It's Actually Shingles/Herpes Zoster/"Kayap"

Despite my previous post, I was wrong about the illness I had on me, so wrong. So did the doctor -_-

I admit my purpose of writing the previous post was to boost my pageview (and I tell you the Charlie awareness page was way over my expectation), that's why I 'part 2' the post, but manatau when I googled the keywords, only the other one pop up on the first page.

Anyway, back to that rash on my shoulder. The minute I found it was painful, I immediately rushed to clinic (because it's free, our uni's panel clinic yo~). What I find disappointing was, the doctor didn't even know how does a Charlie look like, and he basically confirmed diagnosis based on my assumption! Since Charlies has been all over the places lately, I assume they are responsible for the rashes on me, so my first thought was that, and I told doctor my assumption, then he went "Oh? Actually I never see how's a Charlie look like. Do you have a picture or something?" I thought he only meant the bug and not the skin disease they cause. He prescribed me a cream and medicine for fever and allergy and I left.

I went to Klang for the weekend and the rashes on my shoulder worsen. Not only the pinkish rash became dark red and bigger and swelling, it hurts so bad I have to wear my bra strap askew!
Day 5
Not only the shoulder, rashes started to show up on my legs, my left calf and the back of my right knee to be exact. Luckily it doesn't hurt, so glad!
Behind the knee
As I sweat very easily, the rash on the shoulder hardly has time to dry up. I applied the Gentamycin, then I did stuff and I started sweating, and the rash got wet, and the vicious cycle returns so many times, I had to apply the cream several times and it got Hon concerned about the frequency of the cream being applied. He forbidden me to do anything else but to stay in one place, with fan or air-conditioned, so that I don't sweat.

Yesterday, I woke up with the rash still being reddish and painful, I took a picture and sent it on my Zumba mates WhatsApp group chat, and Kak Zulia pointed out it is actually "Kayap" in Malay, maybe because of the prolonged hot weather these days. Then I started to show my shoulder around the lab to see if they know about it, and almost confirmed it's a Kayap, and most advice I get is to apply "bedak sejuk" on it for it to dry faster.

Courtesy of Google, I searched 'Kayap', and Kayap is shingles or Herpes Zoster in English, 生蛇 in Mandarin.

Copy-and-paste definition: Shingles is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles occurs when the virus starts up again in your body. After you get better from chickenpox, the virus "sleeps" in your nerve roots. It stays dormant forever in some people (like the big fat healthy Hon). In others, the virus "wakes up" and become active again when disease, stress, or aging weakens the immune system - causing only shingles, not chickenpox.

As for "bedak sejuk", it can be loosely translated as a "cold powder", which is what we call it in Hokkien too. It is a traditional remedy among folks, as a skincare product, to cold down and dry up hot rashes on our body, etc etc.
 The big round one on the top is from Nadiatun, she bought it from Indonesia; the small ones the bottom (not so clear in the picture) is mom's homemade. The ingredient of making this powder is darn simple, just rice and water, it's the effort of changing the water one every two days and the smell that makes it kinda difficult. My maternal grandmother used to make very pure cold powder as she used water in the well to soak the rice.

It freaks me and my friends advised me to visit the doctor again, to confirm the diagnosis and see what's wrong, and I did. This time, it's another male doctor who examined me. He confirmed it is shingles and prescribed me Cloxacillin antibiotic pill and Declovir cream. The cream is specifically for shingles and... is an expensive drug :p

Besides drug prescription, I also asked the doc about the sweating (exercise loh) and pantang. He was so cute trying to restrain himself from yelling "You crazy ar!!? Your rash until like this already still wanna do sport ar??!" at me, instead, he wore a reluctant look and said nicely not to do sports for a moment as obviously I need to be sweat-free if I want the rash to dry up. Exact word: "Hmmm... Do you really need to? Do you have a tournament coming up or something? Is it OK for you to stop temporarily? Hmm... Cause, you know, the rash is difficult to dry if you sweat too much..."  Same goes to food, the way he said was like "If you want to get better you have to be careful with your food... Better don't eat food that will cause itchiness like seafood, chicken, egg etc" EXACTLY the advise from my friends too.

Thankfully, the cream works. This morning, as my friends look at it again, they said it is drier than yesterday, and looking lots better. Exact word: "semalam nampak ngeri!! Merah terang and bengkak!! Hari ni OK sangat"
But I still thinks it looks horrible up close

You're welcome for all the irritating horrible skin rash pictures posted. I hope it gets better soon as I have a 12hour Zumba Party to go this weekend!! Woohoo!!


your tips are very useful. thanks for posting.
dermatologist in Bangalore

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