The itch begins


Chief Complaint
Itch (medical jargon: pruritus [Latin]), Grade 10/10

So, basically I'm on my way to recovery from herpes zoster, but something horrific is brewing: the itch. Now's well into the ninth day since the onset of the shingles rash, and I started to feel like scratching the entire thing.

Imagine the agony! It's really easy to give in to the urge when you're unaware, so I have to remind myself always not to, since it will leave the viral infection fresh and contagious.

image credits: Wikimedia
Skin itch is referred to the same somatic receptors like dermal pain; however, itch brings about the growing desire to scratch, while pain makes you want to withdraw from the sensation.

Diphenhydramine (an H1-receptor antagonist) usually does the trick, but the only meds I have right now is ranitidine (an H2-receptor antagonist which is used for peptic ulcers and itchy hives) and chlorphenamine (an H1-receptor antagonist useful for urticaria, but has low bioavailibility). Let's see if chlorphenamine works!