Shingles

Question:

What were your shingles symptoms and signs? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Will, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

It started with a tenderness on the back, left side of my neck, and below the hairline... tingling and tenderness. A few days later I noticed red welts on the upper chest area around my collarbone, which looked like a string of bug bites. Now, a week later, the tingling sensation has moved around to the left side of my neck. The 'bug bites/welts' have broken and scabbed over, but still itch. I have no idea if this is shingles but don't know what else it could be. I'm still tingling... it’s been 3 weeks.

Comment from: Bct, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 20

I am a 61 year old male. My shingles started as an itch in my left underarm pit for three days with no pain. On the 4th day the pain started in that area, went to my shoulder and down my left side. It was the worst pain I have ever had, but no rash. I called the doctor and told him my symptoms, and he said it was internal shingles which I have never heard of. Steroids, antibiotics and nerve pain killer have helped a lot. Two weeks have gone by and the pain is at least manageable. I never did develop a rash.

Comment from: Rlblublonde , 55-64 (Patient) Published: October 14

Wednesday, I had stomach upset all day. I woke up about 3 am on Thursday morning with itching in my left leg. A few hours later I noticed a linear rash on the back of my leg. I was limping the whole day. I woke up about 5 am on Friday morning in severe pain in my leg, the pain had moved up my leg and I could not lift my leg. This went on the entire weekend. Monday morning I went to doctor, was diagnosed with shingles, and I was prescribed valacyclovir.

Comment from: Linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I had a very bad dull ache on the left side of my back for about a week, then the pain started to get severe, going from my back to under my left breast. I was unable to sleep, and finally went to the emergency room (ER). They tested me for kidney stones, and all came back negative. I was in severe pain the whole day, and next day I went to a different ER. Testing and scanning everything was negative and I thought I was going crazy. And just by chance the doctor was looking at my side and I stated it was tender… turned out shingles.

Comment from: Susan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I had severe pains radiating from my abdominal area extending to my hip and buttock. Day 7, a rash appeared on my left hip and buttock plus in 2 small areas. Since day 4 of rash the pain has been excruciating and so many varied pains, and because of location of the shingles it’s very hard to move. Now it is day 18 and I’m still in bad pain. Taking slow release tramadol/Panadol and just acquired a lignocaine cream. It anyone mentions shingles and say they don’t have pain... then they don’t have shingles!

Comment from: Linda, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

Many of the comments indicate that the care provider looked at the lesion and diagnosed shingles. But those who are having recurrent symptoms, I wonder how one can know if it isn’t HSV or contact dermatitis or another condition. If you are having repeated bouts in the same year it is unlikely to be shingles. I can’t see how one can tell the difference between shingles and a host of similar conditions with rash and vesicles.

Comment from: painful patti, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I was diagnosed with shingles, over the phone by my physician during COVID times. He put me on antivirals and Neurontin and pain medicines. The rash is gone and the pain is excruciating under my arms and the front of my chest; stabbing and burning pains. I have skin tags under my arm and they are on fire. I wish I could see a physician; nothing should hurt this bad. Anything that touches my back or breast and the underarm is unbearable. What is a person to do!

Comment from: AMJTFJ, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I thought I had a cold sore just under my nose. It traveled in a line to my lip, and up inside my nostril towards my eye. I had severe rib pain wrapped around my entire rib cage prior to blistering. My face was sensitive, tingling and painful. My doctor said it was shingles. I got on medicines (antivirals and antibiotics), and overnight the pain I had for weeks in my rib cage subsided. Still waiting for my face to dry up and heal. I hadn’t told him about the rib pain thinking they were unrelated.

Comment from: Lung Cancer Patient, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

On 6/25/20 I noticed a rash on my left ribcage and upper left back. The next day I developed stabbing pain and muscle spasms in those areas. I saw the doctor that day and he diagnosed shingles and prescribed acyclovir for 10 days. I cannot take steroids due to a recent health condition caused by chemotherapy. The rashes are small but the muscle pain is surprisingly severe. I am taking Tylenol but if the pain continues, I will contact my pain management doctor.

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Comment from: Shingles 27, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I have 2 small shingles rashes in my underarm and a spot on my chest. Under my arm felt very sensitive to the touch and gradually became more painful. The rashes appeared 2 days after I felt pain. The chest spot felt like a stinging bug bite. Shingles made my arm feel heavy and achy. An upper torso nerve must have been affected, as when I pull my chin down to my chest, I feel an ache in my armpit and along my upper back.

Comment from: NicoleCG, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I had left rib pain and discomfort for 2 months before rash broke out on my forearm and I was diagnosed with shingles. I thought I was having a heart attack towards the end, as pain crawled up my back and shoulder. I was put on antiviral, tramadol and lidocaine ointment. Lidocaine was helpful for the rash. I could still feel pain with tramadol but it was dulled. Couldn’t imagine what both would have felt like with no relievers.

Comment from: Anonymous, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 18

I have shingles lesions on my waist, front and back, I am 75. The pain is not terrible but feels like sharp labor pains on my side. The pains come and go. At night I take Tylenol and it helps. Wonder if anyone else has experienced this kind of spasm like pain with shingles.

Comment from: Allan N, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 13

I have had shingles over the last few days. I contacted 111 and the doctor gave me some tablet medication, but three days on it’s gone from my back around to under my arm and onto my chest area. Not sure if this is normal.

Comment from: NJ-JH, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 29

First shingle symptom on 4/2/20 was deep severe piercing pain in an area the size of a fingertip at T5 dermatome under my left breast, toward the center in between my breasts. Then deep aching pain on the upper back left side. Then rash began under my breast and on my back. I had 10/10 pain lasting full force for 14 days before the rash started to get lighter. The pain is now about 6/10 and my back itches. Today is 4/25, I still have pain, and my back still itches. The pain is extreme, nerve pain is no joke; like surgery with no anesthesia.

Comment from: SMJ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

Wednesday, I felt like I had pulled the muscle in my left shoulder blade. Thursday night I had pain and severe itch. Friday morning there were red spots and doctor said shingles. I was prescribed antiviral medicines and Panadeine Forte. Friday pain was unbearable. Felt like a fracture in my back continually being pressed. I took 2 Panadeine Forte every 4 hours. Saturday I was in screaming agony, and my husband wanted to call the ambulance. No relief. On Monday the doctor prescribed Lyrica. No help. Pain continued 10/10 first 2 weeks, 7/10 3rd week, 4/10 4th week, which is today.

Comment from: James B, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 07

A small rash about the size of a lemon on my back was my first symptom of shingles. 'Fifty mosquito bites wearing wool beanies on a freshly shaven skin without using shaving cream during summer' is the only way to adequately describe how itchy it was. To avoid breaking any (more) blisters all I could do was gently drag a wash cloth over the spot. As the itching faded, it was replaced by burning, along with the worst pain I have ever felt. It felt like my ribcage had been in a car accident. And my case was small!

Comment from: Edue, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 02

I had 6 days of intense pain, saw the doctor on day 4 and was sent to the emergency room (ER) from there. I was screened for kidney and gall bladder stones. Negative. Sent home with no diagnosis or treatment. Two days later the shingles rash appeared. Urgent Care physician’s assistant said she knew a woman who had the pain for 2 weeks before the rash appeared. She’d been to her doctor, ER twice, Urgent Care, and was hospitalized before the rash appeared. I have postherpetic neuralgia; that woman and I had pre-herpetic neuralgia! Doctors, be aware. Please revise your symptoms. Get vaccinated.

Comment from: Amelia Jade, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

My shingles symptoms started with my rib on my back being super sore. I actually thought I had broken it, so I rubbed Voltaren gel in to it. I then had a small rash come up in a straight line which I initially thought was a reaction to the Voltaren. I saw my chiropractor thinking still it was my rib, he then referred me to my general physician who confirmed it was shingles. It got progressively worse over the next 3 or 4 days and then at around 7 days the scabs were falling off and I was allowed to return back to work.

SLIDESHOW

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Comment from: Mary, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I was diagnosed with shingles on January 9, 2020. I received the usual anti-viral medicine and Lyrica. Now I am experiencing body aches especially in my back wrapping around to my tummy. My rash showed up on my left arm and left shoulder. Wonder if my body aches are related to shingles

Comment from: Ann, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

Thanks for this information on shingles, it has helped greatly. I thought I had muscle pain but on the third day red bumps appeared with serious needle prick sensation. How could you work with such pain! I have shooting pain, breast pain, and fatigue. I got homeopathic help but still great discomfort, but improving. So similar to cardiovascular issues. I have had pain since 18th January. I even used morphine which only relieved the pain for three hours. Prescribed drugs were not as successful as homeopathic remedy.

Comment from: James B., 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 05

The shingles rash was about the size of a lemon midway down one side of my back. At first it was itchy beyond description, which eventually turned into a burning sizzle on the rash, while my whole chest and rib cage felt like I had been in a car accident. By far the worst pain of my life.

Comment from: Vern, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

My 1st symptom of shingles was horrible; headaches, which I almost never have, even light ones. This went on for about a week, then turned to a very sore throat and swollen neck glands. Then the inevitable red rash, which by morning were blisters. The pain was stabbing jolts and were like hot knives. The underlying pain was as deep hot needles. My blood pressure went very high. I got little to no sleep. I had 2 rounds of antiviral medicines. That was 13th. This is the 3rd of following month and all is ongoing to date.

Comment from: Blue, 55-64 (Patient) Published: February 05

I am 61 years old and was diagnosed with shingles. I have a stent in my heart and I'm not feeling well. I have a burning sensation, fever and a just very painful stomach, feels like somebody's cutting it up. Oh my goodness, I cannot take this pain.

Comment from: JustMyLuck, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 23

Suddenly the skin on my left thigh/buttock got burning and tingly. Thirty minutes later, intense lower back muscle pain started. I’ve had long-time chronic L5 back pain, so I'm used to it. Different here though. This kind of pain usually comes from overexerting and subsides usually in about 3 days. Now on 4th day of non-medicated shingles, and just saying, many of comments here read stylistically similar. But I digress, blisters have appeared, small in number, right above my tailbone and back pain is not letting up.

Comment from: WoW, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had shingles a year ago, on my right hand side. My back and breast were affected with blisters and pain. It eventually cleared up, but now I keep getting the occasional pain in my right breast, a shooting pain very similar to the shingles pain. Wonder if I should visit the doctor or if it is something I just have to live with.

Comment from: Nan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 18

Two nights ago, I woke at 4 AM with intense burning tingling pain on the back side of my upper left leg. I immediately recognized it as shingles, and (on impulse to try anything to relieve the horrible burning pain) I got out of bed and located an old bottle of Forces of Nature nerve pain management that I had used several years ago to quell raw sores caused by chemotherapy. I also started applying cold (ice pack) compresses every 2 hours or so. This morning, I've almost no signs of shingles pain!

Comment from: wilfred, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 14

I have pins and needles like symptoms from shingles on my right side.

Comment from: Hopeful, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 26

I've had shingles now for nine weeks. Started with severe pain for three days before the rash appeared. Doctors did scans and blood test for all sorts of illnesses, and all negative. I have had a week’s anti-viral drug, and now on nerve pain killers, but still have numbness and a feeling of tightness that you can't breathe. Wondering how long this will stay.

Comment from: Ms42yrsOld, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

My shingles started with small itchy lumps appearing here and there, then they would go away. Then this weird chest pain on my left side up under my breast. It would move but stayed on the left side of my body. Then the back and side pain, neck pain and shoulder and arm pain. Then a huge swollen lymph node appeared on my shoulder, which took 5 days to go away. Then the rash began to show up - it started off painful when my clothes and& bedding would rub. I saw the doctor, she prescribed me acyclovir every 5 hours for 7 days. Now my rash is gone but I now have numbness under my left breast, a little swelling, and left side pains but I am healing slowly.

Comment from: KimM, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

I have had severe pain to the right side of my heart and in the medial right of my back with intermittent sharp stabs of pain on top of this, for 5 full days before any shingles rash appeared. The pain worked its way around to being most severe under my right arm but now the rash has appeared in a half circumference around the right side of my body, and I have the pain back in my chest and back. I think it is worse at night. I am taking more paracetamol than the recommended dose. My doctor said muscle strain!

Comment from: Lena, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

On a weekend mountain trip my right leg started really itching. Nothing visible but a few very tiny red dots far apart. Five days later my hip started hurting and I felt sick, and another two days later pain became excruciating. The right side of my leg hurt to touch. Four small bumps surfaced. Emergency room ran tests but did not recognize shingles. They gave me painkillers. Pain peaked on Wednesday and I felt tightness in chest and arms, like I was dying. An advanced registered nurse practitioner gave me antiviral medicines. Taking vitamin C. Pain is lessening. It’s been two weeks.

Comment from: Knanhurts, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

My shingles symptoms started with pain on the right rib area and low back, headache and stiff neck. The doctor thought maybe gallstones. About day 6 or 7 rash appeared over the right side, not very many spots. I started anti-viral medicines. I had burning, itching pain in the rash area. The worst is the nerve pain in my back, side, and lower abdomen, like menstrual cramps (I'm 74). Now day 19, the rash is clearing up but pain persists and I need Tylenol extra strength 2 pills about every 8 hours. I think I'm lucky, it's not as bad as some others describe.

Comment from: Worried wife, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 05

My husband had pain on the left side. He thought he had pulled his muscle in the back and asked me to put cream on it. I lifted his top up, and he had a really bad rash, so I didn’t put the cream on. The doctor told him it was shingles. It’s now been 7 weeks and the scabs are going now. They were quite large but he's still in agony. He doesn’t eat, just so fed up with the pain, nothing seems to help.

Comment from: Donna , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I'm a 67 year old female. I woke up one morning and I couldn't walk. The pain in my sciatic nerve and down my left leg was more than I could handle. My primary saw me immediately and sent me for x-rays. They were negative. She put me on a steroid. Three hours later I had no pain and went camping for the weekend. That Sunday morning which was 2 days later I woke up with a quarter size red area that looked like a burn. The next day I couldn't walk again. The chiropractor diagnosed me with shingles.

Comment from: Aj, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I started having pain in my left eye and it felt like something was in there but I could never see anything. Then the headache started only over my left eye. Later on that night I saw a small blemish which I thought was allergic reaction. The next day I woke up with a fever, fatigue, body aches and I just knew it was the flu. On my third day I knew something was wrong; blisters formed around my left eye, eyebrow, forehead and nose. I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with shingles at age 35.

Comment from: Annie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I was first diagnosed with a shingles outbreak when I was about 20. I’m 40 now, and have literally been having 2 to 4 outbreaks every year since then. The rash is always on my upper right thigh and left ring finger. In the past years, the rash would just burn and itch for a few days, I’d keep it covered, then it would go away. I only saw a doctor a couple of the times for acyclovir (like when I was pregnant). Now the outbreaks are causing me to feel sick and lasting pain.

Comment from: Had the vaccine!, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

My shingles outbreak began with feelings of extreme tiredness. A spot appeared on the left side of my scalp and began to itch. I went to a local clinic and the doctor said it was shingles, but just gave me a cream. Within 24 hours the rash spread all over my scalp and travelled down my forehead. Extreme swelling began on my forehead as well. This swelling has travelled to the areas around and below my eyes. My family doctor is keeping a close watch. I am very uncomfortable and I had the vaccine!

Comment from: Connie, 45-54 (Patient) Published: October 14

It's been 8 weeks since I had shingles on my shoulder. They somehow got on my sciatic nerve and I couldn’t walk, the pain was so severe. I went to the emergency room 3 times, and never once did they do anything. Because of sciatica I walked bent over as a habit. I have to crawl upstairs, pain is setting through my hips and legs. In fact I lost all feeling in my legs and toes for a month. I finally called my chiropractor and he said he didn’t know how he could help.

Comment from: Paula, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

My shingles started as an upper back pain, then on my left arm, and felt very tight on my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack and the pain on the back and arm was unbearable. I went in to the emergency room, everything was normal, they didn’t diagnose me nor gave me any pain medicine. The only thing that helped me was a hot bath and ibuprofen. Next day I went to a different hospital and I was treated like a human being. After testing me they found out that it was shingles.

Comment from: Joan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 01

I thought a bug had gone up my trouser leg and bitten my left leg in several places. After a week the pain started so I went to the doctors, and she diagnosed shingles. I was shocked, I'm not run down or stressed and am very active. She gave me tablets and codeine, and did a blood test. I have had a call to return to the surgery tomorrow. I now have severe pain in my left arm and neck; I am so tired and feel sick off and on. Everything is an effort; definitely not me, I never sit still.

Comment from: FadedGenes, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 30

Two weeks earlier, I had severe nerve pain in my left thigh (this has happened two other times in the past 4 or 5 years). It was three days before I went on a cruise. I suffered with the pain during the cruise and the week after I came home, within 24 hours I had a shingles breakout on my left buttock and the back of the thigh of the same leg with previous nerve pain. I had blisters all over this area within 24 hours. I had a doctor appointment a couple days later, so I suffered for 3 days and he confirmed shingles.

Comment from: vic2855, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 26

I started having back pain on the lower right side, about a month before the shingles blisters broke out. Blisters formed on the lower right back right along the spine. The blisters went away after about 2 1/2 weeks. I had lots of itching but not bad. Nerve pain has been constant since they healed, for past 3 months, but it does seem to be better at times.

Comment from: Lynn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I had shingles two years ago. Now, I've been getting itching on the tops of my arms and a blister under the hairline at the back of my head. I have a sore neck and headache, but the itching seems to get worse at night and on one side (right). I have postherpetic neuralgia ever since I had shingles, a deep dull ache in my leg or arm. I am wondering if this is another bout of shingles. The first time I had one blister in the same place this one is.

Comment from: PamMaisonneuve, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

My shingles began with excruciating pain that continued to get worse. Unbearable, on my right side. Hard to get enough pain medicines. I was in and out of the emergency room 6 times. I had blisters from backbone to sternum. I had antiviral medicine 2 days after the diagnosis. It’s been 6 weeks. No more lesions. Skin is very sensitive to touch. Superficial inside pain is better but core pain is still there. Muscles feel strained with the least bit of use. So used to being active and can’t be. I know it could be worse and I am better.

Comment from: Kathie , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

My right arm felt like it had been sunburned. Not a mark on me. Two days later two tiny papules appeared just above my right breast. I thought it may have been a spider bite. Burning continued and the “bite” area grew to be a rash. I was diagnosed with shingles and put on valacyclovir and gabapentin. I am experiencing deep muscular pain in my right scapula, chest and arm. The rash spread down my arm and to the back. Most severe burning is in my right armpit. I have extreme lethargy as well.

Comment from: Dee, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I have severe pain circulating on the neck to the biceps and under my arm from shingles. I have red bumps on my arm and hand. I also have numbness and burning.

Comment from: jb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I am having shingles for the third time. I had the vaccine but still get them. The first time was in my forties, the second time my fifties and now at 60. The first time was typical rash on ribs and wrapped around to my back, with red purple inflamed itchy blisters. The second time was the other side almost identical but less itchy. Both times I had some pain. This time I have them from my chest to my back, on my stomach. Five weeks later I have more on my shoulder, arm pit and back on the other side. I am worried.

Comment from: Kim, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 05

Yesterday I was diagnosed with shingles. On my right wrist is where it is located. I have been feeling light headed with extreme pain where the blisters are. I also feel like the whole right side of my body is aching. Wonder if anyone else is experiencing this. I have headaches, itching, and soreness like in muscles and skin throughout the body.

Comment from: Tammy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I have had the shingles symptoms for four days. I have them on my right shoulder and now my left shoulder also. I'm also feeling like it is inside my chest and my right eye. The burning is so bad I feel like my entire upper body is on fire.

Comment from: Joliz, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I have shingles now, it is summer time, and I thought I had got a midge bite on my hair, it was a bit swollen. Then I thought I was getting something or having a heart attack, I had tight chest, shortness of breath and fatigue. Then I got a bad pain on the occipital bone in my head and thought it was neuralgia due to my bad neck, it was very hot and tender. Next I got bumps on my forehead and I realized it was shingles. I am now on antiviral medicines, hopefully halts it from getting in my eyes… it is on the lid.

Comment from: Kay, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I have not been diagnosed with shingles but I am pretty sure I have it. For several years I have recurrent rash on my left buttock cheek that comes and goes; mostly when I am stressed out. Now just recently for that past 2 1/2 weeks I have had a pain up inside near my tailbone after a bout with diarrhea. Now I started having horrible pain in my left breast. Today I have the rash on my buttock cheek again.

Comment from: TC, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I am a 39 year old female, mom of 3. I thought my bra tag or strap was irritating my back on my left side. I looked and I had a rash in two different spots... thought nothing of it. I started applying hydrocortisone cream and Benadryl for the itch. Nothing was relieving the itch and I started aching and itching really bad in that area, I also thought I was catching a cold and kept having chills. I also had blisters. I decided to go to an urgent care clinic and I was diagnosed with shingles. Horrible feeling.

Comment from: Kay, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

Wonder if anyone has had internal shingles. I woke up last week with terrible pain in my tailbone. I went to urgent care today finally and she said it may be internal shingles. I do have those blisters on one of my buttock cheeks every now and then but not in conjunction with this pain.

Comment from: GG, 45-54 (Patient) Published: August 14

I have red burning like chafing in my inner thighs. I’m 54 years old and shingles started in May 2019. I thought it was just chafing, another week went by, and I woke up to what looked like a small insect bite on my right breast that was painful. Then it was under my right breast, but this time just burning and red, not looking like an insect bite, but since then it stopped being red and burning, but still there. It is just looking much better, and no pain. I was diagnosed with shingles, it’s almost been 3 months, with nausea sometimes.

Comment from: DB53, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

I was awoken in the middle of the night with deep sharp pain through my left breast into my back, elevated blood pressure, nausea and tingle in my right arm. I checked out at the emergency room, they ruled out heart attack, and diagnosed me with GERD. I knew it wasn't that. I had extreme pain for over 48 hours, and finally took a pain pill I had from surgery earlier in the year. Second night I had a red rash start from the breast bone around to my back. I saw my primary care physician and received anti-viral and nerve medicines for shingles. Within a few hours my pain subsided significantly.

Comment from: Nova, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

My symptoms felt like an internal sunburn, first on my left shoulder blade and the next day it moved down my arm. My husband said it sounded like nerve pain. The next night he noticed four welts on my shoulder and said he thought I had shingles. By morning there were additional bumps and I covered it with gauze. Eight hours later the rash moved to my left chest and then down my arm. I was prescribed 1000 mg Valtrex 3 times a day for 10 days. Rash remains visible 3 1/2 weeks later. Nerve pain persists; horrible.

Comment from: Tiffany , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I had shingles while I was pregnant in 2007. I was unable to receive medication other than Tylenol. After the rash/blisters went away I’m still having burning sensations that come every now and then on the left side of my arm and chest just as I did when I had the shingles outbreak. Thank goodness I’ve yet to have an actual outbreak since 2007. But, when will this stop!

Comment from: Aly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I'm really badly down with shingles. I'm just about to walk I'm in so much pain. My head is so bad I'm not able to listen to anything or anyone. My ribs and kidneys are making it difficult for me to breathe. My right side constantly has shooting pains, but the rash is on my left. My whole body is itching. I'm really concerned. There is pain in my lower bottom as well. I don’t know what to do. I'm on 5 day tablets but nothing else as I'm not able to get to the doctor.

Comment from: Linda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I am female, 65 and I wanted to share my story. I received the shingles vaccine (Zostavax) and 9 months later I had a shingles outbreak. I have now had recurrent shingles (6 times) in the exact same place every 6 to 8 months. I usually catch it right away and just have a mild rash as I get the anti-viral medication right away. The worst part for me is the nerve pain that occurs in different places within a week to ten days before the rash appears. Wonder if this happened to anyone else who got this vaccine.

Comment from: Judy , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I have extreme muscle spasms in my left leg with the shingles.

Comment from: Gemini, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 29

My shingles was a touch different in that I randomly vomited, then next day I had a quarter size spot with blisters (I thought spider), and by the next morning I had a blisters, rash like others. I panicked thinking bed bug allergy. It never itched, it hurt hard core. Because I have a back injury I blamed sciatica the week before this. Finally 4 days after the blisters I went to the doctor who isn’t sure medicines will help because it was active so long. It is akin to breaking both bones in the forearm backward. It wakes me, throbs deep, and stings.

Comment from: Dakmar, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I had internal shingles twice last year. It took me out for a total of 8 months. It was horrible. I couldn’t keep from screaming. Seriously. I never hurt this bad in my life. I had been using a good protein drink with vitamins, etc., but had stopped. I was pretty convinced this was why. It wasn’t diagnosed because I knew they’d put me through the mill with tests. I had no rashes. Today I have a muscle spasm for no reason. I hope it’s not shingles again. Torment.

Comment from: sid, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 26

I had shingles in 2006 down my right leg. It was extremely painful. I had sores all over my leg (following the nerve). What helped me the most was seeing a chiropractor, it took about 10 to 15 visits to the chiropractor but I was cured 100 percent in about a month’s time.

Comment from: Lukey94 , 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 23

I believe I have shingles and have had it every year, sometimes twice a year since I was 12. I'm 25 now and still get it every year. It appears on my lower right back, and gives sharp shooting pains across my stomach and sometimes both sides of my stomach, so sensitive to the touch. I've never gone to a doctor or tried anything to get rid of it because I never knew what it was.

Comment from: CvilleGordo, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 22

Last Wednesday I developed deep pain around my rib cage on the left side, and thought I had injured myself working out. Friday, I had red blotches on that side, Saturday blisters, classic shingles; more and more painful. I started anti-viral medication and gabapentin on Monday. Pain got steadily worse. Now Thursday, pain is severe, impossible to do anything without pain. Skin is sensitive to touch, blisters are starting to crust over, can't sit, lie down, walk or drive without severe pain. Gabapentin is not helping.

Comment from: Stephen , 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 22

Around three weeks ago I developed shingles, they formed blisters on one side of my face and neck. They dried up and cleared. My concern is that I now have developed small red spots which have a burning sensation. These spots keep appearing on the area that I had shingles.

Comment from: Michelle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

First I am sorry for your pain! This is week 3 of shingles going into 4. The rash is on the right stomach, side, and back and is still slightly visible. Sadly, the pain actually seems to be getting worse. My skin is ultra-sensitive to touch; burning when brushed by fabric or lying down. And sometimes for no reason my whole torso begins to sting like I have a hundred jellyfish attached to me. I also get occasional stabbing pains in my belly, back, and side (and outside the affected area). Medication is not working. Rats!

Comment from: Di , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I’ll deliver a baby naturally every day this week if someone will take this shingles pain away. The worst thing in my 56 years!

Comment from: Rea213435, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I had sharp stinging pain like a knife tip on the middle of my back, followed by intense pain spreading to the back shoulder and side. The shingles rash started on my spine and wrapped around the upper torso day by day, each section with intense pain, sensitivity, and then rash. Calamine lotion helped first, then Aspercreme with lidocaine, along with gabapentin, Effexor, and Tylenol 3. I’m still suffering nerve pain and muscle spasms 4 weeks later and am hoping each day will get better!

Comment from: Kari, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I had tremendous discomfort and tightness around my torso radiating around to my back and up my left shoulder for 2 days. I thought I might be having a heart attack so my husband took me to emergency. All heart tests, CT scan, stress tests, etc., ok except my blood pressure (BP) was over 200. Cardiologist prescribed an additional BP medicine and statin and sent me home. Two days later I broke out in nasty blisters and rash under my left breast around to my back. Knew it was shingles. I put on Valtrex and still in pain. When will this end!

Comment from: 2ndtimer, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

At 50, I had a typical case of shingles with a semi-circle of blisters from my spine to my breastbone on the left side. The intense pain was all from the rash. I took an antiviral medicine and had no nerve damage. Twenty plus years later I have a less dense rash that hurts only if touched and is only on my front, but now I have constant pain as if I have broken ribs. About 2 to 5 times an hour, I feel a kicking and stabbing pain for 10 or 20 seconds, making it difficult to breathe or stand straight. I'll get the vaccine now.

Comment from: Brat , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I was cleaning the yard and thought I pulled a nerve on my right shoulder blade. I went to urgent care. I then found out I had shingles. I had bad pain inside and out and 10 days later I still have pain. Rash is almost gone, but I have lupus, mixed connective tissue disease, an auto immune disease. I am on a high dose of oxycodone but not much help. I wonder if anyone else experienced pain after having shingles, or if this is all connected to lupus or connective tissue disease.

Comment from: ted in mississippi, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

My shingles symptoms started with stabbing pains in my back, below my shoulder. I thought it might be a pulled muscle. Then I began getting more pains in my back and chest that seemed difficult to locate precisely but hurt a lot. I thought maybe muscle spasms or referred pain from kidney infection or stones. Monday morning I went to the doctor. He looked at my back, saw the rash and said 'shingles'. It still hurts a lot everywhere.

Comment from: Joan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I am a 67 year old female. My shingles started with burning and tingling followed by very painful blisters. I can't stand to have them touched and the slightest breeze hurts terribly. My shingles are on the bottom of my toes! Never heard of this! The doctor gave me Valtrex for 7 days. It's been 3 weeks and I'm still getting new blisters. Very tiny, yet very painful. I can't wait to be over it. I'll be making a beeline to the pharmacy for Shingrix!

Comment from: Di, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 21

My first symptom of shingles was a stabbing pain on my upper back, felt like a knife, bee sting and/or bug bite. But nothing was there! After 3 days a red, burning rash appeared on my armpit, and I thought the seam of my t-shirt gave me a rash. Then 12 hours later my back had a bumpy rash where the stabbing pain was days earlier. I went to the doctor, she put me on Valtrex for 7 days. Some blisters appeared. Lots of unbearable pain! I did tons of research, made a concoction using essential oils, and this has helped with pain as well as healing. I have phantom pains.

Comment from: ithurts!, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

At first I thought I had lung cancer or breast cancer. I had a deep pain on my left breast area. Next the pain became more intense and spread to my neck, left shoulder, down my arm to my wrist and fingers. On the 3rd day I noticed 2 small patches on my left upper arm with the infamous blisters. I went to urgent care today and found it is shingles! They prescribed valacyclovir 3 times a day for 10 days. My shoulder, chest, forearm and wrist feel like a truck ran over me; like I've been ripped open. I wonder if I should use aspirin.

Comment from: Sandy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with shingles. I broke out on my face, head and neck on the right side of my body. This is awful. I was prescribed antiviral medicines and the rash went away rather quickly, however I still have pain in my lower back and above my hip bone. Wonder if anyone else has this problem. Just wondering if pain can move down the same side of the body even if rash is gone.

Comment from: Meechelle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I was diagnosed with shingles one month ago. It started out as an ulcer on the tip of my tongue and then one on the bottom of my right lip. I had a weird rash in my ear. I also had pain on my head down to my neck and on my back bottom teeth. The dentist said I didn't have any tooth issues. I then saw my doctor and she told me that I had shingles. I had it on my head, in/on my ear, cheek, chin, lower lip and in my mouth. It's been awful and now I am dealing with the excruciating nerve pain.

Comment from: mercy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

My shingles started Friday with a headache and dizziness, and I thought I was getting the flu. Saturday headache was worse. Sunday I had headache and exhaustion, and slept most of the day. I went to work Monday with headache. Tuesday 1:30 am I had excruciating pain in the left side of my face, and I thought I was having a stroke. Doctor thought it was migraine (under stress). Wednesday I had headache, face aching, and red rash appeared at 8 am. When I saw the doctor at 1030 blisters were already forming. I started antibiotics but headache is still excruciating; I’d rather have a baby.

Comment from: KMichelle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

Starting around April 12 I woke up with a stiff, sore neck and on the 13 I began to experience left sided facial tingling, burning, and numbness. This sensation was on and off for a little over a week before I noticed a collection of so-called 'bites' on my waistline, which came to be identified as shingles. I started Valtrex immediately and the rash seems to be clearing up. Unfortunately today, May 13, I am feeling the tingling sensation on my left side of my neck, jaw, and face again.

Comment from: Shingles2019, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I just turned 50 and guess what I got for my birthday! Shingles. Ugh. I started with pain under my ribcage which moved to upset tummy. I thought I was passing a gallstone. When I saw the rash I thought I burned myself with the heating pad. I was pretty sick before the rash even came out. I usually have intense pain in the evenings. I have to limit my activity during the day also. I wonder how one works with this! I have been out a week and can’t see myself returning anytime soon.

Comment from: YOMO, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 29

I had used an electric massaging machine to relieve a backache and two days later, I developed a rash which initially looked like ringworm. I also had sharp shooting pain like an electric shock going through my right hand. Two days after which I realized I had the typical shingle blisters. The pain is excruciating, especially the jolts of shocks. The doctors said I cannot take the vaccine as the problem was too advanced. You need to take the vaccine within three days from the symptoms.

Comment from: della, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

Ten days before the shingles blisters I had severe pain in my left arm, felt like a pulling, stabbing in arm, then in the palm of my hand 2 days later, numbness in 2 fingers and up the arm to the elbow. Doctor said it was pinched nerve, started physiotherapy, got worse after the second visit which was the 10th day. Pain got so severe I put my arm in warm water it was like on fire and I saw blisters in a circle on the side of my palm and 2 blisters on the little finger. Then next day from the little finger down in a straight line almost to elbow I had larger blisters.

Comment from: N/A, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 02

My shingles first started with two sharp pains in my groin. Then about 3 days later I developed a rash which I thought I picked up from my job because I work in a laboratory. I took a Benadryl pill and put some Benadryl cream on it; oh how I was wrong. The next day I was full of water filled bumps on my inner thigh, not itching nor burning. I was misdiagnosed twice with Molluscum contagiosum. I went to my dermatologist and he diagnosed me with shingles. The postherpetic neuralgia is horrible. I am taking gabapentin 600 mg and Lyrica 150 mg.

Comment from: 3rdtimewithshingles, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 02

The trigger for my shingles I believe is, the last 3 months of life was much more stressful than average troubles. I went to Urgent Care for a believed ear infection. I was diagnosed with shingles, for the 3rd time. My symptoms are all on the right side, tingling ear, ear pain, and jolting twitching zingers starting from ear up to forehead and scalp. From ear to jaw line, I feel burning. From ear to nose, there is general pain. I also have soreness in my shoulder, sometimes itchy, general headache, no rash, very low back pain and tenderness.

Comment from: ReneeC, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

I kept waking up one night because of pain in my upper rib cage, like I had simultaneously been bruised and sunburned. The next day, I had a fever and the pain expanded on my right torso. I did some internet doctoring and read about shingles. I messaged my doctor, she said to call immediately if a rash developed. A day and a half later, the rash started on my right torso and back. I was prescribed antiviral and steroids and now gabapentin. The pain grows every day anyway. I cry. It's debilitating.

Comment from: Kwartel, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

Weirdly, the shingles rash developed super quickly for me. I didn't notice anything wrong until 5 nights ago when I felt a slight uncomfortable sensation on my back. I reached back to touch it and a blister popped under my fingers. The next morning an entire blistery rash had formed round my back and my chest on one side and I knew I had shingles. And then the pain came. Ouch. I'm feeling slightly better this morning after 2 intense days of sweaty, shuddery pain. I'll never underestimate shingles again.

Comment from: Theresa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

Three weeks ago I had my daughter take me to emergency room, I thought I was having a heart attack. The pain in my chest and left breast was terrible. After an EKG, stress test, and sonogram, heart is healthy. The pain in my chest stopped but then my left side and under my left rib cage started to hurt. Pain was so bad I couldn’t even lie on my left side at all. After 2 days a small rash appeared under my bra strap and then shingles was diagnosed.

Comment from: Sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I got shingles 2 years ago on my left shoulder and white sores showed up so fast. The burning on my skin is still there and the nerve pain is so bad. I do go to a pain clinic where I receive lidocaine treatment once a month and I take cannabis oil which works well.

Comment from: lime, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I was diagnosed with possible shingles, and am taking 800 mg of acyclovir every 5 hours. I wonder if anyone here had luck kicking it when discovered early. The symptoms seem very similar to those I'm reading here. Shooting pain in ribs and near the hip (originally thought it was an issue with my appendix or kidneys), and extremely sensitive skin. Again, just wondering if catching it early has helped anyone here.

Comment from: Sarah , 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 05

I had a rash and itching low back below L-4 and L-5. Pain and blister from shingles started by the left buttock. I was prescribed Valtrex first and later gabapentin 100 mg for postherpetic neuralgia. I am now with complete numbness on my left buttock and up to near L-4 and L-5. Now I am on 6 tablets of gabapentin daily. When will numbness get better!

Comment from: Kari, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I had a pain in the back of my neck, shoulder and towards my back from shingles. Now my shingles is going away but the pain is too much sometimes.

Comment from: BenoffJ, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 04

I am 40 years old. I was diagnosed with shingles 9 days ago but had signs 3 days prior. Started with sharp pain under my right eyebrow and a little red patch below the right eye and nostril. Day 2 and 3 pain was more frequent and intense, additional spots began swelling with pus on them, and formed 10 plus spots in my mouth. Day 4 the side of my face was numb (pins and needles). Emergency room trip diagnosed shingles immediately. I was put on valacyclovir, cephalexin, and prednisone. Now 14 days, my skin is red (improving), pain is the same, and I am also edgy (very irritable). It’s awful!

Comment from: Bill_H, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 31

My shingles started with a very tender/sensitive feeling on my stomach and back on the right side. Then I developed the rash. After the rash developed, I felt a bit of pain and a lot of discomfort. The rash is slowly clearing up, but last night I could not get comfortable and felt like I had a kidney stone, which I've had twice before. I knew it was the shingles still, and had to put on lidocaine cream and take some ibuprofen. It's better this morning and I hope it doesn't return. I still have a bit of pain.

Comment from: vicious743, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 18

I started with a pain in my lower chest and thought it was from working out. A few days later, a rash appeared on my right side. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with shingles. He prescribed medication for 7 days. After 3 weeks the rash has gone less visible. However, the original pain that I had is worse than ever. If I sneeze it hurts, if I bend it hurts. It is still numb and feels like I was hit on the ribs. I don't see any comments about after the rash effects.

Comment from: Gigi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

My shingles started with horrible chest pain, numbness down my left arm and deep back pain. I finally went to urgent care. They did an EKG and it came back perfect. The doctor touched my spine. I flew out of the chair, and the doctor asked me to show him the rash! It was what I thought a spider bite. I was prescribed an antivirus medicine and pain killers. It’s been almost 3 weeks and I’m still hurting. I’ve worked every day through this and it’s the most pain I’ve ever had. Seems like nothing helps the sharp pain in my breast.

Comment from: Kat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

It wasn't a mosquito bite on my itchy, swollen hot ear. I developed cellulitis from what was diagnosed as shingles. I felt fine except for an occasional ear canal pain, and what I thought was a strained muscle in my shoulder area. The doctor treated me with an antibiotic and viral medicine. By the 3rd shingles tablet my brain felt like it was pushing through my skull! Vomiting ensued. I stopped taking the virus tablet, and my headache stopped within 24 hours. Itching and the slightest burn feel on ear and jawline remained for 2 weeks. So grateful!

Comment from: Hadley3, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

My shingles started with a sore throat and headache, thought it was strange the sore throat was on the left side only. One week later the pain started in my left shoulder and I thought I had a pinched nerve. It progressively got worse over the next 3 days, shooting and stabbing pains to the point the pain was unbearable. I noticed 3 blisters appear just below my shoulder. Doctor diagnosed shingles and started me on antiviral drugs straight away. I would opt for labor pains any day, it was the worst pain ever.

Comment from: JustMe, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

On my right wrist I appeared to have a couple of bug bites. By evening I was itching just below my waist on the right side. Lots of tiny red blisters! Shingles. I had it 7 years ago. I called my doctor and got famciclovir 3 a day for 7 days. I'm not experiencing much nerve pain but conclude that the nerve pain took place for about a month in my low back, right side and subsided a week ago. I received the new 2 part vaccine, and the last one 6 weeks ago. The itch is horrible!

Comment from: LizzieB , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

For about 3 days I felt like I was having a heart attack from the pain on my left chest and shortness of breath. I went in for an ECG and chest x-ray - both normal. Next morning I woke up with the shingles rash and was prescribed anti-viral medication. Next 36 hours it felt like random jolts of electricity and burning skin. Now 18 days later, and my arm and left breast still feel like a terrible sunburn with a severe pulled muscle pain accompanying it. I’m on Neurontin for pain. Shingles is terrible!

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