A shingles rash can mimic spider bites including bed bugs. This rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. Its main symptom is pain, which can be quite severe. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach.
Very rarely, a shingles infection can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death.
What is shingles?
About 2 out of every 10 people experience severe pain that may last even after the rash clears up and is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia.
Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Only someone who has had a case of chickenpox or gotten chickenpox vaccine, can get shingles. The virus stays in your body. It can reappear many years later to cause a case of shingles.
You can’t catch shingles from other people that have shingles. However, in rare cases, an individual who has never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, may contract it from someone who has shingles.
Shingles is far more common in people 50 and older than in younger people. It is also more common in people whose immune systems are weakened because of a disease such as cancer, or drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy. At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles.
Causes or Shingles
No one is sure exactly what makes the sleeping zoster virus become active and multiply, but illness, trauma and stress are known to trigger shingles. People that have conditions such as AIDS, HIV, Radiation Therapy, Surgery and Chemotherapy are known to have week immune systems, something that this virus likes.
There is a vaccine for shingles which in the lab, stopped shingles in about half of people older than 60 years of age; this shingles vaccine may also reduce the pain associated that comes with this virus.
The vaccine may not be for everyone such as those that have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin. Your doctor will explain more about this and ask all the necessary questions before giving you such a cure.
If you have, or think you have, shingles, please try to take a picture and post a comment so that others may see. Thousands of visitors view this site daily and many are more than happy to review your information and help you determine if it is Shingles, spider bites or bed bugs.
# 7 mentioned that “once you have it, you won’t get it again”. This has been the consensus in the past, but we now know this is incorrect. I have had four occurrences of shingles and know others who have had it repeatedly, sometimes in the same spot, sometimes in new spots.
no real signs yet but there are a few small bumps spread apart and a small patch of my leg tingles but have not felt any real pain yet and have had this for about 4 days now anybody know what this is?
Hello, I think I have shingles on my left buttock, but haven’t been formally diagnosed with it yet.
Has anyone used Zovirax cream on their shingles with any luck? I had some because of a cold sore that I had and figured it can’t hurt until I get a formal diagnosis.
This is a rash on my stomach that started a week ago with one spider bite looking bump.
I am 40 years old and was just told I have Shingles, it is on my back and stomach. My mom has had it for years some time 3 times a year but always on her butt. I never realized the pain she was in till I developed them myself. This is the worst thing I’ve ever had and it’s summer and all I want to do is go to the beach. But tells me to reduce my stress and stay out of the heat, but never told me for how long to stay out sun
I got shingles about 4 or 5 days ago-first I thought it was just
an allergic reaction to something. My lady friend and co-worker thought she had a spider bite before I noticed this. Her lesions
then got worse and she was diagnosted with shingles. When
I showed her my break outs she said thats definitely shingles. It is too co-incidental that I got it right after her. I never touched any open wounds but perhaps when she was in the incubation period
I gave her a hug and picked it up. I panicked and went for the medication which I could not tolerate. So I tried using a high dose
of lysine and the one shooting pain I had in my arm subsided immediately. I am continuing on the lysine and a host of other
anit-oxidants and natural anti-virul remedies. I thought that Valtrex which I took 1 pill at 1 gram would do me in. I feel it best if you can to build your immune system than to rely on a drug if you can avoid it. Also, I was lucky in that I only had the one shooting pain in my arm. The blisters didn’t bother me that much. But, did get headaches, pain in the eyes but that was not the nerve ending type of pain. I would say I had a mild outbreak and am hoping it
My son has had the chicken pox when he was about 10. He is now 19 and has this awful rash under his arm! It is very painful and he says it even hurts up into his shoulder! It hurts for him to lift his arm and burns! I don’t know what it is, but I’m worried it may be shingles and I need some help! Please let me know what you think!
#7. October 16th, 2007 at 2:55 pm Mentioned that once you have shingles you can not get them again. This is NOT true. My doctor told me you CAN get shingles MANY times… depending on which set of nerves are affected. I have had shingles infection 3 times (I am diabetic and immune-challenged), once across the corner of my head and face, across my eye and down to the ear. another time it followed the course of a nerve down the calf of one leg and most recently it followed the course of a nerve across one hip. Only the outbreak on my face/head left me with post-herpatic pain (sort of like having an ever-present migraine in that one area).
Hi, I am 50 years old, female, I found out that I had breast cancer last June. After having several surgeries and lots of steroids and chemo . I broke out with the shingles in Feb. I saw my Dr., the rash and pain left a few weeks later. I was on vacation this week, after lying on the beach and getting sun burned. I felt like the shingles have returned. Can you tell me if lying in the sun can make my shingles reappear? It only lasted 2 days but it was in the same area and had the same pain.
To Michelle (#99),
Finally found someone that mirrors my outbreak and lifestyle. I am a triathlete; run 40+ miles a week, lift, swim, bike, and started the Insanity workout 6 weeks ago. My bumps look exactly like yours and in the exact same locations! I am HIV Negative, and completely healthy (other than this outbreak). I guess years of training, and the recent increase in fitness activities finally pushed my immune system below the level to suppress this nasty virus. Also, my company (great position as Quality Manager) relocated to Mexico (so still unemployed), lost my house to foreclosure, and being completely bankrupt, probably adds to the outbreak as well.
Anyway, I am on my 5th day of the breakout. I continue to have ZERO PAIN and ZERO ITCHING, which seems kind of strange reading all the severe pain and itching posts. I am on Acyclovir.
Well, this post is 10 months after your initial post, so just curious if you had another outbreak. Many medical sites state only 2% of people will get shingles again.
Hope everyone gets through this, you are not alone!
Hi everyone, i had chickenpox twice as a child the lats episode was when i was 16. When i was about 35 and working in sales at the time i felt unwell, headache, sneezing, runny nose and generally aching all over, went to the Drs on the Saturday and he gave me antibiotics saying that it was most likely flu, come Monday i didn’t feel any better and went back to the Drs again and i just mentioned that i had this swollen red welt like lump on my buttocks region and that it was hot to touch and very very sore.
He took one look at it and said that it was shingles and put me on aclovir which cleared it up but it put me in bed for 2 weeks as i was very sore and tired. I have since had several attacks over a period of 10 years or so but have learnt to recognise the tingly sensation/headache/aching symptoms and go to the Drs to get the treatment straight away and thus less pain for me to go through. I was also told that besides stress that excessive amounts of CHOCOLATE, ALCOHOL and EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT ( UV RAYS ) also triggered the virus off, l used to do a lot of solariums ( same thing as UV RAYS ) and also noted that my last attack had occurred at christmas time when l was having a lot of drinks/chocolates which i don’t really do much of either and at the time l was going to the solarium.
I have since stopped all of these and have not had an outbreak since. I used to only wear a bikini bottom bottom when l did sun baking and solarium’s.
I got shingles almost a week ago. I did fall on ice while visiting NC two weeks ago and hurt my spine. I am also under lots of stress. Mine started one week ago today with sensitivity on my back area. That lasted two days then welps arrived on my right chest and right back. Now they are under my arm as well. The blisters came about 3 days later. Pain is awful not explainable. Mine are still growing. I am taking 2tbls of natural vinegar 3 times a day. I also soaking the rashes with the same natural vinegar. I am taking llysine, vit C vit B super strength. Today is the first day I can actually sit around and not in bed. I am tired and have slept alot the past week. I am on no meds at all. Treating them holistic. I am 54 years old. I pray to God I never get this ever again. Also have a pregnant daughter so I cannot see her. Mine look identical to the pictures that are already available on this site. If anyone has answers email me at fussnfrill [at] aol.com
All I can say i am 60 years old had seven children had cancer surgery folks I have never had pain like shingles! I pray daily for all the people out there who suffer with this . I can’t believe we hear no research about this painful painful junk
MANY PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT YOU CAN GET SHINGLES A SECOND TIME AND MY PHARMACIST AS WELL, THAT SHINGLES COMES BACK MANY TIMES SOMETIMES. CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THE COMMENT WHEN YOU SAID IT DOESN’T COME BACK AGAIN??? I HAVE IT AND THE PAIN IS HORRID. MY RASH ISN’T AS BAD AS MOST I HAVE SEEN HERE, BUT THE PAIN, THROWING UP, SICK HEADACHES AND ALL AROUND AWFUL DIZZY OFF BALANCE FEELING IS VERY DIFFICULT DEALING WITH. AND I AM NOT A WIMP. I’D LOVE YOU TO NOTIFY ME WHEN YOU REPLY ON MY COMMENT PLEASE? OH, USUALLY I READ ALSO THAT SHINGLES NORMALLY ONLY OCCURS ON CERTAIN OR ONE AREA OF THE BODY. MINE IS THE TORSO AND CLOSE AREA TO IT ON MY BACK, BUT I HAVE A COUPLE ON MY INSIDE ARM AND SHOULDER AS WELL. I DO NOT SCRATCH AND THE RASH NEVER HAD OPEN BLISTERS. I KEEP CALAMINE LOTION ON IT THICKLY.
I have had this on my lower back off and on for 6 years. It starts off as a rash that itches really bad then it turns into a pus filled scab. I am not sure what it is as I have never been to the doctor to get it checked out. The fact that it comes and goes in the same spot each time is stange to me. I will upload some pics. It any ideas what this could be please let me know . THANKS!!!
I am 30 years old (not over 50 as what is commonly mentioned). I realized I got Shingles because I took 2 steroid packs about a month before I started getting the symptoms. I was taking Prednisone for a tennis injury. I just want to set some of the people who are young at ease, so you don’t think you have HIV. If you’ve taken steroids, the main side effect in a weakened immune system. Mine started out as a pain like someone had scratched me on my left hip. The next day the pain felt like a diaper rash and started burning in the crevasse from my left hip under my stomach and ended on the top left side of my pubic area. 3 days later I developed a small rash at the top of my pubic area. I was afraid it was an STD since it was in that general region. My Dr. said it was Shingles because of the characteristic “band” of pain and itching that came before the rash. So it really sucks and the worst pain feels like it’s in the muscle and bone of my left hip. What’s weird is that my rash hasn’t blistered. They are just red flat bumps and are only in about a 2 inch circumference. So all those scary, crazy pics must be really bad cases. I started taking anti-viral pills and an ointment within 2 days of seeing the rash form. So maybe that’s held off the blistering. Who knows….maybe I’ll eventually see the blisters. I’ve had the rash for 5 days with no blisters so far.
I thought I was getting a pimple on my temple (sensitive to the touch) but after a few days it was way bigger than that. Maybe 2 or 3 pimples? But instead of turning into pimples, it just became a red spot about 1.5″ in diameter, filling the space between my eye and my hair line. It was a little swollen but it hurt ONLY when I pressed on it or crinkled my facial muscles. The pain seemed to be related to the swelling, not on the surface. After a couple days, I began to wake up with a big puffy bag under my eye, and the eyelid itched like crazy, but wasn’t really read. The doctor is treating me for shingles, even though I’ve had no other symptoms and no real pain. The photo shows 3 sores that have crusted over. It’s 10 days after the start right now, and it began getting better yesterday. What the heck is it???
I had a very mild case of chicken pox as a kid, 3-5 chicken pox. I have a spot on my back that is under the skin. It itches and sometimes has a burning or stabing pain. But no blisters. Have had it about a week. Could it be shingles or a cyst? It is just under bra on left shoulder blade.
I have had shingles 6 times! Always on my fingers, forearms and around my neck. Last time I had them the doctor insisted they were insect bites; so to be sure he biopsied a blister. Guess what? Came back as shingles!!! He said it’s strange where I get them and how they look, but it is shingles. Now I have a prescription on hand for when I feel the “tingle”. I currently have them again, 2 days after Christmas. I had them 2 other Christmases, too. Any time I am under stress…I get them.
I just got told I had shingles. They had almost gone away and they came back almost worse. I’m emotional and I’m miserable.
I’m 36 years old, and I woke up three months ago with a patch of bumps on my right hand, which I thought was a spider bite. It ballooned into a huge blister. My GP misdiagnosed it as dishydrotic ezcema and my dermatologist as MRSA. I walked in saying it’s either a spider bite or shingles but neither caught it as shingles. Then the awful pain set into my neck, armpits, breasts, shoulders, joints, and upper back, and I felt like I had rheumatoid arthritis or bone cancer or something. The pain was bizarre and nothing short of miserable. What’s more, it was bilateral, meaning the pain was whole body, even though I just had a blister on one hand.
Now, after three full months I’m getting a recurrence on my middle finger of the right hand, where it started, and also my left hand. I was concerned about a predicating illness, so I got tested for HIV and Hep C and was negative for both. I am extremely healthy and eat a whole foods diet, take supplements, and run and lift regularly. I just wanted to write this to let others know that it can happen to you if you’re young and healthy and it can occur on both sides of the body, and it can also recurr soon after it heals. Acupuncture, massage, and lots of sleep are the only things that have helped me get past the neurological pain.
I think I have shingles too. I had head aches, the runs, tingling pain under my right arm pit and lower right shoulder blade. It itches so bad. At first I thought it was a bad reaction to my deodorant, but it only happened on one side so I ruled that out. The only thing that soothes me is soaking in the bath tub. I had an increased urge to take 3 to 4 baths per day before the rash appeared. They looked like clusters or patterns of bumps. I’m 34. Its been about 3 to 4 weeks now and the scabs have formed. Hopefully it will hurry up and end.
i have shingles i was diagnosed with it 1 day ago it started off small on my chest area and i scratched it a lot. Until the next day i noticed it on my arm and back i told my parents and we went to the doctor. It was identified as shingles and my gosh its painful. I cant sleep, arm hurts when will it get off anyone know.
I have had a blister like rash…painful and swollen on the back of my neck…clusters. i have been to the ER (8weeks ago) treated w vancomycin and then sent home…then treated with clindomycin and even had a lesion biopsied. the biopsy came back as staph. Still don’t have any answers and i’m in pain. I tried to pop them in the beginning but nothing but a clear fluid came out.
Hello. About 5 days ago i was having a sharp pain on my right side by my rib cage.. that went away after 3 days of dealing with that. Now Whenever i touch that spot or wear my bra its so sensitive there. Its really tender & i dont know what it could be. I also have what feels like to be a muscle pain right under my shoulder blade on the same side. People are telling me it sounds like shingle symptoms, but i dont have a rash or anything else. Any Advice? thanks.
I have been getting what I thought were bug bites but now know them as shingles for over 8 years. I got my first bought on my stomach. But then after that I would get them on my thighs and my bottom. It is the most painful in that area because I work a desk job and it is hard to sit with that. Mine come when I am stressed. Which has been a lot lately. I am going to have to go back to my doctor for meds because this is too much for me to deal with.
I care for a 86 year old lady who was diagnosed with shingles 2 years ago. The rash and pain is gone (has been since about 3 weeks into it) BUT she ITCHES like crazy! It is enough to wake her from sleep, the doctors have prescribed a topical steroid cream but I really don’t think it works, she still itches very bad. I find a lot on pain and shingles but really nothing about itch. Since the only symptom she has is the itch, I have a hard time understanding the shingles diagnose.
what do you think?
Any advise would be great
I’m 40 and was diagnosed with shingles on Oct. 22nd. 3 days prior to that I woke up with my right arm feeling so sore, I thought I had just slept on it wrong. Also, my skin hurt to the touch almost as I were getting the flu. The next day I found a small rash on my neck that continued to swell and get bigger and redder. That rash continued down my right arm.
I started Zovirax on Oct. 22nd. along with 800mg of Motrin every 8 hrs. which has helped immensely. The rash is decreasing in size and not as swollen. The medicine is drying it up and it is going away. Hopefully the pain will go away with it.
I’m not sure what exactly this skin irritant is, but i’ve had it for over 3 months and i’m tired of it . All your help will be wonderful. I hope is isn’t shingles…
My pain began in my mouth, horrible sores that hurt so bad that I got headaches for days. It actually felt like I had an infected tooth. I started to get a horrible pain in my neck, literally. It feels like I have a bad case of whip lash. I now have huge bite like sores on the back of my neck and into my hairline. Could this be shingles? Makes a lot of sense after reading some of these cases. My heart goes out to all, it feels horrible.
I woke up one morning and felt my eye lid a bit funny…so i touched and and it kinda felt like a scrape, i look and i had about 6 tiny blisters over my eye lid…its been a few days and its gotten a little bigger and now i have headaches and i cant feel the right side of my face. Im worried , i don’t know what it could be..anybody know?
I wanted to post a response to #7 above. . .yes you can get shingles multiple times in your life. I am currently 24 years old, female, and I am in the beginning stages of an outbreak of shingles. This will be the third time I will be getting them. I am completely healthy, have no medical problems at all, and there is no explanation as to why I have them AGAIN! It is just a mixture of stress which you may not even realize your body is under.
I am a college student and everyone around me is sick so for the past few weeks my body has been boosting my immune system so much as not to get sick that it finally gave up and shingles came about. I had them once when I was seventeen on my arm, once when I was 20 on my back, and now at 24 on my arm again. There is no rhyme or reason as to why it occurs but if you catch it early, I have found that Valtrex an antivirul helps A LOT to shorten the duration of the blisters. Hope this was helpful!
Jessie 16mths, never had Chicken pox but could this be Shingles?
No symptoms and localized.
My grandpa developed shingles many years ago, and my mom recently started to. Both were able to avoid the severe pain and most of the blistering by going to a good chiropractor. I know it sounds nuts, but if you find a good one that knows how to deal with the problem, it works, or at least it did for both of them. I’m not any kind of medical professional, but I see no reason why anybody should have to suffer through this horrible thing when something may help it. If it works, I’m glad I could help, if not, at least I tried.
I started with a rash on Sept 15. and now it Sept 20. I thought that I just touched something at work that I was allergic to. Its asmall rash on my right arm. There is no pain just insane itching. I think it may be shingles. I work at a high school library and touch hundreds of books each day. With that many kids you never know what you can get. I plan to see doctor first thing tomorrow.
I was diagnosed with shingles a few day before my 18th birthday??? I felt pain on my left thigh and buttocks and then the next day in the shower i relised there was a dark red rash a few days latter i started to develope blisters it is very painfull. It was a week after my first tattoo so i was worried this had something to do with it so i googled it and shingles popped up i ignored it unti i went to the doctor and she diagnosed me with shingles! Its been almost a year and i still have bad scars
I’m 32 and just had shingles myself! I was one of the many that thought I was bit by something until the pain was unbearable! Mine too weren’t as large as others photos. When i get a chance i will upload. Mine was on my neck. The pain started right below my ear and moved down my neck and around. I knew something was def wrong when my one gland in my neck was about the size of those bouncy balls! Rash is now gone, but glands are still slightly swollen and noticeable just by viewing. By the way, the only one visible to me was on my bottom of my cheek bone, rest were behind my ears and in my hairline all in the same region. I did get a severe ear ache too. is this common?
We are traveling and my wife has developed some symptoms. She started about 4 days ago. At the beginning she has nerve pain on the head when she touches her skull and then on her right arm bunch of small itchy red bumps show up. They are filled with liquid after a day or two and the symptoms also appear on her right thumb. There is no red bumps on other side or other part of her body. I am attaching some photos . We would really appreciate If someone can help to identify if it is shingles and give some advice.
***ATTENTION lORAINE SHEAFFER*** PLEASE READ MESSAGE AT END OF MY POST! THANKS!
I had something months ago that looked like a ringworm. I treated it with fungal spray and it finally went away. I went to my nurse practitioner on Aug. 10 because I had a really bad sinus infection with thick mucous drainage in my throat. She gave me 500 mg augmentin 2 times/day for 10 days.. Last Thursday, I went to see a doctor because I had a really sore throat and lots of drainage . He gave me Azithromycin 500 mg (twice the usual dosage) and told me to take it for 10 days, also twice the usual dosing time. I started taking the antibiotic Thurs after the Dr’s appt, and started having awful shooting, stabbing, almost like being hit by lightening, the pain went from under my ear/jaw bone up behind my ear and up through my hairline in my head to the top. I would put my hand over the painful place and put pressure on it which helped limit the pain at that time. I’d been coughing sometimes, specially at night, but this didn’t seem to be a chest type cough. More like a cough caused by a tickle in my throat, and the soreness in my throat around and under my left tonsil kept hurting, even though I’d been on antibiotics for 6 days already. I returned to see my nurse practioner today because of the sore throat and pains. Another thing I’ve noticed is that my throat really hurts when I drink anything cold! I usually mostly drink water or iced tea too and both burned, as well as a coke and today a sprite burned too, and EVERYTHING I drink tastes nasty or like the soda is dead anyway! Not sure about this, a first for me and I didn’t think to ask my nurse practioner about it today.
Sometime in the last week, 2 weeks at the most, I got several small red spots on my neck in that same area where the ringworm was. I’ve used meds on it, but its not disappeared . I mentioned the rash to her and she looked in my head and found one or 2 more patches of stuff that she said looked like it was blistering, as well as a place at the outer corner of my left eye that I didn’t even realize I had, although its started itching today too. She said she was pretty sure it was shingles, and that as many antibiotics as I’ve taken since Aug 10 that a regular throat infection or strep would have done gone away by now, so that makes her think shingles even more. She gave me valtrex to take for 7 days 3 times a day. I have had trouble sleeping a few times. I wake up and the side of my head is hurting, and I toss and turn a bit until I can get situated better. THe fact that I use a CPAP and wear a mask with headgear to hold it in place on my head and face doesn’t help things either.
loraine…… Just want you to know that I called back to my nurse practitioner today to see if my sore throat could be because of the shingles, as I had no idea if you could get them in your mouth or not. She says you CAN get them in your mouth! So that explains why my throat still hurts after all the antibiotics! Sure hope you and EVERYONE who’s had, has now or gets Shingles in the future gets over them ASAP… I just hate that I had the throat soreness since about Wed. Aug. 19, and didn’t know then that it was not a throat infection, and that I had all that awful shooting pain from Friday til Monday before I went back to see my nurse practitioner and learned what I had. I’ve read that its best if you get drugs for it within the first 72 hours, and hope and pray that that doesn’t leave me with more problems 🙁 Good luck and God bless you all!
Anyone wishing to contact me may do so at
To lorraine sheaffer
I had shingles early this year on the left side of my face. It started on the ear (painful) and spread to my cheek, temple and brow area, sneaking close to my left eye. With Zovirax, I was able to get rid of it.
Now I have it on the right side of my face, but this time it didn’t rash out as much. Doctor prescribed Zovirax again and I’ve just taken my first dose. I wonder if I might have something different, since the rash seems to be just in one small area, but the numbness and pain spread across the right side of my face. There is some swelling around the eye and a couple of swollen lymph nodes in the cheek and neck.
My mother in law (70) did her blood test three months ago and all her tests passed including thyroid etc.. Three weeks ago, she went to the clinic for shingle vaccine. About four days later, she went for another blood test and she was told that her thyrod leve is 100. As we were told the normal level of thyroid is somewhere around 4. This is a major jump from 4 to 100. Her weight has not changed and she feels very normal. Whatt I need to understand is, can the shingle vaccine create thyroid problem. Also after the shingle vaccine, she noticed that her eyelids are puffed up. Is anyone aware of any relationship between these two? Can the shingle vaccine cause thyroid issues. Thanks for your input.
I have shingles on my face. It started last Sunday, my front teeth ached ( I thought it was a sinus infection). I woke Monday morning with a cyst next to my nose ( I thought it was cystic acne). Tuesday I had another cyst but it felt like a singer was in it. I went to urgent care on Wednesday and the doctor could not tell me what it was he said I had too many symptoms (Teeth hurt, swollen Lymph node, puffy face on the right side, and a lot of pain) he put me on an antibiotic and I made a follow up with my primary on Friday. My Doctor knew it was shingles so he toldme to keep taking the origional antibiotics and also put me on Bactrim, Valtrex and a hydrocortizone cream. It is Sunday now the swelling has gone down a little but I am still in a lot of pain. It is difficult not to itch. I am miserable. I have seen pictures of others worse then me. I really feel for them.
Ehhh…I’m 21/female and i just got diagnosed with Shingles…it’s the worst pain in the world! I’m on medication for it right now, but I was wondering if anyone has heard of putting burrow’s solution on it to dry it out and stop the itching? I feel like ripping my skin off!! Its so hard not to scratch.
That picture sure looks like a bacterial infection..soooo much like what my son had on his face..that spread…He looked like the boy on The Mask..with no bridge to his nose. I had to take him to soooo many Drs..Immunologist, athritus, Environmental allergies, Food allergys, several Derms…and finally ONE great Dr. told me it was bacterial after taking a biopsy…finally!!! Antibiotics cleared it up!!!
I’m 21 years old and i currently have shingles/just got over them. I got a itch on one side of my body and i thought i was having an allergic reaction to something. I scratched not thinking it was anything that benadryl wont fix. There was no rash, but the pain was so bad i couldn’t even begin to describe it. No rash formed some small red bumps that was it, the doctor gave me valtrex and prednisone. My last pills are tomorrow, i just hope it doesn’t come back. As soon as u feel pain go to the doctor, i never go and it was that bad. The faster they catch it, the better shot you will have avoiding the whole rash.
I can only remember back to a couple days ago when I felt a bit of an itch on my shoulder. I scratched it once or twice. I didnt think twice about it. Then, yesterday morning I peaked at it and found this. It is only on my right shoulder. It doesnt itch very much. I havent scratched it all day and it hasnt grown since.
Does this look like shingles?
I am hoping its a benign bug bite that will go away soon.
Any help? Thanks
for LuAn. That looks like cellulitis. It is bacterial and it’s dangerous. Cousin to the flesh eating disease.
I have just had shingles in my ear. OW! Pain is still there after two weeks.
Hi, I was looking into why I have been getting mysterious burn marks on my body, and shingles came up. I was reading some of the replys people have sent, and thought I would add some comfort to anyone who reads this. Last summer, by boyfriend, 34 years old, was playing golf, and he retrieved a ball from the bush. Later that evening, he was all itchy. We automatically thought it was poison ivy. By the next morning, he had a rash, a fever and had severe pain and a killer headache. I have never seen him like that before. By the end of the second day, his rash started to turn to a cluster of pus filled looking blisters. He had it in the shape of the mask from the Phantom of the Opera. It was so awful looking. We got him into the Dr. and was diagnosed with shingles. Lucky for him, cause the Dr. said, had he come in the next morning, he could have gone blind. They we out of control and heading into his eye. It took about 6 weeks until the headaches subsided. And let me tell you, he was in so much pain.
For those of you who question if it is bad to get them at younger ages than 50, be assured that you can get them at any age. My boyfriend is a completely health conscience person. The Dr. told him it was stress. He was told that shingles normally develops in an area of nerves, where there is stress.
He didn’t scar at all, which was a miracle. With how bad it looked, I thought for sure he would need plastic surgery to fix it. Just remember not to itch it. Do as the Dr. says and leave it alone.
My daughter broke out in what I thought was a rather strange rash, that she stated was painful. At first I thought it was some kind of bug bites, but there were quite a few and there was no itching involved, so it left me rather perplexed. To top it off, I thought that it resembled chicken pox, but there was no pus or fluid in the bumps. I took her to the family doctor and she was diagnosed with shingles. I was told that it was caused from a case of chicken pox that she had when she was 2 and a half years old and that the virus actually lied dormant in her system. She is 12 years old now. I took some pictures of her wrist/arm and elbow where she has broken out and emailed them in so that others could see.
Four days ago, I got a quarter size rash on my back. Didn’t think much about it, I thought it was a bug bite that I had an allergic reaction to. The next day, I woke up with my left leg acheing. I run, so I thought it was sore muscles. Thru the day, it got worse, steps really hurt. That night, I was in so much pain, just turning over made me cry. The crazy thing was, the next morning, the pain was TOTALLY gone. I was running up and down steps with no problems. The rash on my right side, on my back started to ache. Then around to my front side, started to ache. The doctor tells me it’s shingles. The rash is still quarter size and does not hurt as much as I have been reading other peoples experiences. I’m hoping it’s a mild case and won’t get any worse. The doctor gave me Valtrex and Gabapentin.
I’m a 28/F who was diagnosed with singles on June 29th. 2 days earlier, I woke up with a rash along my nerve on my back to my stomach and I knew it had to be shingles. But I never had pain before my blisters appeared, which I was told is a sure sign of shingles.
I’m on valtrex and prednisone. I was also given vicodin but haven’t had to use it yet. I’m hoping since I took meds within 48 hours of “catching it”, that my shingles won’t last extremely long. I’m an avid runner (6 days a week), so sitting on the couch all day is killing me! Any runners ever get this? I’m in a constant mild pain, it doesn’t ever really go away but I’m told this is going to get awful. Now I’m really scared!
I got this rash 7 days ago. I went to the doctor today and he diagnosed it as “shingles” (he didn’t even inspect it closely.. how annoying). I will be taking Valtrex over the next 7 days.
I personally thought that it may have been bed bugs.
My rash is like open skin lesions and there is no blistering. It’s itchy and annoying but not severely painful. The only other symptom which I have that may be linked to shingles is that I often get tingling sensations “pins and needles” in my arms and legs, but this has been ongoing for the past year. I visit the gym often and my body is always sore from post-workout so I can’t say that I am in any more pain than usual.
Could it be possible that I’ve been misdiagnosed? and is it safe to take Valtrex if I don’t have shingles? Has anyone had a shingles rash without the blisters?
I’m so confused.. all comments and opinions welcome. Thanks!
I had a small rash starting Thursday. Now it’s going insane. I suggested that it was shingles to my family doctor, and he said it was an allergic reaction to something and now with a bad case of bacterial infection. The dermatologist that I went to thinks the same. I still think it’s shingles! Freaking hurts so much. But it is bearable.
Hi everyone! Im Lesley and im 22. I was just diagnosed with Shingles and i cant believe it! Im so upset because im leaving for my vacation tomorrow! The doctor said usually people get it on 1 nerve but lucky me i have it on 3!! He said i got shingles so young because i got chicken pox when i was only a baby and that left me with a weak immune system. I have a 7 month old and i was just wondering if anyone could tell me if i can give him chicken pox. If i were to touch the rash and touch my son, would he get it? or does he have to touch the rash to get it? My doctor also said my shingles are dry…does that mean its not contagous? plz help!
i had shingles about 2 months ago around my left side of my back.and went around under my left breast. Now i think i have it in the nerve going up in my jaw. My jaw and neck on the left side has been shooting with pain for a week. Then 2 days ago i got sores all in the bottom of my gums inside my mouth. has any one heard of this.oh i do have lupus for 12 years now.
Far out you guys sound like you’ve had some pretty bad shingle cases!
I had the chicken pox needle when i was little, but still got chicken pox..
I’ve just got my first case of shingles!!!
To be honest I’ve felt no pain at all, no itching, no nothing.
Doctor said I’m really lucky!
It started with a red bumpy looking thing on my left front thigh a month ago. When that went i figured it must of been a bite. However in the last three days I’ve got at least 20 of them up both front thighs and a couple on my left arm. No pain, No itching!!
It’s extremely tempting to pop the blistery things but i know they’ll scar 🙁 I’m a little worried about this cancer HIV thing, i know i won’t have the latter, but as I’m always very lethargic & iron levels are good, I’m a little worried about the first one?
How do they test for cancer anyway??
Sorry guys, hope you’re all better soon!!
I am 30 had shingles about three years ago now every summer where my scar was from the shingles blisters come back? Does anyone know what is happening? And if it is shingles again am I contagious? If anyone can help please shed some light on my dilemma Thank you
I was diagnosed with shingles two weeks ago. I initially went in to my dermatologist because I found a lump on the side of my neck. This turned out to be a swollen lymph node, probably a side effect of the shingles. She was more concerned about the rash on my left shoulder blade and diagnosed this as shingles. I’m guessing I got it because of stress. I’m 31, a vegetarian, run three times a week, take vitamins religiously, and overall very healthy with no major illnesses ever. I had chicken pox in the 4th grade, just like everyone else at my elementary school. I just finished my ten day, 3X a day round of Valtrex yesterday. My rash never itched and is pretty much gone, but the pain is still there, although it has moved around a lot.
A week before my diagnosis, my back was killing me. The week I was diagnosed, it was my left clavicle area (next to the rash) and now the pain is intensified between my shoulder blade and it hurts to move my neck. I have also had some pain in my left leg, but I don’t know if this is related to shingles. Is it common for the pain to jump around like this? And should I keep trying to move or take it easy? My background in exercise makes me think I should move through the pain. How long does this typically last? This is one of the most annoying things ever. It’s also very annoying that there is not more information out there about this condition.
These blisters appeared on the forearm of my daughter and within 2 days, an explosion occurred.
Monday Red very painful spotting Tuesday a few watery, weepy blisters. Wednesday, the blistery area grew fast, streaking occurred and it became so painful , it was time for a trip to the hospital.
The Doctors are still unsure as to what this is , however, a bacterial culture and a viral culture is now being performed… any suggestions to reduce the life of this would be very much appreciated……
i am only 28 years old and i have had shingles for years now and didn’t know it until just year (2009), and let me tell you one thing they are very painful. especially when you are asleep at night, and they wake you up in a dead sleep.
I just got this really weird rash and i was wondering if you could tell me if this is shingles or not?
ive had this rash on the front of my stomach and round my side and it started out has pains in my side and ribs,now its like a sunburn sort of pain and round my side is sore to touch if i touch the rash its very sore and feels all bumpy like blistered but don’t know if this is shingles or not?
I have read all comments and by the research I’ve done, shingles can only occur on one side of the body. Yet, the spider bite has always been in my thesis way of thinking. Chicken Pox has always been blamed, yet do we actually know where the virus came from and where is it most prevelent. I have shingles and I as all you know, it is not a walk in the park. It is painfull and it can numb your nerves, wherever it affects. It can scar and by reading these testimonials, it can blind you. The venom from house spiders, wolf spiders, black widows, garden spiders…be it black or white, can possibly be the vaccine for shingles.
My biggest fear in life is spiders. I have bungy jumped, I have travelled abroad and done crazy things in my life. Yet,they still bring out the biggest fear in me. Perhaps. they hold the vaccine for the future.???
Found this site last night while searching for information about children with shingles. Which there is not a lot of information out there concerning children. My three year old son was diagnosed this morning with shingles. I first noticed what I thought was ant bites three nights ago, but last last I noticed the ever-telling triangle with raised water-filled red blisters. There were also new locations coming around to the front of his chest, but all were on just the one side of his body.
I had shingles (on my neck and that was extremely painful-the doctor prescribed meds over the phone with just a description because she did not want me to come into the office!) when my son was a baby and I ending up giving him chicken-pox at 10 months old. I feel so bad for him to have to deal with the pain of shingles at this young of an age. The bad thing is-he is hypersensitive to almost everything and is allergic to almost all medicines-so there is not much that can be done for him. Maybe the fact that he is my “allergy baby” is why he has gotten shingles so young.
When it rains; it pours.
I have also found that you can have shingles more than once but it will always show in the same one place. There is usually a distinct triangle (where the nerve ending starts) and the band (with other clusters) can wrap around the body, but will only stay on the one side. I have been told that shingles are not as contagious as chicken-pox but is is best not to be around children under the age of one, pregnant women, and the elderly because they are more susceptible.
I am 37 & like #79 i too have an area in my nether regions that i believe to be shingles. I had chicken pox as a young child about 4 and then shingles shortly after, we (my mom & I)think. when i had chicken pox as a child, they were so bad… i had them everywhere!! in my mouth, my ears, eyes, bottoms of my feet, everywhere! When i had shingles i had them in a band (like a tube top) all around my chest. When taken to the doctors about this my doctor said that he had never seen a case of shingles in a child so young. My mom was told to spray the mouth spray Cepocol on my chest to relieve the pain & itching. I dont remember the pain so it must work!! I have also experienced what i can only describe as an internal bruise, what feels like a bruise without any markings. I never get any blisters or anything on those areas but maybe internally? Also like #80 i get migraines all the time that seem to center behind my left eye & on the left side of my head. Could all of this be related to shingles & those dreaded chicken pox? any info would be greatly appreciated.
I came down with shingles two years ago (I’m 20.) It was the summer after high school. I had been rejected from the college I applied to, my friends had moved on to bigger and better things, and I was stuck with no job and no car. I got really depressed, and a few days later sores began appearing on my underarms. I thought it was an allergic reaction to my deodorant or detergent. Only they got worse. I went to a nurse practicioner (alas, my insurance wouldn’t pay for a doctor) who immediately diagnosed it as shingles.
Instead of the standard Valtrex, I got some odd medication they sometimes give to people with epilepsy/seizures: Gabapentin/Neurontin. The stuff works for nerve pain, unfortunately it made me so damn loopy I couldn’t think straight.
Not to stir up debate, but has anyone tried a certain semi-legal common weed in treating their shingles pain? If so, how does it work out? I’ve never indulged myself, but I’m thinking that if it helps cancer patients dull the pain, it could work on shingles too (and it would help cut stress to boot.)
I have had shingles since I was 25, I am now 40. I sometimes get them very frequently – in fact numerous times. During extremely stressful times it is constant. It is at the lower part of my tail bone area. Icing that area helps shorten the length of the episode. I got the shot a few months ago and for the first time since the shot, I got them again started yesterday. Why have they been frequent and why did the shot work for a few months and now I am getting them again? I do not have HIV. Any possible answers?
I have shingles and I’ve found that Gold Bond powder and Gold Bond medicated lotion helps a lot with the itching.
I recently developed shingles. At first I thought it was winter skin, or just raw skin that had formed from walking.It started off feeling like a cigarette was constantly being held to the inside of my left thigh, there were no marks. After about two days of constant burning i started to develop redness, that soon turned into blisters. The pain got more intense, as it burned, itched, and felt like needles were being jabbed into my legs. I am a healthy 125 5`4, girl. I have no medical problems, and a pretty stress free life. I do not no why shingles have occurred on my body.
I use anti-itch cream, and advil to help reduce the pain. any advice, to help this painful virus
I’m a 51 yr old woman. A couple of days ago, I woke up with a stabbing, burning pain behind my right ear which turned into a throbbing headache on my right side. I immediately self-diagnosed sinus back-up and earache, so flushed my sinus with the nettipot, and started taking sinus antihistamines and Tylenol.
It relieved the pain somewhat, but I still had a weird sensation on the right side of my head. The headache (which feels more like a pressure headache than a migraine) has persisted, especially when I bend down or even stand up quickly – with occasional jabs of pain (sometimes similar to an electric shock, sometimes more like a knife) which shoot up my scalp from behind my ear or radiate out from my ear.
My scalp on the right side above the ear is extremely sensitive, sometimes a searing pain, other times dull pain. There is a painful area just below my jaw, the right side of my throat is slightly sore, and when I drink hot water with lemon (my coffee substitute), I get a jabbing pain that runs to my ear. I also occasionally get a dull pain behind my right eye. This has been going on for three days, but I have no rash. This has all coincided with my period.
I had the chickenpox when I was a young child (so I am told – I must have been quite young, as I don’t remember). I also have herpes simplex, which is occasionally symptomatic (not more than 2-3 times/yr). The doctor thinks I probably have shingles, though he is hesitant to conclude this without a rash. He gave me a prescription, but doesn’t want me to fill it unless I see an outbreak – which can apparently occur in my hair, so may not even be visible to me. I have to travel this week for work, but am concerned as I don’t want to get seriously ill while in another city…
I’m sharing this as I’d be interested in hearing if anyone has had this type of experience with shingles. Right now I’m in limbo, not knowing if this is what I have or not.
Don’t believe everything a doc OR a website tells you about SHINGLES. They’ve run in both sides of my family for at least three generations, although so far I’m the only sibling (of five) who’s had to deal with the devils.
I just celebrated my 62d birthday and my “present” seems to be a case of shingles on the outer left side of my pubic area. I’ve read that shingles do NOT appear on the vulva and that any outbreak of blisters in that area has to be the dreaded STD Herpes. That is just NOT TRUE. I haven’t had sex in three years (unfortunately), but when I was active, I never had Herpes of the sexual variety NOR an outbreak of anything scary in my genital area.
I was first diagnosed with shingles in 1985 when a painful patch of blisters appeared just below the right side of my waist on my upper hip. This came about not long after attending a picnic where friends (?) brought two children who were “recuperating” from chicken pox. At that time, I knew nothing about shingles or would have run like hell!
In the 24 years since, I hadn’t given a thought to shingles until a month ago. At that time, I awoke to find a row of three painful red circles just beneath my bra line (front). At first, I thought the itchy, painful patches were an allergic reaction to electrodes or gels used in two EKGs I’d had days before during a hospital ER visit. But, by the third day of the outbreak, I could see tiny clear blisters or pustules in the patches under my breasts. At that point, SHINGLES popped into my mind. So I made a walk-in visit to the office of a new internal medicine doc with whom I’d scheduled an appointment in another week for a thyroid test.
The doctor could not see me that day as a “walk-in,” but his nurse practitioner looked at the blisters and assessed they were not shingles since they were on both sides of my chest, not on just one side as is most common with shingles. She prescribed a topical ointment (Fluocinonide). The blisters went away in another week without too much pain or itching, although I couldn’t wear a bra or anything that touched them. I sprayed them with Benadryl, which helped a little, but have since heard that Benadryl isn’t recommended for the itch produced by shingles.
When I saw finally the doc a week after the nurse, he recommended the Zoster immunization since I was over 60. In the Indianapolis area where I live, the vaccine seems to be given primarily at pharmacies with walk-in clinics. Why the doc couldn’t give the vaccine remains a mystery to me. The pharmacies that have such clinics here are either out of or short on the vaccine, and there’s often a waiting list. More than a month has gone by and I’m still waiting.
For at least a couple weeks before and since the outbreak of the blisters on my chest, I’ve dealt with DAILY headaches (migraines), chills, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, and general FATIGUE. In addition, I’ve had numbness and jabs of low-level pain in my left groin, outer right thigh, and above/in my left eyebrow. During the migraines, I experience a seemingly contradictory combination of pulsating pain and numbness in the left eyebrow and on the sides of my head just above both ears.
I’ve been afraid that the symptoms could be early stroke warnings, but but haven’t wanted to appear a HYPOCHONDRIAC to the new doctor, so decided to live with them until I see him again (next week). I’ve also considered that the symptoms could be the result of one of two new meds he prescribed last month, so quit taking both meds.
Then a week ago, a small patch of sore reddened skin appeared on the outside left area of my groin (in my public hair). Initially, it was somewhat painful and I could feel a slight lump beneath the skin. I thought it was a CYST or an INGROWN HAIR. But then I recalled that in the month prior, I had begun experiencing infrequent but rather sharp pains that seemed to come/go from near my eurethra. There’s NO redness in my eurethra, NO pain when I urinate, NO discharge — NONE of the stuff usually associated with kidney/bladder infections. And again, I haven’t had sexual relations for three years, so NO STDs.
The patchy area has become more painful and itchy in the last couple of days, to the point it’s almost almost impossible to wear underwear and it often hurts to walk.
Last night as I tried to go to sleep, I noticed that the pain worsened when I turned onto my right side — sort of a “pressured” feeling. Finally, at 1:00 AM, I gave up trying to sleep, turned on a lamp, grabbed my eyeglasses and a hand mirror, then sat down on the side of the bed with my leg hiked up as I aimed the mirror at the red lump between my legs. Then I could see the familiar grape-like pattern of tiny clear blisters that ~IS~ undoubtedly SHINGLES. They have not yet reached the stage where they become pus-filled, break, then dry up. That’s probably a few days away.
This morning I put all the symptoms together and decided that all the crummy health issues I’ve dealt with for more than six weeks relate to a either one lengthy case — OR back-to-back bouts — of SHINGLES.
I’m sure the band of blisters beneath my breasts a month ago was shingles, despite the nurse practitioner’s dismissal of it. My current outbreak of blisters is over a week old, so its not likely that the usual prescribed meds would do much (if any) good. The blisters don’t APPEAR to be spreading, and since I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Monday, I’m inclined to wait until then to see him about this.
My best guess is that one shouldn’t get the Zoster vaccine while in the midst of an outbreak. ?? If anyone has knowledge of this subject, it would be most appreciated, as I’m not at all happy with the professional medical advice I’ve been given so far on the subject of shingles.
THIS IS A RESPONSE TO #73 JAN , I REALLY FEEL THAT YOU HAVE BEEN MISS DIAGNOSED. WITH ALL OF YOUR SYMPTOMS I FEEL YOU SHOULD GET A SECOND OPINION. ALL OF YOUR SYMPTOMS POINT TO SHINGLES. IF YOU DO GET A SECOND OPINION SHARE YOUR RESULTS PLEASE.
Hi I got the shingles about 2 weeks ago i got the blisters and then the scab but now they have turned into yellow lookin blisters. I have been trying to find out is it the normal way they go but keep getting different answers. I was just wondering if this has happened to anyone else?
from looking at these pictures think i have shingles. I have it on my cheek/chin area and it creates black scabs. It’s kinda odd, And i began having the school nurse look at it. She said it was just dry skin. The exposed blisters pus like crazy and i’m just wondering why i got shingles?
I am about to turn 35 and have had shingles so many times in the last 10 years I have lost count.
Mostly I have been treated with Famvir.The first time was the most painful. Sometimes its bad and sometimes ok to deal with.
I know when its coming but I have become complacent and most times dont take meds and just deal with it; honestly I dont feel much of a difference when I do take them. I suffer from headaches and a bad stomach for a couple of days before the rash/blisters appearn as well as my skin being very sensitive to touch on my thigh. The rash is almost always in the same place, just above my pubic bone on the right.
For me I know its stress that does it. As soon as the stress is over I know thats when “Shingles” rears its ugly head. I havent really had much luck at the doctors (living in Botswana, Africa) hence me not really following up with meds.
Sorry, no pictures! The location on my body wouldnt really be appropriate 🙂
i got shingles 1st about a yr ago at the time i was overseas, in a country which spoke little english, i tried to get cream or medication for the shingles but no one understood me, i had to suffer with no medication the whole time …
the thing is that i had never had chicken pox in my life, no matter what i did i didnt catch them no matter how close i came into contact with people infected with chicken pox .. but yet i found it strange that i got shingles.
All i can say is dont pick or scratch at the blisters as i did this n now i have scaring on my back.
I am a 52 yr. old female from Riverside County, Ca.. A little over a week ago I woke up with my left eye slightly swollen and a slight lump above my left eyebrown with little blister’s on it. I also had little blister’s clustered down the left side of my left eye down the left side of my nose and my left neck lymph node was extremely swollen up through my left cheek With time clicking by, my left eyelid swelled bigtime and I had swelling below the left eye as well. I went to the local ER and they had no idea but put me on anti-viral and anti-bacterial drugs which made me sick. Went to see the Dr. the following Monday. Dr. put me on Valtrex (anti-viral) and Levaquin (anti-bacterial) medications which has helped tremendously and they did lab cultures which came back NEGATIVE on Herpes Zoster (Shingles) and NEGATIVE on bacterial infection. Dr. doesn’t know what it could possibly be which leaves me at a total loss but I can tell you I don’t ever want whatever this is – again! I’ve suffered from sharp stabbing pains on the left side of the top of my head, forehead and left ear. It itches and I want to scratch it something fierce but won’t. I also purchased some “Tamanu” ointment which is xtra virgin olive oil from my local organic health food store and have applied it so that it helps to prevent scarring. I am amazed at it’s healing capabilities. Any ideas as to what I might have OR what may have bit me???
So I had a severe Shingles incident about 8-9 months ago. It was the most bizaar thing I’ve ever experienced. Since then I have done much research into the virus and those effected by it. I’m 28, and from what all the information tell others and myself is that this only really occurs in people over 60. From what all my personal research shows is there are so many young individuals that this virus is showing in and we have no real answers to any of our questions.
In 2006 the FDA passed the drug Zostavax
(merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zostavax/zostavax_ppi.pdf), but they never studied and younger age groups. I did find information available
(uab.edu/gim/education/conferences/AMR/2008-2009/Vaccine%20Update%20Yale%20082608.doc) that said it should not be used in any way other than directed by the label, hence not to be given to adults under 60 because of lack of testing. I’m absolutely terrified to go through that experience again so I will be visiting my doctor within the next month. Originally when I was diagnosed it was because I had been in the sun most the day and ended up getting a mild, totally dealable body sunburn.
The first sign started that night and within 72 hours I had made a doctors appointment. I was told that my outbreak was quite severe and the next 2 month I had bad PHN. Today the scars have faded a lot but the most severe ones are still noticeable. I’m getting ready to start a tattoo sleeve but I have to make sure that such an invasive procedure won’t create another episode.
I was given medication(anti-viral) for the next time I have an outbreak but that doesn’t do much to stop the fear. That was probably the worst pain I have ever experienced. I was taking well over the recommended pain-killer dosage and still nothing. I wanted to go to the ER just so that I could have something stronger. What I am interested in finding is an ongoing study or research into VZV. I would even participate as long as I knew that they could modify and help younger ages suffering from the virus.
Hopefully by all of our voices maybe someone will hear us and investigate further. I haven’t really changed my lifestyle to dramatically. I work in retail so I am a bit more aware of peoples health, and have made it a point to keep clean hands always. I make sure I eat ok, I try to not be a couch potato, and I take a zinc supplement every or every other day or so. I will make a point not to spend that much time outside and get anymore sunburns though.
I’m definitely still very ruff-n-tumble but I can’t help shake it from the back of my mind, the doctor told me I have a weekend immunity because it will always be fighting this virus just to keep it fully repressed. I haven’t done any research since shortly after I completely healed. A few days ago I felt a frighteningly familiar feeling come across my body.
Initially the first symptom I felt was what I could only describe as “mono-like” sensation of just exhaustion. Today I realize I was just over-worked and having everyone catching the flu around me I think added to my paranoia. I’m still paranoid but at least I’m not freaked out that I’m having an episode.
I didn’t plan to write this much but I wanted to share my thoughts to everyone and let everyone know that it’s not just for the elderly anymore and there are a lot of us out there. They should throw us a parade.
I came home last week from a cruise to Mexico. I developed itchy bites on my left lower back & buttocks, then my left thigh. My thigh had really burned, and I noticed it stopped burning when the bites appeared. A doctor glanced at them & thought they might be bed bug bites. I spent the weekend cleaning & freezing everything to try & deal with bed bugs. I went to see my regular doctor on Tuesday, and he looked at my bed bug bites & told me I had Shingles! A very classic case. I”m on Valtrex for 7 days. No serious pain yet; we’re hoping it was caught early enough that I might not get the pain. I sure *hope* so. It looked SO much like insect bites. Even though I do trust my doctor, it’s re-assuring to read here that shingles does look like bed bug bites. I’d heard of shingles, but didn’t really know what it was. I’m not happy, but at least I went to the doctor!
I am finishing my last dose of Valtrex after being diagnosed on Feb 9th with shingles. I broke out with the first sore on Feb 4th(Again, thought it was a spider bite) and my doctor’s first question was ” why did you wait so long? ” My rash is on my neck, chest, shoulder, upper back and arm and it burns, itches,hurts and stings all at the same time.Will the sores get worse after my last dose or am I on the way to being done with this horrible condition? I hope you can give me some idea beyond “it depends on the person” Thanks
I came down with a pretty bad case of shingles about 3 months ago. At first i thought i pulled a muscle and then my skin got very sensitive to the touch. It was all over the left side of my back and down my left arm. I finally went to my doctor ans she prescribed an anti-viral and some pain meds. The pain meds only helped a little. I found a product that help much more than the pain meds did. It is called Topricin. It is a homeopathic cream sold by Topical BioMedics out of New York. www.topricin.com
It help more than anything the doctors gave me.
I am 26 and am now getting over shingles. I woke up one morning and i had a spot on my back (photo included) and was told by a few different people that it was flea bites. I have had flea bites and them were not flea bites and in the meantime the itching was unbearable i wanted to cry!!! I went to the ER finally and was told that it was shingles and that I had to wait it out due to it not being diagnosed in the the first couple days of it appearing. The doctor also told me to apply benadryl cream to the area for the itching and sent me on my way. What a waist of time was what I was thinking!! Well I went to the local pharmacy and the pharmacist said the doctor was an idiot cause you can absolutely not apply that to an abrasion of any sort and definitely not shingles! The best thing I found to help the itch was Aveeno.
I’m assuming calamine lotion would do the trick as well considering that is one of the main ingredients in it! The only thing I’m wondering right now is if it’s possible for it to seem like it’s getting better and really it’s not and it comes back. I was told by a friend to watch it cause it could get worse. It has already scabbed over and for the most part the scabs have come off and now it’s quite itchy again. Anyone have any thoughts on my situation?
hi i noticed a rash on my 14 month old daughter 4 days ago i didnt want to be alarmed it was only little and it was about 4 or so spots on her middle back she didnt seem sick or have a temp nor was it bothering her so i thought i would just wait and see how it went now today been the 4th day I’m worried the rash has spread from her middle back to her middle tummy all on the right side of her body just blotches of anywhere from one bump to clusters of 10 or so that’s whats got me worried i was putting cream on it thinking it looked like dermatitis but now after looking on here it looks more like Shingles my daughter had chicken pox when she was 5 weeks old caught it from my hubby of all people and he was 27 years old so altogether strange but my baby girl had it pretty bad so could this be shingles and what should i do i cant get her in to the doctors till late tomorrow afternoon.
PLEASE REPLY ASAP VERY WORRIED MUM ……
How long does it take for the blisters to appear?? The skin on the left side of my back and around towards my stomach hurts when my clothes touch it!!! Can I get treated with medication before I break out in blisters???
About 3 days ago i woke up in the morning and had an itch. I scratched it and realized that I had this strange rash right on my waistline on the right side on my back. I didn’t really think anything of it but maybe it was poison ivy. Im extremely allergic. But i left it alone, and now, its EXTREMELY painful,and i have it in another spot other then just my waistline. It’s a little above behind the back of my knee. And they are both on my right side. No other rashes have shown. The one one the back of my leg looks like the rash in #16. And the one on my waistline on my back looks like the picture in #23. I stopped in at my doctors today but she was not available so they gave me another doctor there, that was. I waiting 1 1/2 hours for her in the little room, and when she finally came in, she told me it was a spider bite and there was nothing she could give me/ or do about it. But she also mentioned that it COULD be shingles, but the way it progressed so quickly she said it couldn’t POSSIBLY be. I left still unsatisfied. Can SOMEONE let me know if it is shingles? The pictures that I mentioned in here [#16 & #23] Look EXTREMELY similar to the rashes I have developed. Let me know, THANKS.
FIRST OFF: WHEN IN DOUBT SEE A DOCTOR, NEVER WAIT WHEN YOU ARE CONCERNED. I am 31 years old and was just diagnosed with shingles. I have an extremely mild case, I thought that they were a reaction to soap or sweating. They look nothing like most of the photos you will find when you google “shingles” they look like random pimples, but my doctor new exactly what they were. I haven’t really had any pain, except before the rash I had a stabbing pain in my side for a day or two and then about two days later the first little spot appeared. I am on Zovirax 800mg 3x a day for 7days. I am also on a prednisone taper for 7days.
Now to clear up some misconceptions….we here are not doctors and this information is available anywhere on the internet……Shingles is caused directly by the chicken pox virus (Varicella Zoster) and after you have chicken pox the varicella virus lays dormant in your body. Sometimes due to stress, illness, etc…the virus will become active and when it does it reappears as shingles. You will not get shingles from genital herpes. They are two entirely different herpes viruses. You can get shingles more than once, or you can have just the pain again and again it is reffered to as Postherpatic neuralgia. Shingles itself is generally not contagious, unless someone who has never had chicken pox comes into direct contact with the fluid from the blisters, and then they will not get shingles they will get chicken pox. This is why it is important not to pick or scratch the blisters and to keep them clean dry and covered, and to aviod direct contact with pregnant women who have not had chicken pox, young children, and people who have had chicken pox but had comprimise immune systems from thing like HIV and Cancer. I have to say that most importantly if you are in doubt and looking things up on the internet – SEE YOUR DOCTOR ASAP. Shingles can be serious, especially on the face, neck, and head areas. They can cause blindess, deafness, or vision problems, as well as hearing problems. So always remember, that only a doctor can really diagnose and prescribe the proper medication for you. WHEN IN DOUBT SEE A DOCTOR.
I am curious about Vicki’s response, #47. I have had recurrent infections and recently saw an article stating that the vaccine is sometimes available to people under 65. If it can help with recurrence, then I need it. I have outbreaks very often since my first outbreak a year ago. I’m 37 and am really tired of taking Valtrex. I have been taking it everyday to suppress it, but it comes back regardless.
any help on this would be appreciated.
Just wanted to share… never had chicken pox as a kid – received the vaccine when I was pregnant. About a month ago boyfriend got a herpes on the mouth – 2 days prior I started with lesions on my vagina – went to the doc (very intense case – I’m assuming because it is my first – wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy)… confirmed by both his doc and my doc that I got vaginal herpes from his cold sore. 2 weeks after intense valtrex (started suppressant 1 a day for a year to control) began to feel tingling and pain/heat/shooting pain in hip area… thought it was a pulled muscle from exercise…by day 2 it permeated from the right side of the vagina to the right buttock. 3 small pimples appeared on my lower back. Pain is so intense it is almost unbearable – cannot sleep at night. Doc today confirmed that I now have shingles due to the Herpes virus – back on intense valtrex and pain killer… heating pad definitely is a life saver right now as pain killers aren’t doing too much to alleviate…. Just to let you all know, I thought it was the end of the world… it is not, many people contract this virus and the shingles and I’m told it is manageable and that future outbreaks will be less intense… wish me luck and good luck to all… if in doubt see the doc!
i was experiencing severe pain for about 3 days already before i consult a doctor about this and she told me that this is a herpes zoster and had given me HERPEX antiviral medicine. by the way, are there any way to make it’s healing faster ’cause I’ve been absent for a week already and I’m missing a lot in school. I’m an engineering student. thanks 🙂
So I have had this rash that gets crazy itchy at night. I wake up in the middle of the night because i scratch so hard. During the day i forget its even there. Its been about two weeks, now its drying up, not as red as before, not as itchy as before…..I used some tea tree oil and now am applying AVEENO to help with the drying.
I don’t know what it is, but it has spread a bit. I can’t remember if it started on both sides of my pelvic area or just on one side. There is no pain associated with this at all…but its just gross.
I hope someone finds a cure for this soon. This is my first time to have shingles and I hope my last. I kept feeling like I was being bitten by something on my right bottom cheek. Over the next few days I started to feel burning, itching and pain on my bottom and half way down my leg. I went to the doctor and she could not see a rash or any bumps. She said all signs point to Shingles :(. I am still waiting for the bumps to appear but so far nothing. I am wondering if I too am experiencing shingles under the skin. I would post a pic but I have nothing to show. The pain is unreal at times. This is the most miserable virus.
Looking for opinions on if I might have shingles or not. Yesterday, I had one pimple like bump a inch or so under my arm pit. Today, I have about 5 or 6. They are very painful. I also have a low grade temperature.
I saw that they also look kind of like bed bugs, but I don’t think this would be possible as our mattress and sheets are all newer and changed every week.
i am almost positive i have shingles. it started off with what i thought was a spider bite on my wrist. it slowly spread across my wrist but now i think it is slowly spreading over my body. i only have what looks like a little flea bite bumps, one of my stomach, two on both upper arms. i have not had chicken pox yet and i am 21 years old. my wrist is very swollen, painful, and pusing. its so gross! my doctor prescribed me with herpes medicine (i cant remember the name) yesterday and am hoping that it works. could this be contagious for my co-workers and boyfriend? i am not sure if any of them had chickenpox. please help!
I likely wont see this site again to read comments but want to share what i know. I started getting this once a year when it gets cold. it lasts a few weeks I figured it to be some type of intestinal related infection i only get on my arms. It is deep in the skin near the nerves thus the burn itch. I wipe it with straight bleach once or twice a day till it goes away. This makes the pain stop for a while so i know it it hitting the right place and kills the bad guy. just don’t overdo the bleach.
I had chicken pox as a child and about 4 years ago I was diagnosed with shingles. I had originally went to the hospital and was admitted due to a large kidney stone and ended up having to stay 3 more days with a morphine induced migraine. While I was in there I started having a severe burning pain in a band across my back with a couple of blisters. They said it was shingles and gave me valtrex and lidoderm patches.
Now 4 years later for 2 weeks I have have a severe burning in the upper, outer part of my thigh. It feels just like before only there is no rash. Actually there is nothing viable at all. I’m not sure if shingles can be present without a rash or not. i did read one other person’s post who said they were diagnosed by one doc with it under the skin but no other docs agreed. i am too afraid to go to the dr for the same reason. i’m afraid they won’t believe it is there. Also because I suffer from severe migraines and although it feels like i’m against a hot stove it is still better than the migraines I’m used to. Any suggestions on what it might be?
My mother-in-law had shingles at 86 and she was miserable. After the rash went away she had shooting knife-like pains throughout her mid-body on the right side where the rash had been. We finally took her to the hospital for an injection into the spine. The first shot missed the mark, but the second one stopped the pain immediately and it lasted for the rest of her life, 7 years. It was amazing and such a relief for all of us. I cannot remember the injected fluid but it was done at N. Fulton hospital in Roswell, Ga. That is all I remember.
I have no way add a picture. I believe I have shingles. I have a rash on the top of my forehead to my right eyebrow. It itchs, burns, sometimes I have headaches, and fill really tired. Could this be shingles????
it is not true that you can only get shingles once after you have had chicken pox. i am 19 now and i have shingles for the 2nd time and just within this year! my sister works in a hospital she said that once you have had shingles once you are more prone to getting it again. They told me that my shingles were brought on by stress. I am a college student, it is reasonable that this could be the case because i just finished my finals for the semester. this time i got it i caught it early i only have a few spots and im only a little bit itchy but i noticed the tingling and the familiar feeling of the shingles surfacing. the first time i had it though it was a lot more serious it started with thingling around my eyelid and bumps (which i thot were zits on my forehead so i popped them BAD IDEA.) the bumps crusted and got worse and spread then i got itchy and tingly from my eyelid in a band all the way into my scalp and down to the back of my neck. the pain and itching was bad but not unbearable i think that i was just smart enough to catch it in time it also spread slower last time probably because i have good health. i have small scars on my forehead from last time this time it is on the other side of my face. i had the headaches and throbing and this time as well as last time.
i hope this helps any1
btw its only contagious to people who havnt had chicken pox
if u have it they should perscribe u with valtrex and a painkiller
Mine started on my waistband, one morning it felt like something was biting me and I kept checking and did see anything, a few days later I got a small cluster of about 20 bumps. I am 30 years old and have a 7 month old. So I went to the doctor because it was getting redder. It took 2 doctors to look at it and diagnose. I thought it was flea bites or maybe a spider..but no.. its’ shingles. They prescribed Acyclovir 800mg which I was concerned about since I am breastfeeding. So I have been stressed lately, like a lot of other families we are trying to survive and I am not eating well like I should. I read that stress or a weakened immune system can cause my chicken pox to come back, I also read that my son can get it if he has contact with the liquid when the blisters break. I am trying to keep them covered. I do have a history of canker sores when I bite my lip or cheek. My question is how often can this come back and strike again? I know I need to eat better and be less stressed but now that I have had an outbreak is it more likely to come back all the time when I’m stressed or weak?
Good luck to all that suffer from this.
To start with Ihave had shingles 4 times over the last 20 years–first time on my torso[rib cage to groin area]-next in my mouth[very bad] then on my whole right side of my head. Today-Dec. 11,2008 I now have a severe case on my right side of my forehead-around my rt. eye and covering the whole rt. side of my skull. My rt. eyelid is very swollen and i have poor vision in that eye because of the swelling and fluid. The fear was and still is that it would go into my eye but so far the eye doctor stated its still ok but he put me on antibiotic eye cream for inside my eyelid.The er doctor put me on VALTREX 1GM.3 A DAY but the rash is still growing bigger after 3 pills. My question is -I know stress can cause this outbreak but can head trauma do the same? I was hit on the top of my head by a heavy falling object from about 8 feet above me and still have the side effects of light headedness and dizziness. Also severe pain in my neck on the same side as the shingles–is it possible the head trauma triggered the shingles to appear?Anyone out there have this experience?
Possibly the most fun you’ll ever have…note the sarcasm.
I got shingles last year and learned quite a lot about it when it happened. SO I thought I’d post what I know.
There are two types of shingles though both are from chicken pox, one is also herpes. But not the STD kind so don’t freak out if your doctor tells you you have herpes shingles.
Obviously as testified by so many people before me, it is quite possible to get shingles at a young age, however, as I understand it, the pain is worse if you’re older.
It is true that stress can cause shingles, or at least play a role in contracting shingles, that’s how I got mine. (Jr. year is just TOO much fun). But they can also be spontaneous AND they can also have a connection to your menstrual cycle (for all the ladies out there, if you get start getting them around the same time as your period I would go to your respective doctors asap).
For those of you who think you have HIV just cuz you have shingles RELAX! Your apparent tendency to freak out over the small things is probably what gave you shingles in the first place. But honestly, if you’re 20 something years old and haven’t gotten tested for STD’s it would probably be a good idea to do that whether you have shingles or not.
As far as the rash that is associated with shingles goes, I can only speak of one kind which was mentioned about and which was also what I had. The “shingle-line”. Like a can-can line from hell, am I right?
The reason for the “shingle-line” is because when shingles pops up in the body it likes to attack specific nerves. For example I read at least two posts saying they had a line of painful bumps under their bra line and/or around their back. This is where I had mine. There just so happen to be nerves in the torso area that start in the back at the spine and wrap round the front of the body and stop at the end of the rib cage in the middle of the torso. What the shingles have done to those two ladies and what they did to me was they attacked that nerve and sent up bumps above the nerve at the skin. The reason it prickles/pinches/hurts is because the shingles is having a field day dancing around on your nerve!
This can also happen in the face/throat/arm, as experienced by the unfortunate bodies of the previous posters. However I hear the worse is shingles of the eye since it can make you blind and also hurts a whole hell of a lot worse.
Unfortunately since the problem is in the nerve and not actually the bumps themselves (though getting rid of the bumps is probably a good sign) there are very few (if any) effective topical treatments. My doctor prescribed me 3 ibuprofen ever 4 hours (but dont take that many unless you consult your doctor first) and lots of rest. She also told me to relax a lot more, maybe meditate and find whatever was stressing me out and eliminate that.
I changed the ring tone on my house phone to a less-harsh tune, I stopped talking about things that stressed me out, ate ice cream, watched tv, organized myself better in school and in three weeks the shingles went away.
Oh and for the young lady who was worried about the scarring, I picked at my bumps like a fool (they bled and scabbed over and everything) and I am scar free, so don’t worry too much!
I can’t say anything about the chronic shingles though, maybe you should move to hawaii? Haha, wouldn’t that be nice. Oh if only you could be prescribed such a thing (and health care covered it!).
Anyways I hope that was helpful, sorry if any of it annoyed you. I know I’m really sarcastic.
If you guys have any questions about my experience you can email me at hotelyorba13 @yahoo.com If I don’t know the answer to your question I can probably find it. Quite nifty with the search engine I am!
Good luck guys, and hang in there. It’ll get better.
OH and PS that person who said hang in there, you can’t get em again was half crazy. yes hang in there, it’ll hopefully get better but CHUH soo wrong, you can definitely get em again. Let’s just all hope we never do.
I am 60 yrs. old and last Saturday I was having sharp intermittent back spasms across my back and thought I had wrenched it moving some pots the day before. The spasms (like nothing I had ever felt) continued over the next three days. Tuesday evening while showing I found a sore in my groin area that had two-three small blisters. My husband took me to the emergency room and the doctor there thought it was spider bite and prescribed two strong anti-bacteria pills for staph and strep. About 24 hours later it had spread and I was in a great deal of pain. It ran from my left groin all the way across to my backbone. I was able to get an appointment with an internist Thursday morning and as soon as he examined me said it was shingles. He prescribed an antiviral and also a painkiller. So now it is Saturday evening and I have only been on the antiviral 2 1/2 days. I have cut back the prescription painkiller (one this morning and plan one tonight) and took an Advil instead of the two others allowed.
It seems somewhat better but none of the blisters has broken and thus none have scabbed over. I probably will not be going in to work all this week because I want to ensure that it has done so. I work for a school district and I am sure there are plenty of kids who have not had chicken pox yet and they won’t want it for Christmas!
You can have shingles without the rash. I went for several years with horrible, horrible nerve pain. I went from doctor to doctor. I spent two thousand dollars in co-pays with no help. I suspected I might have shingles. Finally I got a rash around my middle towards my back. I jumped up and down for joy and ran to my doctor who quickly diagnosed me with shingles. I was so happy to finally have a diagnosis.
I know some of the doctors thought I was crazy except they could not discount the fever or swollen lymph nodes I had. Granted it is very difficult to diagnose shingles without the rash. I currently have my worse skin outbreak of shingles and the itching is driving me crazy. I am going to get the vaccine but I have been told that it is not probably a good idea to get it while you are having an outbreak. The vaccine I am told can cut down on the frequency of shingles and also the pain. All the best to my fellow sufferers.
I’m 22 years old and i was diagnosed with shingles 3 days ago. It started 6 days ago as 3 little pimple like blisters.Then as each day went by they got a little bigger and started getting darker and now i’m more is starting to appear right by each other. They are a dark grey color and now overlaping one another. Is that normal ? Do shingles really do that because all the pictures i saw weren’t like mine. I’m in extreme pain still after taking a couple lortabs.I hope someone can answer my questions..Thanks
I have never had the chicken pox and I am 18 years old. However my friend has Shingles. At first she did not know what it was so she was touching and rubbing it. She also touches me occasionally. Could i develope the Chicken Pox because i’m really paranoid and scared now. Please tell me.
I have three children and all three of them had chicken pox before they entered school and all three of them had shingles (at different times) while in grade school. My Doctor said that was probably one for the medical books. I had never heard of children having shingles before. They are now in their late 20’s-early 30’s and have had no more thank goodness. I was surprised to see that others had had shingles at a young age too. No one I have ever talked to had ever heard of it before.
I am 25 yrs. old and have had shingles three times. I lost 20% of the hearing in my left hear the first time i got them at age 17. Due to my shingles not being caught quickly enough the first time I now still experience sometimes debilitating pain. Twice I had shingles on the right uppur part of my body, neck, face, scalp arms and shoulders and once on the left side. recently I have been experiencing the pains greatly on my right side but have developed a very shingles-like rash on both sides of my upper body. The dr. doesn’t think it’s scabies or an allergic reaction and isn’t sure of what to make of my shingles experience in relation to my new rash. Has anyone else experienced this simultaneous shingles?
Its been a week, I haven’t gotten this looked at… and its clearing up but the one spot where there are like 5 in a row is still visible but no where near as red as it once was… there were a few random ones on my body as well.. a couple on my left arm and one on my ear, one or two on my hip. I went to bed and woke up with all that around 4am! I had shingles a couple years ago on my back… but im jus curious as to what this is, or was or whatever.
thanks so much
hello im 22 years old heres my story…I had my appendex out and about 2 weeks later broke out in to what i thought was poison ivy and after doing all sorts of crazy things to try and get rid of it… its still here it will dry out then come back.. i have an on again off again headache which i thought was just a caffine head ache.. the rash is driving me crazy.. i have 3 kids who i hold all the time and they have not gotten it.. my husband who sleeps in the same bed as me doesnt have it… anyways ive beeen searching for an answer im uplaoding a photo tell me if you think its shingles..
My husband has been fighting off and on all summer with what we thought was poison ivy. He would get the itching, tingling and the red splotches then small blisters. Drs gave poison ivy cream which would dry up after a few days to a week. I would wash and clean everything he had come in contact with and then maybe a couple weeks to a month later it would start again.
This time he has it in the creases of arms and under arms. He did have a bunch of bumps almost like pimples on his back a few weeks ago. They are almost gone now.But the itching is driving him crazy and cannot see dr until Monday. He has also been complaining of headaches (Which he NEVER gets a headache) and neck pain.He has been under a tremendous lot of stress lately with some family issues and his immune system is down I am sure as he is not eating right.
Could this indeed be shingles instead of poison ivy all along? I don’t have pics to show but David’s pic above looks like what was on hubby back. Can it keep coming back every few weeks to a month?
Thanks for any advice.
I was diagnosed with shingles a couple of weeks ago. I guess it was a mild case, because it wasn’t THAT painful. It was very itchy and uncomfortable to wear a bra. My doctor gave me an anti viral medicine. The tingling and itching has gone away, and the rash looks much better.
One thing I am concerned about is scarring. I was putting benedryl cream on it and that seemed to help with the itching, and dry up the rash. It’s still red but there are no more blisters. What type of scarring do people have? Will it look like the entire affected area, or just small (hopefully unnoticable) spots?
Another concern is that even though I have finished my prescription, I have developed bumps on my face. There isn’t any nerve pain or itching. It doesn’t look like the rash I developed with the shingles, and they aren’t pusing. I know it can’t be pimples because I have NEVER broken out on my cheeks or jaw line. They are pretty unnoticable, but when I run my fingers across my face I can feel these bumps. There are a few on my neck too and on my chest.
I have been pretty stressed out lately, so is it possible to get shingles again a week after treatment? I started to think it had to do with it being so hot outside. When I am driving in my car, the sun is hitting that side of my face. I also thought it had to do with my abcessed tooth that I have been avoiding. Can you break out in hives or “shingles” if you have abcessed gums?
I would really appreciate some feedback. I plan to go to the doctor (and dentist) soon. I was just curious if this has happened to anyone else. Thanks.
I had a rash on my stomach and face and at first thought it was poison ivy. Then it kept coming back, especially when I was under stress. I could feel it coming on because the area would tingle or burn, then start itching and blisters would appear. I had an occurance on my face and went to the doctor and she told me I had herpes. She said that I could have picked it up anywhere and acted like it was no big deal unless the virus got into my eyes. I went home and researched herpes on the internet and thought that shingles fit my symptoms. When I went back to the Dr., I told her I needed a refill for my shingles medicine. She told me that I don’t have shingles, I have herpes. I told her what I had read on the internet. She told me that shingles is a one time deal and only appears on one side of the body. After that she got an attitude with me. Later I went to a dermatologist. She told me that it is common and she sees it all the time with wrestlers. I think I got it at the tanning bed. I wish I knew one way or the other.
I’m 44 and have had Shingles at least 8 times over the past 5 years.
I have been treated with Valtrex and now Famvir.
The first few times seemed to have been the worst.
I am able to recognize it quickly and get on meds within 24 hours. The last time I had it was about 4 weeks ago and I got another mild case a few days ago. It’s beginning to scare me a little now.
I know stress is a big factor, but this is insane!
I plan to finding an Infectious Disease Specialist to hopefully get some more infomation because my Dr. is just as puzzled as I am.
(I have also mistaken the early stages for spider bites)
I was diagnosed with Shingles this past Wednesday (june 25).
-It started as a pain in the back of my neck last week., it was a burning/stabbing pain that radiated down my back and down my right shoulder. I thought i pulled a muscle at work or something.
-On Monday i got one sore. It appeared in the very center of the neck, at the back of my head in the hairline. It looked like a spider bite, or a boil.. so i used a hot compress thinking i could poke it with a pin and squeeze something out of it.
– Tuesday i went to work, and the rubbing of my uniform collar caused a burning rash all across the back of my neck. So Wednesday i went to the doctor.
I started my 3 pills a day, for 5 day prescription of valtrex, (holy moses, is IT ever expensive!!), and now its Saturday. The rash is drying up, with the exception of the ONE Shingle that doesn’t seem to be responding to the meds.
I wasn’t give a prescription for pain, but i guess either i have a mild case, or a really high tolerance for pain, but i’m finding Tylenol Extra Strength works for me. Yes, the pain is intense at times, its not constant like i thought it would be.
One minute i’m feeling pretty good, then BAM, it feels like my back, neck, arm, and hair is on fire!!
It sucks that this darn Chicken Pox virus comes back to bite us in the butt again. As if getting it once, wasn’t good enough!
I am 47 y/o and was diagnosed probably 10 years ago with shingles. I wondered then how you could get just 1 shingle. I still question this. I get this 4-6 times a year always on the same side of my face. It starts out with me knowing it is coming by the feeling of numbness on my left side of my face. I also feel like a lymph node is swelling right under my left ear. The “shingle” always appears somewhere between my eyebrow and a little higher. Depending on where it comes in at my eye sometimes swells appearing to be hanging down. It has a scab and swelling. From my ear to the spot it remains tingley and somewhat numb. My life is always full of stress. I question if this is actually the shingles since it keeps coming back as well as only having 1 scab. Any ideas? Anyone else out there only get 1 scab? Thanks for any advice.
my boyfriend whom ive been with for 7years is 26 and was diagnosed with shingles on one side of his face. Im really scared. Could someone please let me know if it is ok for people younger than 50 to get shingles if they are perfectly healthy. He has usually been a healthy person and experienced almost no pain at all, so this scares me even more. its been less than a week but it is clearing up. All the scabs are gone but if it comes back should i be really concerned? he has been a bit stressed lately and gets cold sores often in the summer time
Hello! I am 23 years old and I was just diagnosed with shingles. It started out as pain along my right rib cage (right on the bra-line no less). I thought it was just a pulled muscle or irritation from my bra or something. Three days after the pain I woke up with a rash in the same spot. I went to urgent care on the third day of the rash, and they confirmed my suspicions with a diagnosis of shingles. I am on acyclovir for the virus and hydrocod/IBU (vicoprofen) for the pain.
I too am kind of worried that I have shingles at such a young age. I haven’t been tested for HIV but I’ve only had a few partners, and my current boyfriend I’ve been with for 5 years. I wonder if I should go ahead and get tested, or if I’m just being paranoid. I’ve never had any major health problems that would indicate a weak immune system, so I’m hoping it’s just stress related.
My doctor also told me that the earlier you had chicken pox as a child, the more likely you are to have shingles at a younger age. I had chicken pox when I was 3. So far the rash hasn’t subsided but it has stopped spreading.
The pain medications help a lot, but they also seem to cause more itchiness. Good luck to everyone else going through this! Hopefully insurance companies will start covering the shingles vaccination so that nobody has to experience this discomfort.
Hi, I’m 20 and i have had Shingles for the last 5 years. I get them 3 times a year in my hire and eye and no one can tell me way this happens and what makes it come out so many times? and i have it again for the 1st time this year
My heart goes out to all of you suffering from shingles, especially you pregnant moms! I got chicken pox when I was three weeks old and got shingles when less than a year old. It lasted a month.
My dad walked me every night for the entire night, because my mom was too slim (bony) to be comfortable. For those of you suffering now, it really does get better, but I remember when mom got it at 65, it is REALLY painful.
Fives hours after i thought i was bitten by a spider on my very upper thigh and buttock. Pain was horrible woke me from sleep. One week later it turned into a scab and is still very painful. The area around it is painful as well.
I’ve included these pictures below:
Hello – I accidentally stabbed myself in the palm of my hand with the blade of the liquidizer just under 2 weeks ago. 2 days later I developed an ache in my hand and arm which worsened over the next couple of days to the point that I could not sleep in any position and paracetamol didn’t do anything for the pain.
A small rash appeared half way up my arm on the 5th day after the trauma. On the 9th day the GP confirmed shingles and put me on a 7-day reduced course of Acyclovir (3 rather than 5 tablets daily so as not to further reduce my sole kidney function).
I am half way through the course of tablets. The rash has spread down to the bottom of 2 fingers and up to the elbow in random patches and is still spreading as of today, the 12th day. The pain has eased and then heightened over the last couple of days so am hoping that is a good sign. Have also had stabbing pains in the side of my head which is probably the same nerve route.
I had chickenpox as a child and also caught it from my young son in my mid-30’s. I have not been in contact with any children whatsoever in the recent past. It’s possible my immune system is lowered as I have been on steroid medication for a year. But, this would appear to confirm that you can definitely activate the virus by injuring yourself perhaps along a nerve path.
My wife is 15 weeks pregnant. Today we came to know (from dermatologist) that she is caught with shingles. 5 days back, a small rash started on her right leg then 2 or 3 bumps came out. Initially there was some pain around the rash and some itching. We used calamine lotion, itching was relieved. But on her 3rd and 4th day there was a lot of pain in right leg. We went to our ob-gyn; she mentioned she doesn’t have a clue at this stage. She suspected that it is shingles and referred to a dermatologist. Dermatologist found that she caught with Herpes Zoster (Shingles) and asked us to use the Acyclovir for 5 days (5 times in a day).
At this point (During second trimester of her pregnancy), I am not sure..
– What are the side effects of shingles on un-born baby?
– What is the side effect of using Acyclovir on un-born baby? (I am so scared about birth defects etc.)
– How shingles (during pregnancy) going to affect my wife…
– Do I need to more worry about wife’s health or un-born baby’s health?
Has any one experienced this before…? (Especially in second trimester)… I am new to U.S and I am experiencing all weird problems. What kind of questions/ clarification I can seek from my doctor…
Sorry for my bad English…
I am 26 years old and I have Shingles. I am so afraid , this is so painful and im afraid of getting tested for fear of worse news. I hear that most people my age dont get shingles unless they are HIV infected of have Cancer is that true? I have them on my face but seems to be almost cleared up . I caught them within 72 hour period does this make a difference on the spreading or healing process?
Ok I’m 20 y.o. Male and I have Shingles. I’ve been doing lots of research on it and it has really scared me.
When I get really stressed I tend to break out in hives. I’m also alergic to Cats. Also when I was younger I got the ChickenPox 3 seperate times….
I Got shingles about 3 months ago, like everyone else I thought it was spider bites. It was all along my left rib cage. After taking Valtrex it went away but, now it came back a little. One popped up. But, I took initiative and gulped down a Valtrex. Thats the only one that popped up. The thing is that Shingles aren’t what scares me. The thing that really scares me is the HIV, AIDS, Cancer thing… Since I’m young and I have this Virus does it mean I have a Weak immune system? I’ve only been with one girl and she’s STI free. Has any other younger people in or around there 20’s been checked for STI’s?
I’m going to get checked out soon.
According to a British Medical School’s website shingles when activated is different than chickenpox and does not cross the placenta. I am 34 and 7 months pregnant and experiencing my third episode of shingles. Seems to occur when I am under a lot of stress. The can’t sleep kind of worry. I would definately go into the doctor to see what they can recommend to help with the pain and to prevent secondary infection in your eye. I have a doctor’s appointment in two days but I only hold out hope for tylenol and some kind of cream. Remember don’t take any meds when pregnant without asking your doctor first this could cause a lot of harm as many meds do pass through the placenta and effect the baby’s development!
Vanessa, get to a doctor right away. When I was 8 months pregnant my 6 year old daughter contracted chicken pox. My doctors asked me if I had ever had it and I said yes so they thought I would be alright. It turns out that because I got the pox right after turning 1 I was too little to form a full immunity. I came down with a very mild case and I learned from my doctors that chicken pox crosses the placenta. My baby most likely got it but I was far enough along that it probably did not affect anything. If I were in my first or second trimester, as you are, there could be cause for concern because the baby is still developing. I do not know if shingles crosses the placenta, but it is caused by the virus that causes chicken pox so it would not hurt to get to the doctor right away.
Hello, I’m 23 years old and I think I have shingles!!! 🙁 Can someone help me diagnose it?? Could it be be bed-bugs??? See the picture below.
Last Tuesday (Feb 19), I noticed a rash near my right-lower ribcage… NO pain until the rash started to dry out. It isn’t severe pain but it does hurt here and there, not constantly like some other stories. And I’m stressing out and I think it’s making the pain worse.
I woke up last sunday morning with several large red spots on the side and front of my stomach, looking like welts. I assumed they were mosquito bites or spider bites. As the week progressed, each spot has gotten dark red spots in the center. MY side and stomach area, where the spots are located, are very sore as are the spots. No itching. None of them have gone away and I almost feel like something is in my system on that side of my body. I guess a tip to the doctor is in order. I also have muscle pain in the area, down my left leg and into my knee.
I’ve been dealing with my daughters “illness” for the last 5 years. She is now 19 and at college. When she was 14 she got pnemonia and terrible pains around her lower left lung. The area would swell and when I touched it, it felt spongey-like. Even the doctor came to our house because she was in so much pain she could hardly move. She continues to have these “episodes” about every 2-3 months since she was 14.
After blood test, ct scans, x-rays, and more blood tests; the diagnosis was shingles around the nerve on the inside under her skin. The pain went from lower left lung around to her back following the nerve area. The strange thing is that she never has any rash that appears on the skin. Even the doctors say this is strange but seems to be shingles under the skin.
QUESTION; HAS ANYONE EVER HEARD OF THAT? The several doctors that we have seen, have never heard of that. We continue to treat it with the Lidoderm patches and Ibuprofen, which helps. It always seems compounded with stress.
I am 11 weeks pregnant and i belive that my shingles are coming back!
i was diagnosed with this skin condition last year i am 17 years old and i dont want it to affect my baby!!
what should i do??
i get these horible things on my eye lid and they make my eye lid HUGE and it makes my eye close up..
i have to wear sun glasses or i feel like everyone is looking at me im so embarassed and it scary when someone asks what happened to your eye???
im like its a alergic reaction to my makeup!!!
when i went to school i would take off a whole week just so people wouldnt see me b/c the kids would always ask what happened??
and one girl said it looks like herpes..i almost cryed..
so if anyone knows what to do b/c i still have some of my creams and zorvax pills left over from last time but i really dont wanna take theim b/c im pregnant
if anyone could help thank you soooo much!!!
No you cant, unless you touched the oozing blister, which would be odd. after you touched it, you would have to be around your grandson pretty soon. this all assumes you would have terrible hygine.
its not like chickenpox that gets into the bloodstream and respiratory system, so it can be caught in the air.
i was wondering if you are a nurse an work around people with shingles and come in contact with them before you knew they had it.. Could it be possible to transmit this to my grandson that never had chicken pox’s?
Bk, how has your shingles progressed? Ive had it for 3 days now, and just started Valtrex. Im curious to know how you are doing.
In hindsight, my lower spine pain was the beginning of my ‘spider bite’. I’ve never had back problems so I just assumed I’d slept ‘wrong’…. 3 nights in a row.
Four days later, In the wee hours of the morning, sitting at my computer, the tag on the waist of my jammies was bothering me…. except there was no tag on my silk charmeuse penoir ..er…… sweatpants.
Within 30 minutes, what started as sensitive skin, progressed to that ‘sunburn with prickly heat rash’ thing….. unless I scratch it…. then it feels like that ‘sunburn with prickly heat rash thing being scraped with a dry S.O.S. pad’…… which is why I’m thankful the back pain keeps me from doing that. Here are some pictures:
I guess, because I never found the spider, I just knew I had Shingles and scheduled a doctor’s appointment that very day. He said he’d never had a patient call for an appointment stating they had Shingles… they always say, “I have a spider bite.”
!#$% Blasted chicken pox!
Hello just wanted to know what I can do about this stuff.
I got this just a few days ago. I went to sleep and when I woke up the next day I felt a burning sensation. That same day I got a little fever. I thought at first that it was a rash. By the second day 6 bumps came out. And the small area was red. The picture above is actually a close up. And they are shiny because I put Vicks on top of it because it’s just too itchy. The area when it happens was between my hip and under arm.
So anyways 6 bumps came out almost perfectly aligned as u can see in the photos. A small liquid came out at the tip of the dots. No clothing can touch that area because it burns. 4 days later I’m still thinking it was a rash the tip of the area they have now turned black. That’s when I said “okay this can’t be no heat rash at all” seeing that they are perfectly aligned only answer is that I got bitten by a home spider. I live in Toronto Canada where right now we are in winter.
Now I’m not sure if it’s a spider? or what. I am going to the doctor tomorrow morning. But just want to see what you can tell me. I will get back to you and tell you what happen. And also share my story with the others if it turns out that it is in fact a spider bite.
Thanks and please get back to me ASAP.
This was not a spider bite; the doctor said it was shingles (herpes zortes) which is basically the encore of chickenpox. There is a chance that you can get it as you get older and is more common in adults aged 50 or greater.
I’m a 26 year old mom and recently I noticed pain under my arm. Two days later a small rash started. I was diagnosed with shingles 4 days later. I had 11 clusters from my spine on my upper back to my breastbone near my chest. It is quite painful and I never expected to have shingles at my age. I’m on famvir to try to speed recovery and Darvocet for pain. The pictures below show what it looks like after 6 days.
I included a photo below of what I thought was a couple of spider bites on my back received while sleeping. I went to my family doctor who assumed that was what it was. I ended up in the ER two weeks later with pain down my spine area numbness like I’ve been stung by a bee or something.
I am 52 and never dreamed this could happen to me. The pain is constant is situated on the right side of my back by the spots. I am taking Lyrica which is to treat the nerve endings. Hopefully this will end soon. Still don’t know if this is shingles or not but am assuming it is.
Let me know what you all think.
I am 37 and have shingles I was so confused because I thought it was a dirty disese but its not I found out what its from but have a lot of un answered questions on why. My daughter is 6 and has been having an upset stomache and I am concerned I am taking her to the Dr. I found this website and thought it was helpful I wish the answers to the questions were posted to help answer some of my concerns.
I had shingles in the 5th grade and there is only 1 word to describe this disease….PAIN. I never knew what pain was until i had develped it. i was in pain for about 2 months at only ten years old. when i first realized i had it, i was in school in at a assembly and my friend pointed to the side of my face and told me i had a nasty thing in my face so i went to the bathroom and i saw it. it was nasty all right so then i went to the nurse thinking i had a ring worm and she sent me home early.
My mom took me to the hospital because it started hurting really really bad. My doctor looked at it and told me i had herpes! it was awful, so after getting tested they said i had the shingles. when i had it, there was no cure for it, so i was in bee sting, snake bite, burning tingling, knife stabbing type of pain for 2 months!! and it spread all over the left side of my face and all through my scalp and mouth….it was a awful 2 months to be 10 years old i tell ya….for anyone who has it, all i can say is hang in there…it’ll be over soon.
I am 8 and a half months pregnant and just found out I have shingles after going to the er with severe back and chest pains then 24 hrs later the rash was all over the left side of my back , my breast and my side. So far everything is fine with the baby even after the medication .
It’s my belief that though we live with so many stealth viruses in our soft tissues, proper diet can often save us from triggering the mechanisms that allow these buggers to take-over again. Shingles were making the rounds of my friends some years ago, yet some of us did not develop symptoms, though we were equally exposed. I think it’s because we observed healthy eating habits, which, done properly, discourages foods that stress, rather than nourish. Fried foods, red meats, processed wheat, transfat, high fructose syrups, etal, all stress the digestive tract, lowering our immune systems, and invite infections.
I suffered from mouth sores for years until I found out how important it was to maintain proper conditions in my digestive tract, how to eat right for my blood type and keep an eye on my skin, nails, hair, and bowel movements.
I haven’t had a cold sore in 25 years, in fact, I haven’t had a cold in as long.
My daughter had the chickenpox when she was 2. When she was 4 she developed shingles. She was a normal, healthy 4 year old. Really no explanation why she got shingles. She had them from her tail bone down to the bottom of her foot. Bad raw blisters. We had to carry her (or she would just drag that right leg as she tried to walk.. very sad!) and she had tremendous pain. Moaning and crying nearly night and day. Took approximately 3 & 1/2 weeks from beginning to end. She is now 19 and has had no sign of them since.
The reason I am writing this here – when I googled children and shingles, there isn’t a whole lot of information or stories about it. I thought if I told my daughters then it might help someone else possibly looking for a common situation. It can happen to healthy, young children.
In addition, we were, and have several times since then, told that my daughter was more likely to get shingles again during her lifetime since she has had them already.
Shingles are the product of anyone that has had chickenpox. Usually they develope later on in life, around 50 years, and last about 2 week. You can develop shingles on the back waist area or on the facial area. Either area, they are very painful when developing. They are a strain of chickenpox so they will resemble them. There are medications that will ease the pain. One is the patch the you pour over the infected area. If you scratch the area, you not only risk the chance of spreading them, but you could also cause nerve damage. Shingles is an ugly word as is the disease, but once you have it, you won’t get it again. Just remember to keep your immune system charged up. It usually attacks the body when the immune system is low.
Urgent care just diagnosed my “bed bug” like bites as Shingles. However, I am not experiencing any pain. I am 29, have had chicken pox as a kid. Bites are only on left leg and lower back. No other symptoms.
I have some scabbing, but just a dot in the middle of the each individual bump or the cluster of bumps.
Thanks for any advice
I am young and have shingles. It is the most irritating thing in the world and i would just love to scratch it right now. I have read many things about shingles and i see that people over 50 get it. If this is the case why do i have it? I also read its because of stress and a weak immune system. All i really would like to know is how i got it at a very young age.
thank you for listening…
I have a pain in my back under my right shoulder blade for a week now no rash, went to my doctor today he said he thinks it is shingles took xray to rule out ribs and lungs, I’m in so much pain. It feels like a fist in my back, I can’t lay, sit or stand and often I feel sick to my tummy. No rash yet, how long till rash and blisters if it is shingles?
Thanks for any help!
I had chickenpox when I was 24. I caught them from an elderly gentleman who had shingles while I was working as a nurse. No one knew he had them.
I very often get severe pain in the lower quadrant of my back on the right side- sometimes there’s a rash- sometimes not. This is always followed by a course of what my doctors calls “shingle-like” blisters in my mouth and throat. Can you shed some light? That too, is excruciating and I can’t eat when it happens. Stress can bring it on- and I have had a lot recently -I just wish it would quit already! I can’t even use the mouth rinse the doctor gave me to sooth these blisters because it burns. Even iced-tea and carbonated beverages burn!
My immune system is a wreck ever since I had the chicken pox -they were inside and outside. They wanted to admit me into the hospital but feared I would start an epidemic. I was fortunate to have children -they were low birth weight -one overdue and one under-do. Subsequently, all my parts had to come out.
I would like any info you can give me on this subject.
I am allergic to PCN.
I am willing to share, as well!
Yes, upload some of the photos!
My mom was supposenly diagnosed with shingles doctors are trying to treat her for that using some type ssd cream. She has had this for about 8 months she has extreme pain its located on her back she has not been able to sleep on it since. It started red with brusing and turned into a boil looking cist it has severly scared her back.
She now has a dip on her back with extreme drainage. After using the cream she now has neon green looking drainage…today its hurting her really bad even to the front of her chest i guess it attacks the nerves but no one seems to know how to treat it!!
Not even the specialist!!! I just found out that there is a vaccine only from reading your site. Please help, what is the vaccine called? I will up link some photos asap….please get back asap