Main Article on Shingles Question: How was your case of shingles diagnosed? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Angel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 24 I started with pain that the doctor thought might be pancreas, gallbladder or spleen. Blood test, stool sample and then an ultrasound showed nothing. When having ultrasound I had very sore raised-up area of skin and rash had appeared on the left side under my ribs. The doctor diagnosed shingles and started antivirals. The pain was the worst I have ever felt. I took strong painkillers and the unbearable pain eased after 4 weeks. Six weeks on and I still have severed internal episodes, extremely tired rib area, and chest pain too. Comment from: Petisa61, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 24 My stomach started hurting and a scan showed inflammation in a pancreatic duct so I thought I had pancreatitis. A couple of days later I developed a rash on one side of my trunk and an intense pain under the rib cage and back. My rash turned into itchy welts but not blisters. My doctor said that I have a combination of exterior as well as internal shingles. The weird thing is that I had two doses of the shingles vaccine only 10 months ago. Comment from: Micheley, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 24 My shingles was diagnosed in the emergency room (ER), because, after three days, I couldn't take the stabbing, aching pain in my right lower back and side. I could barely walk. I felt weak, exhausted, and slightly nauseous. I have had no rash but have been taking Valtrex for six days. One more to go, but pain has increased today. Sigh. I am sad to hear of all the pain this virus causes. I do feel the pain worsens around my abdomen and back and side when I try to do more work. I will definitely be checking back here. Comment from: Candym., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 10 My shingles started off with a feeling like pinched nerve in my neck, down my arm. Then I was feverish, then fluish, and feeling very painful on the left side. Then I thought it was bug bite and went to the doctor. I have blisters on the left side with red patches. Here I am in the most painful part, and it hurts so bad, like burning, itchy pins and needles up and down my arm. I do not wish this on my worst enemy! Comment from: Cal the cat 1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 07 Shingles started about 5 to 6 days before the rash appeared. I had a sore under the arm and a tickly ear, both on the right side. The underarm pain spread down my arm to the elbow and I had sharp stabbing electrical shock pains that went to the back of my neck and shoulder blade. My ear felt like a big bug was moving inside it. The rash came out 5 days later from my underarm to nearly my elbow, only about 14 spots, but I knew it was shingles as I had looked up the pain beforehand. I took acyclovir which stopped the blister. Comment from: Rhonda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 05 My shingles was diagnosed by a doctor. They were on my right eye, face and head. Comment from: Anita J, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 09 My shingles first broke out 39 years ago. It is across my lower lip. It starts off like a cold sore. I have never had a cold sore before this developed. It swells up across my lower lip and becomes very sore. I can also feel swelling across my lower face on the same side. A crust eventually breaks out. It can lie dormant for years. It raises its ugly face again if I am run down a bit. Comment from: sclark, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 21 I had a pain in my stomach, under my left rib, which radiated to my back. There was no way to get comfortable. I spent several nights trying to ease the pain and nothing worked. My doctor thought it was acid reflux. I drove myself to the emergency room (ER) and they gave me morphine (which took the edge off temporarily), again no diagnosis. I had sleepless nights and finally saw a couple of shingles spots. It was 10 weeks before it was better, but a year later I still have problems with nerve pain and exhaustion. My quality of life is not the same! Comment from: Smoothknott, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 10 I have reoccurring shingles on my right eye. I woke up last week with my bottom eyelid itching and burning. I knew the feeling. Saw my eye doctor on Friday. I have them on my cornea! I can't see well. This time I am so sick with pain and my eye is so swollen I can't see, to drive. I also have scar tissue on my cornea from the last few times. My eyes burn because they won't dilate at the same time. I can't get a shingles vaccine until I turn 50; 3 more years. Comment from: WLCTF, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 27 My shingles started with a dull throbbing pain that came and went behind my right eye. Then it felt like I had pressure on the inside of the right side of my nose. I thought it was either an allergy or sinus headache. A day or two later I noticed a small pimple like mark on the right side of my nose and thought it was a pimple. After that, it broke out all over my face and head. Per my primary doctor I have shingles, on temple, eye, nose, forehead and scalp. Going on 7 weeks this week. I'm healing but not there yet. SLIDESHOW Shingles Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Vaccine Facts See Slideshow Comment from: Jerry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 19 I started feeling feverish and nauseous and then developed lower back pain and sensitivity around my left side waist line. The pain worsened and red blotches appeared. I was fatigued but got almost no sleep. I was then diagnosed with shingles. Four weeks later, the stinging stopped but backache and side pain persisted - I swear I must have torn a muscle. Then the aches suddenly stopped. I have been advised to have a dose of anti-viral on hand in case I ever feel a recurrence coming on. Comment from: emma, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 05 I was diagnosed with shingles, from the rash appearing. It started with pain in my neck and back. On the 6th day I was in agony, the pain was from the middle of my back that radiated around my left side under my left breast into my lung area. The internal pain is awful. On the 8th day a small lumpy red rash appeared on my left side, near where all the pain was! I've been given antiviral drugs to take (acyclovir) 800 mg, 5 times a day. And I requested some nerve pain blockers. Never known internal pain like it! Comment from: Desperateintexas, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 28 My shingles started as a really bad headache, eye ache and tiredness. I went to the emergency room (ER) for headache but was not diagnosed for 3 more days (when bumps appeared). Antivirals were started, but too late. I was in bed with face pain for 8 weeks. My pain subsided but itching on scalp and eyelid became horrible. Now I am on month 7 and still feel horrible even with pregabalin, nortriptyline and gallons of lidocaine. Nerve block and non-ablative pulsed radio frequency treatment have not helped with itch but helped with pain some. Comment from: Marie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 I am 27 and have just been diagnosed with shingles. It began with a headache and itchy skin which then developed into a blister filled rash under my right breast, following a rib. The rash burns and my skin is sensitive. I have also been experiencing a 'heartburn-like' dull ache in my right side ribs followed by sharp stabbing pains. It has been about 5 days since the symptoms first appeared. Although the stabbing pains have eased off today, I have started developing flu like symptoms. Comment from: Scout, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 An on-call doctor diagnosed my face shingles 2 weeks ago, after I emailed an image (COVID era, I couldn't get an in-person appointment with my primary care physician). After 4 days, Valtrex helped with the excruciating blisters, swelling, nausea and vomiting, But I still have bad nerve pain around my face and in my head and right ear. I feel sick and exhausted every day. I hope there's hope that all this will improve. Note: When I first woke up with this thing on my face I assumed for 2 days that it was a nasty spider bite. Comment from: Jill08, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 03 My shingles started with the lymph node in the front of my right ear. I had swelling and a bump on my scalp, like a hard knot as if I had hit my head on something. I also had pins and needles on the right side of my face. I went to Urgent Care, they said they didn’t know what it was, to wait to see if it got better, and to use Selsun Blue for my bump. The next day my lymph nodes swelled around my ear down the neck and the other side of my neck. The doctor tested for mononucleosis, no. Came in for punch biopsy, but decided to treat for shingles. I am 30 years old, shingles on scalp, and no rash. But I don’t know why the ear pain! Comment from: Brenda, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 19 I had horrible pain in my stomach, abdomen, upper and lower back for 12 days. I could not eat for the last 3 days, collapsed and went by ambulance to hospital. I did get a rash on the 6th day in my lower back and stomach, but thought it was burn from heating pad. Hospital diagnosed shingles. I never heard of anyone having all that terrible pain internally everywhere with shingles. Wonder if anyone ever has had similar symptoms. Comment from: Cork, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 27 I was diagnosed with shingles 4 days ago. Six days ago I woke up with terrible pain in my back, between my shoulder blades. It persisted all day and was worse the next night. I didn't notice a rash until Monday, when I was diagnosed. I started antiviral medications, and have gabapentin plus 800 mg ibuprofen 3 times a day. I have times in the day when I feel OK, and others when it's miserable. The nights have been the worst part for me. I'm hoping for relief from the back pain -- for me that is far worse than the rash! Comment from: nitabreak2, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 07 After a weekend of heavy lifting and pushing, on Tuesday of the next week I developed severe sciatica pain on the left side. I put a sock full of rice heated in the microwave on the area as well as used ointments such as Absorbine Jr. The next day there was a rash everywhere I had placed the heat and ointments. I was in severe pain. I went to a minor emergency clinic and was told I had shingles. After 4 weeks I still have a great deal of pain in my left abdomen. IMAGES See Images Comment from: VTrea, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 20 About October or November 2019 I started feeling extremely exhausted, sleeping a tremendous number of hours, and had a hoarse sore throat. It all lasted till around February 2020 when I felt lumps between my shoulder blades. I saw my doctor, and he said it was shingles, which I had over 30 years ago, and too late for medication. I'm mystified over the huge amount of sleep everyday which is starting to ease. The bumps are almost gone now. Apparently I don't feel pain the same way everyone else does. Comment from: DavidN, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 10 Having a stiff neck was only a precursor to what was to come. After the blisters appeared on my neck, face, and scalp, I knew something was not right. And the painful sensation when touching the head was not right as well. A knowledgeable dermatologist diagnosed shingles almost immediately after I showed him the welts and sores on my right neck and hairline. The tingling sensation is also annoying as well as the sharp jabs of pain that come and go. I guess 3 to 4 weeks in the norm. Comment from: Josephine , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 03 I was 42 when I got shingles. I woke up one morning with what I thought was pink eye. A few days later I could feel a burning sensation above my left eye and then the rash appeared. It affected my scalp, forehead and eyebrow on the left side. Once the rash went away I still suffered from headaches and extreme sensitivity to touch. Almost a year later, I still feel some numbness and sensitivity above my eyebrow and my left eye has never been the same since the initial outbreak. Comment from: Hopethishelps , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 14 I get shingles from time to time - just 1 bump, and the precursor is ringing ear, then usually stiff arm or neck. Typically I’ll have a quick spell where I go to lift one of my arms and it can’t go up. On occasion I have experienced stiffness in a leg with limp, or can’t straighten it out; telltale signs. Then I get an itchy spot usually on my leg. Thankfully these have gotten milder as I’ve aged. Sometimes I don’t notice the spot till it’s at its tenderest stage, right before it clears up. Comment from: Gabrielle , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 05 So I’m a strange case. I’m 24 and I developed shingles on my face. It started off as a small spot on my chin that I mistook for a pimple. The week following I felt sick. Not like awful but generally unwell. Then one night the bump started burning! The next morning there was another cluster of spots and by the end of the day there was another. I’m in the first week and they are starting to scab up but it’s very painful. I’m on antiviral medicines and using anti-itch ointments and other home remedies. Comment from: J.J, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 23 I started out with a sore at the corner of my eye, and thought nothing about it. Within a week my face was swollen on the left side, with terrible pain going to the left ear. Went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with shingles. I only had maybe 4 blisters. After they cleared up, the nerve pain was horrible. They gave me gabapentin and hydrocodone which did nothing for the horrible attacks I would have, maybe 2 a day. Thank goodness it's been several weeks not having them but still have a very numb and sore face. Can't stand to touch it. No makeup. Comment from: Mommy18, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 31 I started with pain on the left side of my abdomen (can’t remember when exactly the pain started). By Saturday, I developed a rash on the left side of my abdomen as well as on the left side of my back. I went to the doctor on Monday and was diagnosed with shingles. The doctor prescribed acyclovir and naproxen (Aleve). Pain so far has been tolerable although the rashes are a little itchy. Comment from: Bibi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 09 I have had shingles on my right leg for the past 2 months. The burning is gone but the rash is not. Continually itches. I still take gabapentin and meloxicam. Yesterday, I felt a swelling on the left side of my neck. Today I took pictures with the phone (not easy) and it looks like the same rash on my leg. Wonder if it is possible to get shingles while recuperating from shingles! Say it isn’t so! Comment from: Endless misery, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 19 My pain and rash began 25 years ago age at age 39, shingles was diagnosed, and it has never left me. One set of sores clear to be replaced by another in a different location, but usually buttocks and lower back. I have had 25 years of constant unbearable pain especially at night when under bed covers. It is now worse than ever and on both sides of my body. I do not take medication for it. The pain, fatigue and general unwellness have ruined my life. I am not overweight, I eat healthily, and I do not smoke or drink. Comment from: terry , 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 12 I was getting ready to be released from being hospitalized for pneumonia when a rash on my left side was noticed by the nurse. Doctors were called and made the diagnosis of shingles. That was 1/11/2019. I have suffered with postherpetic pain to this day and there is no end in sight. I can't wear a shirt, it hurts so much. I use lidocaine ointment, taking gabapentin 1200 mg is all I can tolerate, and oxycodone when the pain becomes too much to bear. Comment from: Mj, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 12 My shingles started with cheek pain and pain all around my right brow bone on the eyelid. The doctor first said it was sinus infection, but the rash came next day, I went back and shingles was diagnosed. It has spread to my scalp and several lymph nodes are large and painful. I take antiviral medicines every 5 hours. It is day 3 of rash and the swelling continues, hope it levels out soon. More pain than I expected. Comment from: abc, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 05 I had extreme pain in my belly and left kidney area and nausea for 2 days. The third day, red bumps appeared clustered on my left back and shoulder. I thought I was having kidney problems, so I went to the walk-in clinic. The doctor had one look at my rash and diagnosed shingles. Feeling lucky that I caught it so quickly. I am experiencing a mild fever and sore throat, a bit tired, itchy. Comment from: Elderflower , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 24 I woke in the night with lower back pain and thought I had a trapped nerve. The pain radiated around my hip and buttock and by night 3 it was excruciating. Shingles rash appeared and acyclovir was prescribed. Now it is day 8 of burning pain radiating up and down my right side from shoulder to knee, which on its own is bearable with painkillers. But the sharp stabbing pain in the area of rash is something else again. I’d heard shingles was bad but this is quite shocking. Massive sympathy to anyone this strikes. Comment from: Kash, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 16 I am 31 years old. I am on day 7 with my shingles. It started off with a headache, 2 days later a really bad migraine, and then on day 3 bumps started showing up on the right side of my scalp. As days went the bumps moved onto my forehand and nose, and by my eye. Bumps, blisters, burning, tingling, pressure... so much pain and sleepless nights! It’s getting better now but the pain is still there and I don’t know if I can take this pain any longer. Comment from: Min, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 14 I woke up with pain in my mid lower back. I had it again on day two. Then I noticed a slight tingling. I went to the doctor and he saw tiny bumps on my lower back on one side. I was given anti-viral medication for shingles, and hydrocodone for 5 days. My pain got severe within 48 hours and rash broke out worse. I had to take Advil plus Tylenol too to stop the pain. I was prescribed gabapentin around day 7... it helped. I also developed a larger sore the size of quarter on my lower stomach. I use cannabis oil mixture with tea tree oil to soothe the rash, and it stops the itch. Comment from: Paris, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 25 I had bad sunburn feeling on neck, back, shoulder, arms, and hands; felt like boiling water had been tipped over them. For about a week, I thought I was going down with flu, my neck, shoulder and head began to ache badly, and I was feeling like a knife was ripping through my skull. Then the shingles rash appeared on my right arm and shoulder, and the spots remained smallish, only a few broke. The rash is very sore but clearing slowly, and some spots can be felt running the hand along my arm. Burning, feeling unwell, and the pain remain 2 weeks in. I was given acyclovir. Comment from: NOGOODFEELS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 24 I woke to bad mid-back pain on the left side that wouldn’t go away. Next 2 days added bouts of nausea, fever, chills, headache, and crushing pain under ribs and upper abdomen. No relief. Skin was super sensitive all over the left side. Day 3 I had rash on my stomach. I went to the doctor and yes, shingles again. Last time in “92”. I got gabapentin, valacyclovir and hydrocodone for my symptoms. I had blisters all the way around the left side from sternum to spine. Nerve pain is almost unbearable still and this is day 7. Scared I’ll have permanent nerve damage Comment from: Bunny , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 24 I started with 3 days of pain from my mid-back to the right to above my belly button. I thought I was getting pneumonia because of recent history, plus I was getting over bronchitis. Then I thought I cracked a rib or pulled a muscle. Scariest thought was maybe a pending heart attack. In 4 days I suspected shingles, and confirmed at urgent care. Pain level varied between 5 and 10. No fever but plenty of malaise, and no appetite, I lost 10 lb. in 2 weeks. Comment from: Nan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 09 My shingle started with burning and a throbbing pain in the neck and shoulder, with a lump on the nape of my neck that looked like a bite, and later two more pimple looking bumps. These in three days became a little larger in my upper back area. The doctor diagnosed it as shingles. It doesn't look like typical shingles rashes. Neck hurts like crazy from swollen gland and muscle aches but burning has ceased with antibiotic and gabapentin. Comment from: Alfiemp, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 28 I had severe pain in my neck which I assumed was pinched nerve. I noticed some very faint bumps on my forehead a couple of days later. The next day it was clear there was a rash. I got diagnosed with shingles the same day and went on Valtrex and pain medicines. I got worse still and the emergency room (ER) said it was in my eye. They did IV antiviral and gave me antibiotics for my eye. It’s improving since the ER trip. Pain is much more manageable and the rash has started to crust. The pain, at its worst, was pretty unbearable. Hoping the worst is actually over. Comment from: Valerie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 27 I went to urgent care with concern of a red itchy rash on my forehead. They diagnosed it as shingles and started me on antiviral medication. Immediately after getting home I picked up some witch hazel and tea tree oil and started to cleanse the rash with both, intermittently through the day. About 2 days later small scars started to appear and the rash was clearing up. Never did get any blisters and already feels better about 4 days after starting the treatment. Comment from: Peg R, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 27 My shingles started with flu like and sinus infection symptoms. I had horrible pure liquid diarrhea, and no appetite. I was hot and cold for days. High fever and at night body pain was excruciating (I am a long term chronic pain patient, so am familiar). I had my routine doctor’s appointment, discussed it also asked her to take a peek at the bumps on the back of my neck I'd found while showering. Instant diagnosis! I am on acyclovir 5 times a day. Comment from: PixieDusted72, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 I currently have shingles on my left side going from my spine to the breast. It began with a knotted muscle feeling in my back. I thought I lay on something in my sleep. It just kept getting worse. Day 3 of this I noticed a couple itchy spots and my skin was hyper sensitive. It just clicked that shingles was what I had. I went the next day for doctor’s confirmation and medicines. Horrible pain. Comment from: Patty, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 In January, I had viral laryngitis from an outbreak in the office. Six months later I developed shingles and after some research, learned that viral laryngitis can develop into shingles. I was lucky, I was just starting to break out after having a painful scalp, forehead and temple, and the doctor recognized it as shingles and prescribed antiviral medication. Two unorthodox things have helped, Zantac for swelling and Equate severe allergy plus sinus headache tablets for pain. Comment from: Ernie, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 07 I developed flu-like symptoms: a two day red rash that quickly vanished, the feelings of a bad chest cold despite no cough or congestion, extreme fatigue, low fever, aching, throbbing, burning back and leg pain. After 15 days, I was diagnosed with a respiratory infection and sciatica - both of which I protested. One week later I awoke to the tell-tale rash across the back and sought immediate care for excruciatingly painful shingles. Comment from: Andrea S, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 30 I have had shingles since I was a child. The first outbreak was near my bellybutton. I am 56 years old now and have had outbreaks my entire life. Although, I had an outbreak once on my neck and once on my face, historically the outbreak is to the left or right of my tailbone. Symptoms leading up to the outbreaks start with migraines approximately a week and a half before the outbreak occurs, followed by extreme fatigue, flu like symptoms, tingling, blisters and nerve pain. Comment from: Cyndi5, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 30 For months it felt like muscle pain all around, up and down my left rib cage. A week before rash appeared I got numbness of left armpit and behind the armpit, to below my shoulder. I week later, I was still having numbness, felt what assumed were spider bites on my back. Painful and itching, they grew in size to a circle the size of quarter. Thought fungal, but it was too painful to be. Two days later 2 more spots appeared, lower and curving downward to the lower left side. Then I knew it was shingles. I had flu like symptoms, and head throbs. Actually a mild case. Long pre-symptoms. Comment from: Beckyh, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 26 I woke up one morning with at least 10, what I thought were spider bites, on my rib cage. They hurt, burned and itched. After about 5 days my aunt looked at my “bites” and told me I had shingles. I thought I was too young (50). I went to the doctor the next day and he verified it was shingles. I’d waited too long to get any medicine. He told me to go home, rest, and take OTC pain medicine. I’ve had headaches, fatigue and stomach aches. My shingles rash feels like a radiating intense itch and burn. Comment from: Tooyoungforthis, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 I had nerve pain in the spine that wrapped around to my ribcage. Just woke up with it. I went to a doctor a day later and she prescribed me a strong anti-inflammatory medicine. My side kept tingling and my shirt would prickle against the skin on that side so I went to another doctor. She found a few small red bumps on my stomach and swabbed them to check for shingles; despite my 'young' age. Days later I went back for results and yes, I had shingles and had broken out into painful blisters that itch and burn. Comment from: KMR, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 18 I was misdiagnosed as having periorbital cellulitis. There is redness, itching, and swelling on my right eyelid. I completed 5 days of antibiotics. On the 3rd day of antibiotics, the swelling decreased, but a lesion opened up on my eyelid, and then another small spot followed. No actual blistering, but tingling, burning, throbbing and itching. I was diagnosed with shingles 8 days after the first symptom of tenderness and swelling. I am on a 10 day course of antiviral medicines now. Sensations are decreased. No new sores! Comment from: NV Kate, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 16 I went to urgent care with what I thought was a spider bite. I've had shingles 4 times in the last 10 years but never on my face. I'd like to post a picture of how awfully swollen I am. This attacked me above my right eyebrow. I'm feeling very tender right now on my right breast too. The urgent care doctor gave me prescription for Valtrex and a steroid shot for the swelling which helped a bunch and explicit instructions if I have vision problems to go to the emergency eye doctor right away! Comment from: Blance, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 12 First, I had very itchy spots on the left side of my neck and shoulder, and next day sore throat, general unwell feeling, lack of concentration, and feeling of needles pricking skin from inside of body. My headache, sore throat, and itchy feeling continued. I phoned surgery and explained my problem, hopeful for the doctor’s call. The doctor called and gave appointment later in the day. I was told it was shingle and given tablet. I felt relief after two days. I had cough and general unwell feeling, feeling hot/shivering, and tiredness for at least three weeks. Comment from: Shingles Varies, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 11 I woke up and I just didn’t feel right; exhausted. Everything hurt. I had sharp stabbing pains in the side of my neck. I called out from work and I made an appointment with the doctor. I was really surprised that she diagnosed shingles. I’ve had the vaccine 4 years earlier. From what I understand it is only 60 percent effective. And I’ve been under a tremendous amount of stress, which is a trigger. The doctor said that it manifested itself as a large blister on my lip. I had just finished antiviral medicines for that. Comment from: Natasha, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 25 When I first went to urgent care my symptoms were neck and ear pain, and what seemed to be a cyst at the base of my skull, all on my left side. The doctor gave me antibiotics for the cyst, pain medication, and muscle relaxers for the neck. Next day I noticed more “cysts” appear on various parts of my scalp. I went in again thinking the bumps were bug bites, but turned out to be shingles. The blisters spread to my neck and I am now waiting for them to scab. The pain has now mostly turned to itching! Comment from: mmc, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 21 I had 2 days of upper back pain that I couldn't figure out why. The third day I saw a rash starting above my right breast (front side of back pain). I knew what it was immediately (mom's a nurse) but couldn't get to the doctor until 36 hours later. Doctor confirmed it was shingles. The rash was across half my upper chest, under my armpit, and half my upper back. I was put on antiviral medication for 14 days, gabapentin (still on), and tramadol. Three plus weeks later I still have pain and cannot get relief. Comment from: Whodat , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 19 My shingles started on a Wednesday. I was at work and noticed a dull pain in the left side of my back. I assumed it to be a pulled muscle from work. The next day it turned into what felt like needles stabbing me from the inside. Then on Friday it turned into a searing burning pain, and itchy. I looked at my back and noticed a rash. I’m only 29 years old, I never in my wildest dreams would’ve imagined it would be shingles. I went to the emergency room right away they diagnosed me in 5 minutes! Now on medicines. Comment from: Gogoose, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 30 My shingles started with pinprick pain under my skin in several places on the left side of my face: on the inner eyebrow, temple and several places at the hairline. After a few days of this and a general feeling of fuzzy-headedness and lethargy, several bumps started appearing at my temple and eyebrow and my left lymph nodes were tender and swollen. I went to a doctor who insisted it was sinusitis. Over the next two days I developed a fluid-filled rash and my eye swelled shut. Finally got on anti-viral medicines for shingles. Comment from: Rama, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 29 I had a cold sore on my mouth, and got help from my chemist, but it didn’t help. My friend saw 3 little white spots by my lip and said it was shingles. My top molars on the left side seemed locked, not normal. My doctor referred me to my dentist, who diagnosed shingles. Antiviral and Co-codamol were prescribed. My mouth and nose were sore, after 6 weeks mouth, nose and lip on the left side are very sore and swollen. Amitriptyline helps me at night. I can eat now, but no salt. Wonder if I should continue with Co-codamol. Comment from: Itchy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 05 My shingles started severe abdominal muscle ache and spasms under the ribcage. It was treated with muscle relaxant that did not work. Then I noticed a rash starting on my back. Doctor diagnosed shingles and prescribed antiviral and gabapentin. I am now beginning week 4. I still take gabapentin 200 mg 3 times daily. Skin is clear but some I have some underlying pain in the abdominal region and rib cage. Hopeful to resolve and get off of these mind dulling drugs. Comment from: Chain on leg, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 09 I have spinal arthritis and since Christmas have suffered what I thought was flu. My immune system got rid of the cough fairly quickly 2 weeks. I could not sleep well due to arthritic back and my hip hurt, so one morning about 4 am I sat up and thought what I can do, I was so uncomfortable. I massaged my back and found the shingles rash. I had the appropriate medication from my doctor. Since then the exhaustion has been overwhelming. My rash appeared 25/1/18 so I wonder how long before I start to feel better. I wonder if anyone else had the fatigue for long. Comment from: Cathie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 27 I have been to a doctor four times in 4 months. The blisters were diagnosed as white tailed spider bites, diabetes, smoking/drinking and finally shingles. For 6 months I have been on antibiotics that did nothing at all except make me feel ill. The last doctor prescribed acyclovir which seems to help. I had it first on my back then the last outbreaks have been strange burn blisters down my arms and legs. It looks like burns, or something from the garden. Blisters that hurt, ache, then itch and I have a giant feeling of being unwell. I just want to sleep and feel like I have the flu or pneumonia. I have no idea why this keeps happening, my arm and now leg just keeps ulcerating. Christmas Eve it erupted again, there does not seem to be much information on what is happening to me. My eyes and ears are also affected. I can't see or hear. Before the blisters appeared I thought I had a kidney infection. Comment from: 700shirley, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23 My shingles started with a sore swollen tip of my nose. On the second day the swelling and soreness had moved to the bridge of my nose and between my eyes. The left side of my face was sore to the touch, but no pain. I was shivering by evening and my left side of the face began to swell and get hot. Both lymph nodes were swollen and hard on neck. I went to a doctor who thought it was early shingles. So I was started on antibiotics for facial infection, and anti-viral. The rash lasted about 4 days. Blistering was done on face and I felt pretty good. Then the neck and head pain started. I was confused. Usually shingles begins with pain and finishes with rash, but mine was different. The pain was on the back of my neck and up to the center of back of skull. It is now day 8 and I was put on new drug called Horizon for post-shingle pain. It helps but makes me drowsy. Now the hard part begins; waiting for the pain to quit which may take days, weeks, or months. By the way, I had Bell’s palsy on the same side of my face about 5 years ago. I believe there may be a connection. Comment from: Judyt929, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 03 I had a stiff neck for a couple of weeks, had recently had a major seizure so thought that caused the neck pain. I woke up Saturday morning around 2 a.m. with extreme neck pain. It hurt just to move or lift my head, plus I couldn't hear out of my left ear, same side as the neck pain. I went to an urgent care clinic and they said I probably had a pulled muscle in my neck, and they gave me a steroid injection and muscle relaxers; they also gave me antibiotic for ear infection. By Thursday I still wasn't feeling any better. After removing a heating pad from my neck I noticed a couple of blisters, and I thought I had burned myself. I mentioned the blisters to my sister who is a doctor and she asked me to send her a picture of my neck. I did and she said it looked like shingles. I then went to see my doctor who confirmed it is shingles and gave me anti-viral medicine and pain killers. Now it is 2 days since diagnosis and it still burns and hurts badly, but I can move my neck a little easier. I am only using lidocaine patch at night for pain. It helps a little, I have hydrocodone if it gets worse. Comment from: Frustrated, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 24 It started with a small breakage of the skin just below my left eye, in the cheekbone, caused probably by shaving. After a couple of weeks this had grown larger. I went to see a dermatologist who ordered a blood/culture. The results came back as shingles. By this time, more spots had developed on my left leg, chest, back and the face. There are a few spots in my hairs. Immediately I was sent for a series of antibiotics (IV). Now I am on antibiotics, taken orally. I notice that that one of the symptoms include itching, open sores. I do not have any of those. Other than that, apart from being fatigued all the time with no energy. Two or three times a day, without any warning I get this excruciating pain to an area above my left eye. This pain lasts usually around 5 minutes. Comment from: Cathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 05 It all started with a sore throat that didn't go away over a few days. Then I had a swollen gland on the left side of my neck. Left ear felt strange, but no pain. I saw the doctor and we both thought it was an ear infection. I went home with antibiotics. Next day I had fever with chills and was throwing up (nausea). This lasted two days. I knew something was really wrong when I had trouble walking the next morning. I walked like I was highly intoxicated but I didn't have anything to drink. It is called vertigo. I went back to my doctor with the aid of my neighbor and the nurse. He looked in my ear and saw the sores and rash. Perplexed (he's a PA, physician's assistant), he brought in the regular doctor. He tested me for nerve damage, looked at my ear and said I have shingles, and to go to the emergency room at the local hospital. They gave me mega doses of anti-viral medicines for three days and two nights. An MRI showed that it wasn't in my brain or my eye. It is called Ramsay Hunt syndrome. I still have a slight vertigo but I am in physical therapy for that. I got a hefty hospital bill. Three months later and my ear still itches. Massive rash and sores never developed. Thank you doctors and nurses. Comment from: countingblessings, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 29 Initially I went to an orthopedic/sports doctor when I experienced an excruciating pain on my right shoulder, I thought I did something to my shoulder when I played tennis two days prior and worked out at the gym the day before. I asked the doctor if my blistered (looks like burnt) finger and 2 pimple like rash on my right palm had anything to do with the pain on my shoulder. He laughed and said he did not think there was a relations between the two because he thought my hand symptoms looked like poison ivy. He told me to put cortisone on my hand and take 2 Aleve every 12 hours. Aleve did not alleviate the pain. The following night the pimple like rashes had spread on my hands and wrist and I was talking to my sister-in-law about my poison ivy symptoms and she thought based on her experience with poison ivy that mine was not, and said it could be shingles. I did not know much about shingles, so I googled it and came upon this forum. After reading the postings I was convinced I had shingles. I went to a family doctor first thing that morning who confirmed that I did have shingles. She prescribed an antiviral medicine and hydrocodone for pain. Hydrocodone did not seem to work so the following day I called her back, and she prescribed gabapentin that I can take along with hydrocodone. After 3 to 4 hours of taking gabapentin, the shooting pain was gone and whatever pain left behind was bearable, so I discontinued the hydrocodone the following day and was just taking Tylenol with gabapentin. I'm still waiting for all my sores to ripen and dry up but at least the pain is now just from the sores on my skin. I've been putting Desitin and sprinkling baking soda on the sores and that seems to help. This forum was a lot of help for me. That's the reason why I'm taking the time to post my experience also, hoping to help someone else. Thank you to all who posted their experiences before me. Comment from: happytobehere, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 22 I thought I had pulled a muscle in my back. For 4 days I had extreme deep ache in right hip and buttock, wrapping around to front thigh down to my knee. Day 4, I felt stinging and hypersensitivity in one area on my butt. Next morning there was a rash in the area of stinging. I went to the doctor the next day and was diagnosed with shingles. He prescribed acyclovir 800 to take 5 times a day for 10 days along with Tylenol 3 for pain. Rash has spread to all the areas where I originally ached but no visible blistering or oozing. I still get achy feeling in my hip and hypersensitivity on and off. I only take a Tylenol 3 at bedtime as that is when it usually hurts. I'm on day 6 since diagnosis and am coping well. Comment from: K, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 05 I thought I had strained my right shoulder and upper back (had past injuries) and phoned in refill for muscle relaxant. Before picking up the prescription and after 3 nights without sleep due to severe pain, I noticed rash under my arm and thought maybe razor burn. But by late afternoon it had spread across chest and burning like heck. I didn't want to wait until next morning and went to 24 hour walk-in clinic and was diagnosed with shingles. Actually I was quite fortunate I went there right away and was able to start antiviral therapy within 72 hours of rash developing and given Vicodin for pain. Rash did spread further across upper back to spinal cord and upper breast and down arm to elbow. I suppose stress of losing and caring for terminally ill sibling during the past year had caught up with me. Comment from: SandyT, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 03 On a Friday, throughout the day, I was aware of a sensitivity on the left side of my neck and top of my shoulder. I could see nothing there, so I just assumed it was irritation from a necklace I was wearing that day. By Saturday, a very small red spot appeared in the same area. My neck felt a little sore, so I began using a warm rice sock on my neck to relieve the soreness. By Monday, a couple of other spots appeared on my skin; nothing raised, just red in color. By Monday afternoon, I began having excruciating, stabbing pain in my neck and nothing would control it. The pain was like nothing I have ever experienced before, and finally got the best of me. A kind neighbor took me to the emergency room (ER) for diagnosis and treatment. Ice packs in the ER helped a bit. The doctor there prescribed pain medicines, cortisone, and several other medications, and the diagnosis was perhaps a pinched nerve. I was instructed to follow up with my spine doctor (as I have had low back spinal issues before). Tuesday continued with pain off and on with almost unbearable pain from time to time. Everyone kept asking me about my pain level on a scale from 1-10. During the worst episodes, the pain level was easily a 12 or 13, and in between the episodes, the pain level was a constant 8 at least. I went to my spine doctor on Wednesday, and, by that time, more red areas had appeared, and he quickly said he thought it was shingles and referred me to my regular family doctor. Two hours later at my family doctor’s, the diagnosis was confirmed, shingles. Five more prescriptions later, I have been dealing with this for another 5 days. The worst episodes seem to have subsided, but the rash and blisters continue and the neck pain just never seems to let up. Ice packs and ibuprofen have been my best friends. There is no doubt in my mind that I would rather give birth again than have to deal with shingles again. Comment from: Roo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 07 I have reoccurring facial shingles since I was 18 years old. I have had them 19 times, and they occur in the same place, but have traveled from my cheek to my eye twice. I ended up admitted to the hospital, put on a drip and stayed in for three days! They seem to occur every one or two years, but now it’s changed, as I had them at Christmas and actually have them again right now. Each time they come, the blisters and bigger and more severe. I have a blister the size of a wheel nut protruding from my cheek. Swelling! Comment from: Trisha , 65-74 (Caregiver) Published: November 10 I was diagnosed with shingles 4 weeks ago. It is the nerve pain that's so difficult to deal with. I am a brave person but never suffered anything as painful as this. It affected my back, underarm, right breast and down my right arm. The nerve pain is far worse than the blisters. Comment from: EmJ 1221, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 10 I have internal shingles that has been going on for a little over a year. Shingles started with horrible pain between my shoulders followed by rash on the middle of my spine. I took the prescribed medicines, then the shingles returned on my neck, shoulder blade through my scalp and into my left eye. Once again, I took the prescribed medicines. Two weeks later, I had worse pain in my neck with the rash reappearing and the doctor diagnosed me with internal shingles. I have always tolerated pain, I'm at a loss and need advice. Comment from: Janny, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 02 I have reoccurring shingles. I first got them when I was 10. I have had them 4 times (10, 16, 26, and 39). I was diagnosed once at age 26, by my doctor. No one knew what it was the other times. I don’t know what causes it. I am never sick beforehand, like with a cold or the flu. I’m thinking it might be stress. The first three times they popped up on my thumb, which has left permanent nerve damage. This time it is on my ring finger, strange. Comment from: John, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 21 I have suffered with shingles for over four years; it comes and goes. It seems to come from the central location of my thyroid and spreads to my ears and my face. The only thing I have found that stops the pain and the itching is thyme oil extract. It will burn for about one hour then it becomes numb so I can sleep like a baby. When I wake up, the stuff has dried up and flakes off in a couple of days. Hot showers with a shower hose helps but thyme oil does wonders. There is hope. Comment from: Tina, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08 I am 52 years old and I am on week 14 of shingles. It started out under my right breast going all the way around to the center of my spine with blisters and major pain. I was given medicine for a week. This has been the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced (I would rather birth children)! I was off two weeks of work and still was in pain the 3rd week. On week 14 there is just a slight rash left; the shooting pain, nerve pain is the worst thing ever! Comment from: Sangria70, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 21 I am 49 and been battling inflammatory arthritis. I have been on 2 DMARDS (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) and taken steroids in the last several months for flare ups. Probably how my immune system decided to unleash this beast called shingles on my body. I was just coming off having a flare when I started having neuropathy in my hands, arms, neck, and shoulders. I called the doctor immediately and he started me on gabapentin. By the weekend, I realized that I had a rib out and was in excruciating pain. Comment from: Haleyhouskeepin, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 18 At age 45 I was diagnosed with shingles. I am now 47 and still haven't been right. In 2017 my ear was acting up like I could hear my blood moving, or my heartbeat, but I just dealt with it. When I moved to Florida in 2018 I finally went in to see a doctor. Told her my symptoms and she referred me to an ENT. They did a hearing test, ugh. That wasn't what I was hoping for. I know I've lost some hearing. But they said they could refer me to someone else, I said ok, but that appointment never happened. I shouldn't have to go. Comment from: Keith, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 13 Two days ago I was diagnosed with shingles, and have a smallish rash on my left side, but the internal pain is excruciating. My doctor put me on to acyclovir, it is my first full day of taking it. Hope you are well. Comment from: Hans, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 11 I thought I had pulled a muscle in my back between my shoulder blades and then the pulled muscle feeling extended through my body. It was pretty bad. About a week later I started getting nerve pain and almost ticklish sensations in the subcutaneous areas in many spots in my upper body. Within 3 days I had the shingles rash and blisters formed. It was followed by more “pulled muscle” symptoms in my upper back and shoulders. My doctor appointment isn’t until Monday. Comment from: Atticus, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 19 I started with shingles on 1st January, it was 4 months of agony, and I still have days of debilitating fatigue and digestive problems. I could not have believed how I could go from a fit healthy person to this. It does get better, albeit slowly. Comment from: Tamme007, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 19 My shingles started with a bump behind my left ear. I had been having left shoulder and arm pain for months. I went and had so many tests and nothing! So the bump behind my ear dried up but the outside of my left ear starting burning and hurt really bad if I touched it. The next day I had a rash around my ear lobe and behind the ear, and the next day the back and front of my neck. It’s day four and now I have a knot under my ear that hurt really bad! I’m on medicines and hoping this will all go away. Comment from: Abblin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23 I am on my 2nd week with shingles on my right ribcage area. I finished my Valtrex, which has helped the blisters begin to dry up, but needed more gabapentin to help with the constant burning skin and spasms. I now have a 30 day supply and hoping this nightmare is over before I am out of pills! I am currently off work, due to the coronavirus, but am thinking about what kind of bra I will be able to tolerate when I go back. I am not busty, but do not want to go braless in public! Comment from: Shingles cursed, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 10 My shingles started a year ago with rash on the side, treated with anti-viral medicine and gabapentin, then steroids (which by the way was only medicine that took the pain away). A year later I am still on the gabapentin, took myself off narcotics finally last month (they had made me foggy). I found Tylenol, Advil and Aleve work just as well without the narcotics. The only thing is worry regarding my liver, kidneys, bleeding, etc. I still have, at times, debilitating pain; always some level of pain. Will try laser next. Comment from: Viv, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 27 It’s been over a week since I started to have cold chills in my body, mostly on my feet, legs and knees. It feels like running cold water and aching badly. Then the burning on my skin from the shingles is like lots of ant bites, and a feeling of a flu virus without the cold or cough. I have no energy, a massive head ache, but no spots, just so ill. Then patches with burning feeling on my skin came up with massive spots, plus I have neuralgia on my legs. I have still got awful fatigue at night and feel weak. Comment from: Rita, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 31 I have had shingles outbreaks for 30 plus years. The pain is always in my legs, with 50 cent size blisters that follow on my lower back. Until now. I just began experiencing shingle pain in the upper torso. Never in my life have I felt such pain. Ribs feel like they are broken or cracked, each breath is shallow and painful. Never had to take pain medicines before, and the hydrocodone my doctor prescribed brought the pain from a 10 to a 5. Waiting on the rash. Hopefully it appears soon. Comment from: Classymomma43 , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 27 I’m almost 43 and suffered my first shingles outbreak ten years ago. Three years ago I started getting a small outbreak every few weeks, sometimes worse. After many doctors and over a year, they finally put me on Valtrex. It helped for a while until I started breaking through and they had to up the dose. If I forget to take the pill for one day, I get an outbreak. As of a year ago all my lab tests have become elevated or positive, such as my white count, positive ANA, high sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. I am worried if it is cancer or autoimmune. Comment from: Hurtin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 04 It started with what I thought was right sided sciatica. Within 2 days I had a quarter-size lesion on my lower right buttock. Two days later the shingles rash was spreading across my buttock. At the same time I developed 3 dime-sized raised painful lesions on the bottom of my right foot. So painful to walk on these. Seems weird that the lesions are so far apart but I'm sure they are related. I also got a herpes zoster on my right labia which is the usual place I get these outbreaks which are related, in my opinion. Comment from: Maryt8m, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 The first time I had shingles I was 30 years old. It was on my back under my bra. The pain was horrific. Coincidentally I had an appointment to see my dermatologist. He injected xylocaine and Marcaine around the rash and instantly the pain was gone and did not return. Almost 30 years later I thought I had pulled a muscle in my back. It was shingles. No insurance, so I just endured. I've had it 2 more times even after being vaccinated. I believe I have it again. Taking acyclovir. Comment from: Sully, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 My shingles started with soreness in my back. Three days later the rash appeared. The doctor confirmed it was shingles and put me on anti-viral medication and Tylenol 3. The pain is intense and unrelenting. I’m in week 6 and still dealing with the nerve pain. Nights are the worst, I can’t sleep. I’m allergic to gabapentin and pain medication really doesn’t help. I’ve been on the verge of going to the emergency room several times. I’m told this can go on for months. Comment from: DebA57, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 26 I woke up around 3:30 am on Friday with my neck, back of my head and down between my shoulders killing me. I got up, took an 800 mg Motrin, and sat up until it began to ease off some. By then I noticed I also had pain in my right ear but lay back down. I woke up hurting again around 8:30 am. I took another ibuprofen, which I continued to take every 4 to 6 hours for the next several days. By late Friday night my ear was worse and throat was sore on the same side, I figured I had fluid draining from my ear. I was diagnosed with shingles after I went to the doctor. Comment from: ANM42, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 04 First time I was diagnosed with shingles I was 22 years old. I had a very painful rash in the form of a band that wrapped around from my back to the front of my chest, basically followed the band of my bra. Here I am 20 years later with a rash on the right side of my scalp and again diagnosed with shingles for a second time. I am completely healthy and fit person otherwise. I don't know or understand what could be causing flare ups. Very frustrating. Comment from: Andee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 31 I have had outbreaks of herpes zoster for 33 years. I was misdiagnosed repeatedly. I am now 55 and take acyclovir. Why my immune system is so repressed is unknown. I had for 10 years repeated outbreaks precisely on my tail bone, and/or right thigh. They would become huge and horribly painful. I now am having them on my upper buttocks right to left and as one cluster heals another begins. I must take prednisone as I have spinal arthritis and frequent inflammations. Comment from: Sherry, 55-64 (Patient) Published: July 10 I have facial shingles. It started with itching at the top corner of my forehead, and then wan tender to the touch. I developed bumps across only the left side, in my eye, and down the left side of my nose only. Left neck hurts to touch, but no rash. I have heard that it’s very painful; that’s putting it nicely! It just started 4 or 5 days ago. Comment from: Shan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 Red dots turned to blisters in the left side of my back and the front part of my trunk before I was diagnosed with shingles. Comment from: Snowqueen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 01 It all started about a week ago with chills which I didn't pay much attention to because I live in the north and have a very tender scalp. A few days ago, I started to get occasional shooting pain in my right ear. The following day a blister formed on the bridge of my nose and by night time the rash had developed on the outer edge of my eyebrow. Throughout the day, it began to feel as if I had sandpaper in my eye. Late yesterday, I noticed a lump in front of my ear. I have been fortunate that the pain is tolerable and I am mostly cold and tired. It has not been officially diagnosed by a certified doctor but my research and the rash point to shingles. It doesn’t help that I already have adrenal exhaustion. Comment from: Beth, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 14 Had flu 3-4 weeks ago followed by bronchitis. End of last week started feeling ill again - headache, tiredness now ear ache and pain that is covering a greater part of the left side of my head. Just seen doctor - no ear infection but it could be a muscular headache but my neck isn't stiff. However, I had shingles in this ear in 1988 and I had symptoms of shingles pain in my back last summer but no eruption. She is cautious that this might be the start of it again as I'm feeling ill and tired. Last time I had it I remember my neck ached - a new symptom on her. Taking paracetomol and ibuprofen alternately. She has given me a prescription for anti-viral in case it erupts over next few days. I sympathize with the person who described the pain on scale of 1-10 as 12. I can truly say that shingles in the head is the worst pain I have ever experienced including childbirth. The virus destroys the nerve sheath and ever since 1988, I have been slightly deaf and suffered intense pain in the winter. Comment from: Akhealth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 14 Noted a slight numbness or coolness with soreness to touch of left thigh for a couple days and it was so minor that I thought nothing of it. However, in a couple days I noticed a red raised area on left buttock that I really couldn't see very well even with a mirror. Next day it had grown and I noted a hand size reddened area on left front near pubis so I went to the doctor thinking it was either a bug bite, impetigo, or just maybe shingles. Actually I felt silly going to the doctor for a bug bite but I am glad I did. Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll go at the first symptoms; it was shingles so I am presently on Valtrex 1000mg q8h. So as of 2 days later I notice above areas, described, less in appearance but do now note a slight burning sensation on upper left back. Have a follow-up doctor visit next week. Comment from: Perry, Male Published: October 06 I was recently diagnosed with Shingles. This is a condition caused in those who had chicken pox. The virus stays in your system forever and you have to live with the thought that because it is hidden in your nerve ending in the spinal column it can raise its nasty head when the immune system is comprised of because of age; 50+. I researched this painful condition and found that Lysine, a form of amino acid helps in the relief of pain. Lysine is found in fruits, meats fish etc. STAY AWAY from nuts, seeds, grain products, spinach, seaweed, watercress, chocolate, gelatin and sugar. Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 03 Last Friday afternoon I notice a slight rash appearing on my right chest, by that Night it had spread around to my back. By Morning I couldn't stand the intense burning and itch so headed for the Hospital, no pain yet. I was seen and after a very quick look she said it was classic shingles pattern and prescribed Famciclivir. Because of Spinal surgeries the pain meds had held off the pain until then but now it was extreme. I read online that acupuncture works so I had an appointment for Tuesday to see. After fifteen minutes the pain was gone. It’s now Wednesday morning, pain is still minimal, it's not spreading and it's drying up. Thank God, but it has to be caught within the first Seventy two hours, or the Medication won't work. I feel for anyone who has this, I really wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Good Luck everyone. Comment from: PC, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 I have the same thing with shingles; horrible internal pain days before the rash shows up. Comment from: Shirley, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 04 Shingles is very painful, the rashes itch very badly, especially when you perspire. I was diagnosed, then the rash came, I knew something was definitely wrong. I did not even think of shingles, as I was told it is an old people's disease.