lays dormant fro many years.

Decades later, you may then experience a shock of some sort
--maybe the death of someone you love, extreme job stress
or being in a physical accident.  Extreme stress can re-
activate the dormant shingles virus.

Shingles is highly contagious. Any contact with the blisters
can spread the virus. For this reason, it is important to not
cross-infect your sexual partners when you have penis
shingles.  It may be a good idea to sleep alone to avoid
accidentally touching  the skin of your partner with the
shingles blisters. You should also be very careful to avoid
spreading the virus to other parts of your own body also.

Buy hypoallergenic medical gloves and a several sets of
towels to help cut down on the chances of spreading the
infection. Do not share soap bars or wash cloths and disinfect
your underwear separate from the other general laundry of
the family.

The Path of Shingles Can Reach Your Penis

Shingles attacks your nerves. The virus travels along the path
of nerves, almost always on one side of the body only.

Because the shingles virus attacks the nerves, it can appear
anywhere on your body. I have friends who have had
shingles appear on the face, and others who have had it
appear on their backs. I got shingles 7 years ago and it
appeared along my left arm.

Shingles can also reach your penis. Your groin area is served
by nerves that extend from your spine into your groin all the
way to the tip of your penis.

In 2011, scientists from City Institute for Skin and Venereal
Diseases, Belgrade, Serbia  and the Belgrade University
reported two cases of penis shingles.

One case was a 30-year-old man who complained of an
itching rash in his groin area on his penis shaft. Upon
examination, the doctors discovered clusters of shingles
outbreak.  The left thigh of the man also had red shingles

The doctors prescribed a 7 day course of treatment with the
anti-viral acyclovir (800 mg). The lesions cleared up entirely.

The second case involved a 72-year-old man who went to the
doctor a week after the blisters appeared. The doctors
observed blisters along the penis shaft and also on the left
buttock. The man also complained of pain.

The doctors gave him acyclovir (800 mg) 5 times a day for a
week which cleared up the lesions in 3 weeks.

However, the pain persisted and was diagnosed as post-
herpetic neuralgia. The man was given Amitriptyline, a
tricyclic antidepressant (25 mg three times a day) which
relieved the pain somewhat.

Natural Remedies to Help Penis Shingles Pain

Although the gold standard treatment for clearing up shingles
lesions is always an antiviral such as acyclovir, nerve pain can
persist for weeks, months and even years.

How can you reduce the pain of penis shingles?

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Relieve The Nerve Pain of Shingles

One treatment which worked for my arm shingles was to
increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in my diet.

There are two omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid
(EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Studies have found that adding omega-3 fatty acids to the
diet helps to restore the health of nerves attacked by
diabetes. The studies on mice, such as a 2015 study led by
scientists from the VA Medical Center in Iowa City, have
shown that omega-3 fatty acids help to restore some of the
ability of the nerves to transmit signals.

A 2010 study from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre at the
University of Toronto found that patients with nerve pain
treated with omega-3 fatty acids experienced significant pain
relief. The study examined 5 patients whose nerve pain
stemmed from various underlying conditions such as
fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and burns.

The patients were given high oral doses of omega-3 fatty acid
supplements ---from 2400-7200 mg/day of a EPA and DHA
combination.  Remarkably, the patients experienced
significant pain relief for up top 19 months after the

Can Vitamin D Help Relieve Penis Shingles Pain?

Scientists have found a strong association between being
deficient in Vitamin D and diabetic neuropathy (nerve pain).

For example, a 2016 study from found that your Vitamin D
status strongly predictive of whether you will have diabetic
neuropathic pain. The study, conducted by scientists from
Afyon Kocatepe University in Turkey, examined 70 patients
with diabetic neuropathy versus 33 healthy controls.

The patients with diabetic nerve pain had significantly lower
levels of Vitamin D ("25 (OH)D" )circulating in their blood.
They also had higher levels of inflammatory cytokine cells.

If you are deficient in Vitamin D, there are three ways to
improve your Vitamin D status and potentially improve
shingles penile pain. The easiest way to raise your Vitamin D
levels is to get some sun. Sun light interacts with our skin to
produce Vitamin D. You do not need to expose the skin
affected by shingles to the sun. In fact, this may nit be
advised by your doctor.  Any skin exposed to the sun will
raise Vitamin D levels.

The second way to raise your Vitamin D levels is harder.
Eating foods rich in Vitamin D is difficult. Cod liver oil is one
of the few. Oily fish such as salmon also contain appreciable
levels of Vitamin D.

Finally, perhaps the easiest way to raise your Vitamin D levels
is to take a Vitamin D supplement.

Peppermint Oil Kills Other Types of Herpes Virus and May
Work on Shingles

Scientists from the University of Heidelberg in Germany have
discovered that peppermint oil is actually a powerful antiviral.
In several experiments conducted in 2003, the team of
scientists led by Dr. Schuhmacher discovered that peppermint
oil was effective in killing 99% of the herpes virus after a
brief exposure.

This is an important medical breakthrough because the
peppermint oil was tested on cases which had become
resistant to the gold standard anti-viral, acyclovir.

Bear in mind that the types of herpes which were tested in
this study were herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and
herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), not the herpes zoster
virus that causes shingles. Nonetheless, the studies offer
promise that peppermint oil may be effective in reducing the
viral activity related to the shingles strain of herpes as well.

Tea Tree Oil Kills Herpes Virus and May Kill the Shingles
Herpes Virus Too

A study found that tea tree oil has a powerful anti-viral effect
on the herpes simplex virus. The team at University of
Heidelberg in 2001 found that even very low concentrations
of tea tree oil killed 98.2 % and 93% of herpes simplex 1 and
herpes simplex 2 viruses.

Eucalyptus Oil Also Kills Herpes Viruses

The  same 2001 study also found that eucalyptus oil was
effective in killing the herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2
viruses. Eucalyptus oil was not as effective as tea tree oil,

Lemon Balm Oil --- Melissa Officinalis --- Kills 98% of the
Herpes Virus

A 2008 study from the Heidelberg team found that balm oil is
effective in stopping the two main strains of the herpes virus.
An astonishing 98.8% of HSV-1 plaque formations
disappeared and 97.2% of plaque formations for HSV-2 also

The African Plant Reduces Herpes Plaques by Over 99%

In 2008, the team from Heidelberg University found that the
oil of the African medicinal plant "Pelargonium sidoides"
reduced herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 plaques by

All of these studies expose one glaring truth. There are
numerous essential oils and plants which exhibit impressive
anti-viral activity against the two main strains of the herpes
virus and that could be effective in reducing herpes lesions
and blisters cause penis shingles.

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