Oh my, I'm so sorry to hear this! I really hope that if he's had it before maybe his body has some antibodies and it won't be as bad this time around so he can feel better sooner. I don't know anything and maybe it doesn't work like that with viruses.
I would go to a walk in clinic and get some antiviral. It might be too late but it's worth a try. I find that when taking antivirals it's crucial that you take it as soon as you can. Once the virus takes over the cells there's no much choice but to let it run its course. That's usually how it works with my cold sores at least, I don't know if it's the same with shingles. Have you tried also dabbing some tea tree oil on the rash? It might help with the swelling and pain. That's what I use for cold sores too . It also helps to stop the virus a little and even though I can feel it underneath the cold sore doesn't quite come out. I know they're very different viruses but just some ideas that perhaps could work.
I really hope he feels better soon. Sending some positive energy your way.
I'm an adult critical care nurse (I hardly remember much about babies and birth control, thanks for the advice @calgarybride2015 ).
Anyway, those meds are antibiotics (abx), which won't do much if it is in fact shingles, except prevent a potential infection. but that is itself is an issue because if it isn't a bacterial infection, then he is just on an abx... and the threshold lowers and abx become less effective for that person overt time (if used often). (but, again, that's a different issue).
@kcole123 You should consider getting the chickenpox vaccine if you haven't had it yet...
*note: this is not intended to scare you, but just to inform/educate you (if needed)
for one, chickenpox is MUCH worse for adults - healing time, how the adult immune system reacts, etc
two, if your FI has shingles now (or even if it doesn't at this time, but has an outbreak later) the varicella zoster (chickenpox)
can be spread via the "fluid" from the open blisters to a person who doesn't have immunity. thus, the non-immune person will develop chickenpox (not shingles [aka herpes zoster - *different strand than genital herpes*] - shingles is the reactivation of the chickenpox virus)
and finally, if you plan on getting pregnant, you cannot be in contact with someone active with the virus (fluid-filled blisters) because of the risk of catching chickenpox (again, this is is you don't have some kind of immunity). chickenpox while pregnant can lead to infection or birth defects.
so, what can you do to protect yourself if you don't want the vaccine?
1. GOOD HAND HYGIENE
2. do not come in contact with the fluid from the blisters
3. get a titer drawn (blood test that checks antibodies) to see if you have any kind of immunity
I think antivirals are a gift! let me explain -
although they do not "cure" the virus, the greatly alleviate symptoms and slow the virus down. in fact, my dr wrote me a script for one just in case because I am very prone to cold sores (fever blisters - whatever you want to call them) when I'm stressed (esp when I travel)... the last thing I want is a big, painful blister on my lip during my wedding!
let me know if you have any questions. i hope this helps!
You and me both with the cold sores! haha I always get them when I travel from the sun and also from stress (both checks on the wedding haha). I agree that the antiviral works wonders in terms of stopping the virus and alleviating the symptoms. I'm planning on getting a prescription and start taking them a couple of days before we leave. Also, I swear by the powers of tea tree oil. If you catch it soon enough (at the tingling stage) the cold sore will not come out at all. Even if you have one blister and you put it on it will stop it right there and it won't get bigger at least. You might feel it underneath but no one will be able to see it .