18 answers

How to go tanning with shingles?

Hi I was diagnosed with shingles a week ago the DR said since we caught it with in 48 hours the meds he prescribed would help. The rash should be nearly gone in a week. I was in a rush to get rid of the rash since my brother is getting married in 4 weeks and i have to wear a halter dress. I got several herbs from a herbalist I beleive the rash is faded but still quiet visible. I have been tanning and need to continue to do so my question is do any of you have experience with this. Do you think it is ok for me to tan with the shingles. will the tanning bed affect them at all? Or will it leave white spots when the rash is gone? Any other possible ways to get rid of the rash would be appriciated. the pain and itching I can deal with I need the rash gone by the wedding.
Thanks!!

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Summary

Tanning with shingles is definitely not a good idea. Shingles is a contagious disease during the phase when patient develops blisters till the formation of crusts, patient should be careful to cover the blisters in order to stop the disease from spreading. Follow the treatment regime strictly that your doctor has prescribed, and avoid exposure to sunlight and keep patient in a cool and dry room.

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ABSOLUTELY STOP TANNING!!! There are several decent tanning cremes out these days so there is NO need for it. I'd avoid it at all costs, ESPECIALLY with the shingles. Why take the risk of scars or white spots??

Look up shingles in PRESCRIPTION FOR NUTRITIONAL HEALING by Balch

I can't say that I would tan. Aren't shingles contagious? I would want to think about the other people who are using the tanning bed after you.

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Dear A.,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it sounds like you're going to have to choose between more rash and scars, or a tan. I have worked in the skin care industry for over 25 years, and I did a lot of research on the subject.

I had singles last year, and I was miserable. The rash didn't even begin to show up until about a week to ten days after my initial symptom, which was a very stiff neck, headache, and nausea, which I thought was the flu. By the time the rash showed up, I was already too far into the process of shingles for the medication to help.

Shingles is more than a rash. As a matter of fact, the rash was the least of my worries when I had it. My outbreak of shingles was along the route of the nerve that serves my right shoulder/chest/back. The entire time I had it, I had a persistent and intense ache in those areas that made it almost impossible for me to do anything. It's a reoccurance of the herpes virus that causes Chicken Pox. Once it's in your system, it can resurface at any time.

In all the research I did on shingles, I learned that sunlight (real of fake)will only make the rash worse. Sunlight can also causes permanent scarring. Heat is one of the worst things you can do for the rash. check the Mayo Clinic web site, or WebMD for more information.

I would forego the sun and tanning bed exposure, and look into using something along the lines of Sally Hansen's leg make-up to enhance the look of a tan. I've used that when I was wearing white, and it did not rub off on the garment (maybe a little bit in the inner seams, but nowhere else).

Also -- do not use self tanners when you have sores of any kind! They can collect in the sores, causing a darkening of the skin in that spot, and can result in a permanent scar. I know. With three cats at home, I've had my share of minor scratches that are now scars because I used self tanner while they were still healing.

I used coconut oil a few times a day on my rash scars, and they have diminished dramatically -- some of them have even disapeared completely.

Good luck, and treat your skin well! And, most of all -- have a great time at your brother's wedding!

2 moms found this helpful

Well I wouldn't suggest you do tanning until you are for sure that you are cleared up. Shingles are contagious...and you laying in a public tanning bed where others will lay after you would not be right.

I can't say that I would tan. Aren't shingles contagious? I would want to think about the other people who are using the tanning bed after you.

ABSOLUTELY STOP TANNING!!! There are several decent tanning cremes out these days so there is NO need for it. I'd avoid it at all costs, ESPECIALLY with the shingles. Why take the risk of scars or white spots??

Look up shingles in PRESCRIPTION FOR NUTRITIONAL HEALING by Balch

There is some anecdotal evidence that exposure to sunlight (either fake or natural) can exacerbate the symptoms of shingles.

Shingles, is as most people here have mentioned an outbreak of the Herpes Zoster Virus (HZV) or the virus which causes Chicken Pox.

Sadly if you have had Chicken Pox as a child, there is every chance that you will suffer from Shingles at some point in your life. The virus is never completely overcome by the body and it resurfaces at times of stress our when the immune system is suppressed. Generally, the virus will always resurface at the same point, as it mostly uses the same nerve to travel it's troublesome way to the surface every time.

Now, back to the sunbeds. Let us be clear, sunbeds are not good for you full stop - but then quite often we knowingly do things that are bad for us all the time.

Firstly if you are going to use a sun bed with this condition try to use a stand up cabin rather than a bed. Until the scabs have healed over you could be infectious to people who have never had Chicken Pox. (Incidentally there are few people who have not had chicken pox, and those who haven't are generally under 18 and shouldn't be using sunbeds anyway!!) You cannot however pass on Shingles to someone who has already had Chicken Pox.

Secondly, cover the area that is effected. If it is your waist, or thigh or buttock wear a large pair of thick pants (underwear)... hey you wont get an all over tan.... but you have the best of both worlds - a tan where you need it, and a protected shingles rash where you don't.

And finally, remember this. You do this at your own risk. If you are taking acyclovir for shingles (which is a must if you can), this particular drug can have adverse effects in conjunction with strong sunlight. i.e you are likely to go red as a lobster!

I wish you luck with the wedding and ask you to judge whether you really need that tan enough!

(I am not a doctor or medical practitioner therefore this advice is purely speculatory. Anyone who needs advice about medical matters should always consult a physician).

Hi - maybe someone else said this already but I didn't notice. Tanning will worsen the shingles if it wasn't what contributed to the outbreak in the first place. People who get cold sores - oral variation of herpes virus? Often have an outbreak after exposure to a lot of sunlight or sunburn... the light aggravates the virus. Ya gotta stop tanning...

I would definatly NOT go into the tanning bed, not only for shingles but it's totally not healthy period. You could also be spreading the shingles to other women who use the booth after you. I know they are suppose to clean it between uses but you never know how clean it gets. I would recommend a spray tan. It'll probably cover up some of the redness AND lower your risk for skin cancer. Just my two cents, hope all goes well and it clears up soon!

I don't know much about shingles, but I would assume you could pass it to other women through the tanning bed. If I were you, I'd stay out of the bed until the shingles are gone. You may want to consider a spray tan instead of the beds. There are lots of places that do them now. I think they're fairly affordable, but I'm not sure. You can always call the tanning place or your doctor and see what they say. Personally, I'd stay out of the bed though.

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