Patient Comments: Shingles - Symptoms & Signs


Please describe the symptoms and signs that you experienced with shingles. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: LAWRENCE, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 07

One morning I discovered a rash from below my knee to my crotch. Finally Urgent Care clinic primary physician diagnosed shingles. I was given valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram 3 times a day and told to stop after 7 days. I started using cream acyclovir 5 percent; be aware the cream is insufficient. I used 5 times for 4 days; no way. I have 4 extra tubes of cream. The pain on my knee is 8.5 out of 10. No continuous sleep any time of day. I am taking generic pregabalin 75 mg 2 times a day for nerve pain; Lyrica by Pfizer but it is generic. I can’t bend my knee, it is awful living with shingles.

Comment from: Nurse LQ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

The symptoms of my shingles are itching, burning, and tingling pain under the skin on my left breast, left armpit, and around the back of my left shoulder blade. Very painful, but no rash.

Comment from: freyasmom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

My shingles symptoms are open wounds on my right back, shoulder and upper arm for over 10 years. This time, the breakout continued up into my ear and scalp. Very painful. Extraordinarily painful.

Comment from: Senior Floridian , 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 29

I had a sinus cold type of infection for 2 weeks. I went to the doctor and started antibiotics. Four days later I started having an irritation on my lower left side. Just looked like a small rash of some kind. Then it got blisters. I went to the doctor and it was diagnosed as shingles. I started the normal 5 times per day drug for shingles. I also had prescription of lidocaine cream, and using large Band-Aids to cover sensitive areas helps some. Doctor said it could last 2 to 4 weeks. Sleeping is most uncomfortable.

Comment from: Tui, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I started with shingles on the left side of my torso. Then a few months later I had more shingles on the right side of torso. Currently I have had a single red spot on my palate and excruciating pain in the nerves on the right side of my face. I don’t know if you can get shingles more than once, however it seems I have had them more than once. The worst has been in my mouth. This has been the worst pain.

Comment from: Laura, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 25

After having a stroke and getting out of the hospital, I have got rash on the inner legs, tummy and it has spread to underneath my breasts. I wonder if this is shingles.

Comment from: Tracey, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

I'm about to be 32. In the last year I've had shingles 10 times! And weirdly it only appears on my left bottom cheek. I'm not on any medications nor have been. And nor do I have any immune disorders to my awareness. I'm healthy overall so I can’t understand why I keep getting them.

Comment from: StaceyAnne, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I had flu like symptoms for 3 week weeks prior to my outbreak of shingles. Two weeks before I ended up with hives all over my body, but they mainly concentrated on the right side of my body. I am not sure if anyone else broke out with hives prior to their shingles. I broke out finally last week and went to the doctor immediately. My breakout of shingles is on my right side, my right arm, stomach, back, neck, and thighs. Also I never had the chicken pox, only the vaccine.

Comment from: Designerdeb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

About 2 months ago I was away visiting my son and received a very upsetting news that my dog went blind. Within 2 days I started not feeling well and noticed an itch, a burning feeling on my chest slightly off to the right of my midline. As I was across the country I didn’t really think anything about it until I returned home days later and started having excruciating electric shock type pain running through my right chest wall under my armpit. Shingles was the worst pain of my life ever.

Comment from: gillcrusher, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 09

I had shingles affect my head, and the sores never erupted, just dried. It started 2 months ago, I am left with burning feeling on top of my head and forehead but not all of the time.

Comment from: Grandma, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I just got my second shingles shot of the two and my arm hurts as much as it did the first time. I am not a baby about shots, but this shot hurts going into the arm and hours later the upper part of the arm really hurts. I had to put an ice pack on it for some relief. This pain lasted 4 or 5 days with the first shot. I hope this second shot arm pain doesn’t last that long.


Shingles See pictures of shingles and other viral skin conditions See Images
Comment from: Dave, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 31

My shingles symptoms were similar to another patient. I was feeling off color for a few days. I had diarrhea for a couple of days. I thought nothing much of it but could not think of a reason. Pink red blisters suddenly appeared on my forearm and has now spread to wrist, hand, thumb, and shoulder. There was/is a slight tingling at times. I went to a Dominican doctor as I am on holiday. He treated me for symptoms and took a swab for analysis. After 3 or 4 hours of trawling the internet I am absolutely convinced shingles is the issue.

Comment from: SAB, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

Shingles started with a bad head ache, pain in my ear and in the hinge of my jaw. It was followed by neuralgia in my teeth, inability to chew because of pain, and tingling down my face, in my mouth and tongue. I had extreme skin sensitivity and pain where the spots developed. I also had swollen glands in my neck, a lot of swelling of my face, lip and inside my ear. I had a lack of appetite, an inability to swallow easily. I also had nausea, weight loss, and fever. I was left with nerve irritation, burning and pain, mainly at night when lying down.

Comment from: cwellik805, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 24

I had a fall off the bottom of a staircase. Nothing was broken but I had quite a bit of pain in my left groin. A few days later I would have random pain in my left leg, weakness in my left knee and three weeks later, doctor exam and x-rays showed no problems. Pain increased in random spots on the left side, then a painful rash developed. Didn’t think it was shingles because I had the vaccine in 2014, but it was.

Comment from: Anon45, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 19

Shingles randomly appeared one morning on my left forearm, itchy, and bubble type. I thought it was an allergic reaction at first, but it didn't go away after a couple days, so I went to a walk-in clinic and they told me it was shingles.

Comment from: Lynn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I’ve had shingles for 4 months. I broke out on February 16, 2018. The blisters and fever were only around 14 days or less. Where the nerves end the pain, tingling, felt like raw burning skin. The medicines have had so many side effects.

Comment from: Operamike, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

I developed what I thought was a small rash. I hated it because I was wearing a slightly heavier shirt and it was hot outside. I didn't even realize that it was there the day that I got the shingles. I tried staying near air conditioning and using ice packs thinking that would work. The rash, from a patch around the size of a Nerf football on Thursday, had spread from 3 inches above my navel around the right side of my body and on to my spine by Sunday. On Monday I was experiencing pain from the purple blisters that was so intense it felt like I had been shot in those areas. For the first few days there was no pain and there was just tingling, like caterpillars rolling around under my skin, so I thought of it as nothing more than prickly fever.

Comment from: Amy.Elizabeth, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I'm 44 and have had fever blisters 3 or 4 times on my lip, but 7 days ago only on my left side of face and left ear, plus all around my neck and lymph nodes it turned bright red, swelled up, felt like it was on fire, itched, and tingled. I couldn't lie on my left side from constant throbbing pain and I had a spiked fever plus little bumps I could feel under my skin but nothing wrong on the inside of my mouth or any cold sore on lips. The unbearable pain and scariness of watching this thing grow sent me directly to the emergency room (ER). (I had the chicken pox when I was 15 and a couple of cold sores on my lips once I turned 25 years old. I took over-the-counter natural vitamin lysine 1 a day for 45 days and never have had another.) I had just been through an enormous amount of stress and my shingles started literally overnight. I went to 2 separate ERs. 1 said it's the flu. They were obviously wrong. The other ER doctor looked at my face and throat and fever, pain I was in and exhaustion, and immediately said it was shingles brought on by stress and getting over the flu and a weakened immune system. It would get worse and I was contagious. She wrote me a prescription for Valtrex (antibiotic) and low dose of Percocet for (pain) but I couldn't afford them so for 5 days and nights I covered my eyes and closed the blinds while keeping the fan on and drinking liquids with cold washcloths and baking soda applied directly to the area. Today is day 6 and my fever is finally down and it is slowly I think going away.

Comment from: third-timer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I have one-sided nerve pain, nausea, and lethargy because of shingles.

Comment from: Tom, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 24

Initial evaluation was a pulled muscle on the left side of my back plus a feeling of bruised ribs also on my left side. I had golfed the day before my pain occurred and my first thought was that I pulled a muscle golfing before shingles was diagnosed.


What Causes Shingles? See Slideshow
Comment from: Inside Mouth , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

Pain on jawline and sensitivity to cold and room temperature liquids all on left side were my initial symptoms of shingles. Then a sore on the inside of my lip that looked like a canker sore. Another sore on the back of my tongue. Teeth on the left side ached so I initially thought it was a teeth clenching plus dental problem even though I wear a night guard on teeth. I also had soreness on the left side of neck and swelling and tenderness of underneath of chin. There was an increase in existing left ear tinnitus. Then two swollen spots with pin-prick spot in the center on left side below lip showed up. Another on the edge of chin. I thought they could be weird zits. I ended up going to dentist after a minor eruption happened on left jawline. The doctor was out of town for two weeks, and I wasn’t up for a wait at Urgent Care or the emergency room. The dentist tested teeth and determined it was shingles. He wrote an anti-viral prescription which I started that night. Next day after diagnosis two red spots appeared on chin during the day. Nothing looks like a true blister but I have itching and pain particularly in left ear, with tinnitus and some hearing loss. I sought medical diagnosis four days after two swollen bumps and canker sore appeared as there were no blistery outbreaks. Doesn’t fit the description perfectly but when you put everything together it is shingles.

Comment from: gill martin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 21

My shingles symptoms are burning skin, itch and shooting pains.

Comment from: Slinky24, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I had deep pain for two days and thought it was my appendix. I went to the hospital, ran blood work, CT scan and urine test. They said I had a urinary tract infection (UTI) and sent me home with antibiotic prescription. The pain was still there 24 hours later and I made an appointment with my gynecologist. He did a urine test as well as a pelvic examination and said I had a UTI but the pain was in an area UTIs do not occur in. He looked at my last colonoscopy results at the report and told me to follow up in 3 months due to mass, but I did not need another colonoscopy for 10 years. The gynecologist came right out and said he thought I had colon cancer from the mass. He called the place where I had the colonoscopy to see the doctor. The next day I went to the colon doctor. After he examined me and felt all around, he was stumped until he saw a small rash on my back. He said he believed I had shingles and sure enough I did. It is now day 10 and I am still in a lot of pain and the shingles are spreading on my back and stomach. They don't appear to be blistering. One person said to keep them dry, another said put cold compresses on them. Unsure what to do.

Comment from: Aussie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 26

About 10 months ago I noticed a cluster of bites on my upper thigh. I assumed it was from a caterpillar in the garden but no creams seemed to help. About 10 days later I developed what I though as a sore throat, typical for early spring. I noticed white spots on the back of my throat, then in my mouth, on the left side of my tongue and over the left side of the roof of my mouth. I still assumed it was a bad throat infection but I then developed a very painful earache. I decided to go to my general physician, who took swabs from my throat. I mentioned my upper thigh and a swab was taken from there. Both sites were confirmed as shingles. I had trouble eating and drinking, was admitted to hospital dehydrated, and lost 10 kg in about 2 weeks. The extreme pain eventually went away but I have been left with poor saliva production (I chew sugar-free chewing gum), diminished taste sensations and a persistent cough from the damaged nerves in my throat, I suspect my sinuses were also involved. The persistent coughing is very distressing and tiring and I'm finding it very difficult to get any lasting relief, 10 months after the initial attack. Now I have a very itchy and painful rash on my shoulder and am awaiting test results for that.

Comment from: deb9755, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

My shingles presented as a hard lump on the mid back of my head. It felt like a pimple or ingrown hair at first and there was pain to the touch. Then it started growing and masses of hard lumps developed along a line on my skull above my neck. At that point I thought I had an infection that was spreading in my head. I went to see my neurologist and by that point I had developed a rash on my neck from under my chin to the back of my neck. She diagnosed me with shingles and put me on antiviral medication and increased my gabapentin to 1800 mg which I take for restless leg and migraines. She also gave me a muscle relaxant. I went home and started to experience excruciating headaches that produced electric shocks that literally shook my body and made me grimace involuntarily. They would come every few seconds. Then I started feeling a sharp ‘ice pick to the brain’ feeling in my right ear. That was incapacitating. I felt small bumps on the back of my ear and spreading through my upper ear. The doctor then increased my gabapentin to 2400 mg, prescribed tramadol and doubled the dose of the muscle relaxant. I never really felt pain on the rash that was on my neck, only some itching that was relieved by lidocaine, calamine and Salonpas creams which had been advised. I've been on the antiviral medication for 6 days now and the lumps on my head have disappeared.

Comment from: Joanne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I felt so unwell for quite a few weeks, like flu, extreme fatigue, and muscle weakness, that I'd had lots of blood tests at the doctor’s. These all came back normal. Then the pain started, a ghastly stabbing and throbbing pain in my back and chest and breathing was painful, and I thought I was having a heart attack. It was the worst pain I'd ever felt. The next day I felt as though my skin and muscles were on fire, I couldn't stand my clothes next to my skin. Five days later I noticed what I thought were bites under my arm and on my back so went to the doctor, and he thought they were bites but that it might be shingles. I went back the next day as the shingles diagnosis seemed to make the most sense as it tied in with the unwellness I'd been feeling for several weeks previously. I'm now on acyclovir 5 times a day. The pain keeps me awake and there are more 'bites' appearing and my whole body feels itchy.


Shingles is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. See Answer
Comment from: Angee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 03

I have had shingles for 6 years now. At first one doctor thought the itch was a problem with my spine then another doctor said it was fibromyalgia. I now know it is shingles as I have pain at night and wake up with sore neck and shoulders, rib pain and wrist and ankle pain. For pain I get some relief from natural MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) sulphur, DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), and capsaicin cream. My symptoms are chill/fever and cold; flannel seems to soothe pain. I do not get rash. I also take amitriptyline in small dose, daily 10 mg, which blocks the pain receptors and makes me sleep at night. It is an antidepressant and is very mild at 10 mg per day. I get fluid in my ears and heat fever. I wake up feeling terrible. Good luck, shingles needs to be diagnosed and medicated as soon as possible otherwise it will return fiercer then before and stay with you longer. I still have it.

Comment from: Fras, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I am a 56 year old male. I had some headaches, then some sensitivity to light as I needed sunglasses sometimes outside, for about a month. I had stabbing pain in the right side below my rib cage and in the rib cage in the nighttime. I woke up like there was a knot in my rib cage. Getting in and out of chair triggered excruciating pain and walking up and down stairs the pain got so bad. I went to the doctor and was treated for torn oblique muscles. Then about a week later two spots appeared with 3 little dots in them itchy and burning. I went back to the doctor, who diagnosed shingles and put me on the medicines. I am healing nicely after only two days, so far so good.

Comment from: ani, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I started hurting in my lower shoulder blade and the pain ran through my chest wall, I felt I might have a pocket of gas or water in my lungs. The pain kept me awake through the night. The next day, I had a small eruption of blister in the middle of my back, but the worst part of shingles is the sensitivity of my skin from back around under the arm pit and toward the front of chest. It hurts to breathe and does not ease up. It feels like I have a really bad case of fluid in my lungs. I went to the doctors and was given valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram to be taken 3 times a day. Skin is very sensitive but internal chest pain is the worse part. I think I could stand the blisters and the skin sensitively but the pain from back through chest wall is the worst.

Comment from: Annabelle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I had a small rash on my left side of my neck and a tiny spot on my chin (left side). It hurt to touch and I also had an ear ache. The pain in my ear kept me up crying in pain, I couldn't stand it. I was given Lyrica for my shingles which did help as well as a cream. The rash cleared quickly which surprised the doctor. It has been less than 8 weeks but I still suffer pain behind my left ear, and skull pain on the left side is at times bad. I have several medical conditions and I am in pain all the time but this pain was beyond severe. At the first sign of a painful tiny rash see someone.

Comment from: tammi, Female (Patient) Published: January 19

In April 2015 I had Bell's palsy or Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Since then I have had vertigo and now shingles on the back of my neck. My shingles has not produced a rash or blisters, just itchy burning pain. Months prior to the Bell's palsy my ear would tingle and itch, still does from time to time. I get little ticks like electric shocks in various places, mostly upper torso. I am just about at my wits’ end. I had the shingles vaccine and still is all this is happening. My doctor and neurologist don't seem to know what to do. I am tired of being exhausted and dizzy.

Comment from: Wicked disease, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 15

On Christmas Eve I had sores on the right side of my scalp. Thinking it was spider bites, I thought it will resolve on its own. However, 3 days later, the sores (vesicles) appeared on the right side of my scalp to above my ear and down my neck. I went to my doctor who diagnosed shingles right away. I had my shingles shot 7 years ago. My doctor said the shingles shot does not totally prevent the disease. If you get the shingles, the duration and severity are decreased by over 50 percent.

Comment from: Jackie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I know of a few family members who had shingles but like most things in life until you experience it you don't know how bad it is. My back was aching for a few days but then the rash appeared. It went from the middle of my back to the middle of my front covering my left breast. I have never experienced pain like it. My head felt like it was going to explode, I didn't know what to do with my legs, the pain was that bad. I felt like I had a really bad dose of flu, also I felt like I needed to scratch all the time which was very painful but it was very hard to control not to. I wouldn't wish shingles on my worst enemy and I have a strong pain threshold.

Comment from: MG, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 22

My symptoms started about two weeks prior to the diagnosis of shingles. I started first with a stiff neck, back ache and unexplained headache, I couldn't seat or stand up for a long time. One day on a Tuesday morning after getting out of the shower I noticed I had three spots that looked like little pimples. I thought that was weird, and on Wednesday I had them more visible so I thought I should get them checked out, not because the rash was bothering me but because I wasn't feeling well at all. Finally on Thursday afternoon I went to see the doctor and it was confirmed I had shingles, doctor prescribed antibiotics of 800 mg 4 times a day. The rash spread out fast from my belly button to my left torso and a few rash on my left leg. I used 2 to 3 different medications because one my body rejected and the other one insurance declined. After 4 months I'm still battling with post herpetic nerve damage. I have used lidocaine patches and now I'm trying the ointment. I feel much better than a month ago but I'm currently still not the same I was before I had shingles. I'm still hoping to fully recover someday!

Comment from: Uncle Slick, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I am entering the sixth week of being diagnosed with severe shingles. My skin is clearing up and I am still experiencing throbbing intermittent pain. The rash was on the left side of torso, front, back and side. My problem is that after 6 weeks I am still unable to wear any clothing on my torso due to hypersensitivity of my areola.

Comment from: TooYoungForVaccine, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

I am 30 years old, and have had recurring shingles for 7 years now. This is the second time this year. Last year I had it about 4 times. The year before multiple times, as well as those prior. The first time it happened I was working in another country. The doctors diagnosed me and sent me on my way with medication. I stayed home from work for about a week. Some incidences have been worse than others not allowing me to continue on with daily activities. The last time I had shingles, they appeared on my leg, buttocks, and shoulder. I luckily do not have any of the severe pain each time but may feel like I have the flu and itching and tingling at the nerve ending. I wish I did not have to deal with this all my life and would like to be offered the option of the vaccine. They do not allow anyone younger than 59 have the vaccination. There are no known contraindications for that age limit in what I read on this site.

Comment from: DTolle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I woke up in the middle of the night with burning itchy feeling on my stomach and within a few hours it had spread onto my back, arms, legs, face, scalp and my feet. At first I thought it might be hives but they weren't welts but a red rash. It never got blistery but when the rash went away my right side of face and ear feels like nerve pain which I was having before the rash. I take lysine every day and this may be why I have a mild case and now I am doubling up on it.

Comment from: ginah, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I am 45 years old and I started having itching and numbness in my right hip and around the front and into my groin area. I thought I had a pinched nerve for about 10 days. One day a friend suggested that maybe I had shingles but I laughed it off because there was no sign of a rash. On about day 10, I found 3 bumps that looks like bites but they were really irritated at the very top of my hip. Right then I knew it was shingles. I waited a couple of days just to be sure. It got worse with burning pain in the bumps and I found more bumps in that area. I didn't mention my suspicions to my doctor but he said he was pretty sure it was shingles even though the bumps weren't really blistering. They might have blistered just a bit. He put me on Valtrex. The next 2 days were very painful in my entire hip and in my groin. I felt sick and wiped out. The next few days I could feel improvement. It has been about 12 days since my rash started and I am mostly better, I think! I get a little bit of pain now and then but I get more itching than anything. I also get strange bruising in my groin, like maybe it's from nerve endings. I plan to ask my doctor about it at my follow up appointment in 3 days.

Comment from: Starling81, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

My shingles pain started as a slight internal irritation when I would breathe in. It felt like I slept wrong or strained something. I also had a patch under my arm that felt itchy/sensitive deep under the skin. Slowly over a week the pain increased and spread from my breast all around to my back. It hurt with every breath. I went to my doctor who gave me a steroid shot and I fully expected to get better. Instead I got much worse and 2 days later I woke up and noticed the rash. I immediately went back in and got the shingles diagnosis and medicines. The pain was so intense for about a week I could not sleep through the night, I had to keep ice on my back/side 24 hours a day. Slowly the deep gnawing internal pain went away and I could breathe again, however I had a burning/itching below the skin that was intense. I have had migraines, brief fever, throwing up, dizzy spells, muscle spasms and I felt extremely ill for about 2 weeks. As the rash is clearing up the itching/burning has intensified and I am hoping it will go away soon. I would not wish this pain on my worst enemy.

Comment from: Ruth, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I am a 45 year old women who has been dealing with recurrent shingles for 11 years. I do not get a rash, and it is very painful. Sometimes it makes me cry. The first few times it occurred it was in my shoulder blade and shoulder and arm. I have permanent neuropathy in that shoulder and can’t wear regular bra. Later it developed in my hip and leg and neck and jaw. When it happened in my hip area, I thought I was having an appendicitis attack. Then my shoulder started to burn when I was sitting in the emergency room waiting to be checked and I knew exactly what was causing the pain. I don't know why I have experienced it in multiple locations, but this last outbreak is the worst and is not responding as quickly to treatment. I also hate doctors looking at me like I am totally bonkers. No other medical conditions, but I also had Bell's palsy twice, each time when I was pregnant. My warning to you is to have a prescription on file of Valtrex and to take every occurrence of unexplained pain seriously.

Comment from: Mingo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I am a 60 year old female. Five days ago I began getting serious pain in my right shoulder, underarm and breast. I thought it was a muscle pull. Since it did not get better I went to the doctor today. I was diagnosed with shingles. The pain is severe and nothing gives me relief. I am now taking Valtrex. I had shingles a year ago and it was very different. Last time I had the rash and itching from my spine to my right side. I got medical attention very quickly and it lasted a short time with minimal pain.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

About 10 days ago, I had some "bites" appear on my left breast, I just put some tea tree cream on as that usually works for the itching. But it didn’t. My neighbor thought they were spider bites so I went to the pharmacy and got some broad spectrum antibiotics as they were looking a bit infected. Three days ago, I couldn’t touch my breasts they were so tender and painful, a tingling/pins and needles/numb pain that had spread to my left shoulder blade. Doctor confirmed this morning I have herpes on my left breast and prescribed Zovirax cream and Valtrex, hope it kicks in soon!

Comment from: richbgmac, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 30

I was diagnosed with shingles within 4 days of discovering an irregularity near the spine in the small of my back. Within about 24 hours the lesions on my skin spread toward my left side and eventually near my navel. The stabbing pains were excruciating! I felt like a thousand pins and knives were relentlessly stabbing me. The only effective medication was a 6 hour regimen of Vicodin and Tylenol, but the narcotic effect of Vicodin disrupted my system. I suffered with a high level of intense pain daily for almost 10 weeks! Today most of the pain and skin lesions have subsided. Now I have extreme shooting pains just below my navel every day! A recent CT scan ruled out kidney stones. So I don"t know what this could be now! The doctor did mention something about a neuropathy that could linger after shingles and last from 90 days to years. Sure hope it"s not that. I have endured extreme/sharp pain almost 2 months.

Comment from: Nexus4, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 17

I only have 1 blister in the middle of my abdomen above the belly button with a larger patch of red skin. Another reddish patch a few inches lower but no blisters. It"s not the pain of shingles, but the overall lethargy even after 2 weeks. I have been groggy for almost a week, followed by general tiredness. In fact it"s not painful until after the blister broke and only felt like a cigarette burn blister. I have never felt so lethargic in my entire life, worse than my perforated appendix when I spent 2 weeks in hospital.

Comment from: Jeanne6101, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

A few days before I broke out in shingles, my shoulder and bicep area was very painful. I was very tired and had been fighting migraines for almost 4 months. I developed a rash on my upper left arm, and two days later, on my inner left hand that looked like insect bites. I went to doctor and she diagnosed me with shingles. She said, one reason I probably was not hurting so much was because I was on Medrol for migraines. I am on medication for shingles and pain!

Comment from: john the sheriff, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 13

I noticed what I thought were spider bites on the lower right side of my back, but they wouldn't go away. Then I started to feel a pain on the right side of my back and stomach that got steadily worse. After 1- 1/2 weeks I saw a doctor and he said I had shingles and prescribed 500mg valacyclovir 3 times a day. After 1 week there is no change in the pain, I will see my local neurologist tomorrow.

Comment from: Mary, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 22

I have had shingles several times, but this time in my upper back on the left side right at the bra line. I have had a terrible itching, burning, and numb feeling, and lots of pain. I went to the doctor who said no shingles, but I believe they are internal. I don’t know what to do to get her to check it out. I also have lupus and it hurts so badly.

Comment from: Lynne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I experienced a burning sensation between my shoulder blades and shingles break-out occurred within a few hours.

Comment from: I Solofornow, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have shingles on the left side of my neck. It is starting to dry up and has that dried up scabby look. I am positive that it has moved to the right side of my neck. I wonder if that is possible. Or perhaps it is because I would scratch my whole neck.

Comment from: Mike, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 25

I had shingles from my belly button to my spine on the right side. It is now 18 months since this occurred, and I unfortunately still have a swelling mass on my right side.

Comment from: Sam, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 01

I am a 35 year old male, for the last 2 days I have been vomiting and feeling extremely fatigued. Yesterday I noticed a red rash, it does not itch but has spread from my upper chest to both upper arms shoulders and upper back. I have stomach ache, no appetite and feel very weak. I wonder it is shingles.

Comment from: Sore side., 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

January 2 in the afternoon I started to get a sensation like someone was touching my skin with the lit end of a cigarette. The pain was from right to left from under my arm pit to the side of my right nipple where the burning sensation was the strongest. No rash has developed from shingles yet as of today. I saw my family doctor and we decided to wait until a rash developed. Till today no rash but the pain is still significant.

Comment from: chbvsprasad, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 16

I am suffering from postherpetic neuralgia, and took gabapentin for 2 months. The shingle problem is being repeated whenever we go for shaving or hair dressing. The itching in C1-C2 area is more and you are forced to touch it and rub it. Then the problem increases.

Comment from: TilerTim, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 09

I just came out of hospital after 5 days of antibiotics and other tablets to repair my nerve ends from a serious infection of shingles that turned to septicemia so don't think it is just an itch when the small spots/rash starts to spread around one half of your body, and that it will go away (like I did). I was totally wrong and I would not wish what I had to happen to anyone.

Comment from: grammapat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

My first (and only) location of shingles was my left eye! It was very painful! It can cause permanent damage, and required an eye specialist. I got a shingles shot, but it has flared up 3 times, not as bad. Because it only takes a few days to get bad, and my doctor doesn't even return phone calls that quickly, I asked the ophthalmologist what he could do. He put me on acyclovir, said it would help prevent outbreaks and had no side effects, and I would have to take it the rest of my life. Wrong. I get bad cramps, etc. I can't find out if it kills the good bacteria in the gut, but that's what it feels like.

Comment from: Wisconsinhurting, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 01

I had a sore rib for a few days. After that a red rash appeared in splotches, then "filled in" more. After 2 to 3 days it blistered and now scabbed over, but is still red and painful.

Comment from: lenox123, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I developed three strange small bumps at the end of one of my eyebrows. They looked like pimples but didn't go away. They were in a line close together. A week or two later I went to work and with no advance notice I had INCREDIBLE pain in my spine near my butt. It was such horrible pain that I seriously could not walk. I knew something was very wrong and went straight to the doctor’s. It took me 45 minutes to get to my car with baby steps, the pain was so intense. When I told the doctor I couldn't move or walk because of this pain that came on without notice she saw the three bumps near my eyebrow in a line. She immediately told me I had shingles INSIDE rather than outside. She said occasionally the rash is inside your body and she said my pain must have been intense. I know for certain stress brought this on 100%. I was told to get good rest and manage my stress to avoid future outbreaks. This was five years ago.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I had chicken pox as a freshman in college. About two weeks ago, I noticed I was very tired and generally itchy, but I had a sun burn. On Monday night, I woke up with "bites" on my hip. By Tuesday, there was a red cluster of blisters. Wednesday, the blistered area was swollen, warm and red, with the blisters very dark, and I was having pain around my hip. It was very sore. I went to the doctor, and he said it was shingles. He gave me an antiviral, famciclovir, and an antibiotic because my blisters were so inflamed that he thought there were infected. I am using a Lidoderm patch for the nerve pain.

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

At 63, I was exposed to the sun for 12 hours and, of course, got a sunburn. Three days later, I had severe headaches and what I thought were blisters from the sunburn. I could not understand the persistent head pain. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with shingles.

Comment from: mustardsee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I first noticed that my back was itchy, so I used a back scratcher to itch it. A few days later, it started itching more, and I could feel a kind of welt, so I had my hubby look at it. He said it looked like some bites -- maybe flea bites. A few nights later, I found myself in extreme pain on my whole lower back area and around my side. I could not sleep. I had pain all the next day that radiated around my side and into my right breast. I thought that was weird. So after another night of no sleep, I had my hubby look again, and he said it looked like a whole lot more bites all clustered together. Later that day, I happened to be describing my symptoms to a friend on the phone and she said, "You've got shingles! You must get to a doctor now – today!" So thank God, I was able to get the doctor to squeeze me in later that day, which was Friday. Thankfully, I did not have to wait the weekend. She immediately put me on a high dose of Valtrex and a painkiller. It has been two days, and I have some relief, but the sores are now on my breast. It also feels as if I have swelling in my lymph nodes under my arm. It hurts to have my arm pressing against it. I would describe my pain as a constant ache and then occasionally a shooting, stabbing pain.

Comment from: BeeBeeDoll, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: February 10

My mother had shingles about 6 years ago on her left side of her face and neck. It’s too bad we didn’t get her to doctor sooner. She is now 86 and nothing helps much. She can hardly hear and eyesight is now very bad. Before this she was like a 40 year old. She read many, many books loved music and now even with glasses the print has to be extra large. People think I am yelling at her when we are out but I have to talk very loud for her to hear. For nerve pain she takes Gabapintin but she is never out of pain. Go to your doctor as soon as you see these little bumps and save yourself from a life of after pain.

Comment from: bettyboop671, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 09

I was just diagnosed yesterday with shingles. For a week, the burning sensation started at the right side of my abdomen, under the rib cage. I noticed three reddish looking bites an inch away from one another. I didn’t pay attention; I just tried not to scratch. It wasn’t hurting, but the burning sensation was crazy. Even just wearing a blouse hurt it. Several days later, a circular rash formed on my back and one on my ribcage on my side. I didn’t think of anything of the rashes; I just paid attention more to the burning sensation that was now wrapping from my abdomen to my side to my back. It had been a week since I had the rashes and burning sensations, so I finally went to the doctor and was immediately diagnosed with shingles. Now, the burning pain is on the shingles themselves. I try not to even touch them, but I just can’t help but at least pat it. I’m on meds now. It has only been a day, so hopefully it won’t be too long.

Comment from: Bill N., 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: February 07

It started with a stabbing headache that appeared intermittently. I thought I was getting a brain tumor and so did my doctor who sent me to get a CT scan. Then the rash appeared over and around my right eye that swelled shut, and up to the top of my head in the right front quadrant. I went to the ER and was admitted to the hospital and put on IV fluids for three days. The rash turned into blackberry colored bumps on the eyelid as well as everywhere else. I was able to open my eye slightly after the first day of IV drips and by the second day was much improved. When I was discharged I was sent to my ophthalmologist immediately to determine if the shingles had affected my eye. I was provided Rx for Acycloviar, Gabapentin, Zovirax ointment, Percocet for pain, and a prednisone countdown. All these meds have to be taken at exact times of the day. I believe that the Percocet has affected my bladder control overnight because I am wearing underwear to bed and it is wet before I can get to the bathroom. I am 79 yrs old, I will be glad when these ugly bumps and the pain goes away and I can return to church.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I have a rash of blisters on my left side of my stomach reaching across my back. It seems to have centralized in a muscle in my back. Sleep can be impossible. I have Acyclovir, Gabapentin and vicodin prescribed to me. I found a bath with Epson salts helps the back a little bit. I also am a colon cancer survivor. I noticed the tingling began in my incision and graduated to the skin 2 days later. I also have eczema and I at first thought that is what this was.

Comment from: ashleew1117, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 18

I'm 17, and just was diagnosed with shingles. My first symptoms were my ear started hurting, like the upper part where my cartilage is. Then I later noticed that where my second piercing is was infected. Then the next day when I woke up it was a little red place on the side of my face that looked like a cluster of small little pimples. So I just put concealer on it and went onto work. Later I felt behind my ear and felt more. The back of my head was itching so I would scratch it and scratch it. I later went home and had my mom check it out and it was just like the ones on the side of my face and behind my ear. The next day, I just laid around the house, and when my mom got home I told her I wanted to go to my doctor and that's when they told me that I had shingles. The ones that is on my skin that isn't in with my hair doesn't hurt, the only ones that hurt is the ones that is in with my hair. They gave me an antibiotic that I have to take 3 times a day for 7 days, I’m hoping they go away soon and the pain stops. I have final exams to finish taking for the rest of the week!

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I first noticed an irritation on the left side of my right breast. I didn't think too much about, I thought I had a hair or something in my bra that had rubbed until a red spot appeared. A day later I noticed more red marks where the bra band sits on my side and wondered if I was using some new product that was causing an allergic reaction. The next day blisters appeared on my breast and there were more on my back and the itching started. I checked online and had an idea that I had shingles. I had to wait over the weekend to see a doctor but she confirmed that I did have a severe case of shingles. She prescribed Valtrex and steroids and after 2 days I think I am seeing some improvement but I still have a lot of itching and burning. Hope the meds work soon.

Comment from: metzel, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

Over the past weekend I was real tired and not feeling well, I thought it was just my fibromyalgia flaring up. Monday night I was so itchy on my hip and around that area. I woke up Tuesday with a rash that was painful, and my skin around it burned, which was awful because the edges of my underwear kept rubbing on it. Wednesday I was no better, had a sore throat and the pain was worse, I went to the doctor and as soon as she saw the rash she said, "that's shingles.” The odd thing is I'm only 26. The pain is all on my left side from the waistline down to my knee, even though the rash is no bigger than the palm of my hand. I have to keep it covered with gauze pads just so I can wear clothing without it being extremely irritated. I told my son it feels like someone put a hammer in a fire and wacked me with it.

Comment from: Sherry, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I woke up one day with my eye red and watery. Went to the doctor thinking I had pink eye. He gave me eye drops and told me to stay home. Within two days I was in so much pain that it hurt to talk or have any noise around me. Looked in the mirror and found patches around my eye. I thought it was irritation from my eyes watering and the medications just needed to kick in. Next day I woke up in the worst pain of my life. Having a partial kidney removed, hysterectomy and two children I did not think that was possible. I went to the ER where they immediately said I had shingles. They had me go to another hospital that had an on call eye doctor due to the shingles being near my eye all down my nose and forehead. Sure enough had two shingles in my eye. I could not open my eye for a week. Lots of drainage, pain, and sensitivity to everything around me.

Comment from: Mum of Tom, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 20

My son caught chickenpox at 3 weeks old from his 18-month-old brother. Due to his immune system not being fully developed, I was informed by my general practitioner (GP)that he would probably catch chicken pox again, which he did at 18 months. He was diagnosed with shingles at age 3. The GP with 40 years experience had never seen such a young child with shingles. A thin band - about 3 centimeters of clustered spots - was present around the right side of his waist band. Although his speech was limited, he could not tolerate any clothing or pressure to the affected area. He wore Dungaree's for four weeks. He is now 10 and shingles have reappeared for the second time. Although this time, they are not painful but they are itchy, red, and causing distress. For the past two weeks his appetite has decreased and an overall lack of energy has been noticed from a normally very healthy, active child.

Comment from: Miss marple, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I had my first shingles vaccine shot in July and 3 months later my arm still throbs around the shoulder area. I’m thinking of not getting the 2nd vaccine.

Comment from: kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

I had an itch on a spot on my back for about 3 weeks before getting shingles.

Comment from: ys, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 19

I got the vaccine 2 years ago and now have the shingles. It’s pretty painful.

Comment from: Chuck Powley, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I am 69 years old. It took me a few days to get a doctor's appointment. He treated the pain, which had all the classic symptoms of shingles, with prednisone. This did not allow me to get any sleep, as the pain was constant. I went to the emergency where they diagnosed shingles. They gave me more prednisone, and Tylenol 3. I went back to my doctor, who prescribed Lyrica. The lack of sleep and pain problems are still with me.

Comment from: unknown, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I was diagnosed with shingles on the bottom of my foot. I thought I had some type of bug bite (spider, maybe) with a reaction in the form of a rash next to it. It burned and itched terribly. I went to the doctor right away, and he said it was shingles. I was so surprised. The burning, itching, and pain are unbearable. I'm on an antiviral medication and Neurontin for nerve pain. The only thing that helps is icing it for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. It looks different than some of the photos I've seen; it's dark purple now (after six days) and looks like blood spots under the skin. It's less painful, but it still hurts and burns. Having it on the bottom of my foot makes it impossible to walk.

Comment from: DanC, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I was doing some electric work at an apartment building we own. I had to back out of a small area, lost my balance, and fell on my right side. I began experiencing pain on that side and thought I had bruised or fractured a rib. Ibuprofen helped on the first sleepless night. I noticed a small rash, so went to an urgent care center and was diagnosed with shingles. I was treated with Valtrex and prednisone. The first day I had no relief but was glad I caught it early. That's the trick, I'm told. Ibuprofen doesn't help with the pain; it feels like someone kicked me in the right side and the pain is horrible. I never got the shingles vaccine...I'm sorry now. From what I read, it looks like I'll have about five more weeks of this dreaded disease.

Comment from: shin222, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I am 45 and I currently have shingles. I had two dizzy spells with no other symptoms. One night, my back, on the left side started hurting for no reason. The pain would go around to my front left side as well. The pain lasted about four days. I assumed that it was arthritis and bone spurs since I had already been diagnosed with that on my right side via x-ray. I thought nothing of it and just used a massager and Ben-gay. Three days later, after the back pain went away, I started getting the rash and the doctor diagnosed shingles and gave me Valtrex three times a day.

Comment from: Whitby, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

For about a week, I had pain in my right shoulder, armpit and the underside of my arm. I thought I pulled it by moving something. Then I broke out in a rash over the same areas, and also my right breast. I had been camping so thought I picked up poison ivy (although I thought it was an odd place and I was covered up). I was taking Tylenol for pain, applying Calamine lotion and the pain was just getting worse. It was like stabbing pain and burning. Finally went to the clinic and diagnosed right away with shingles. I am on antiviral meds and gabapentin.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I came home from vacation at the beach. I was a little red from the sun on my chest and the back of my neck. Over the next several days a rash appeared and I thought I may have gotten sun poisoning. Little blisters appeared and then I developed severe pain with a stiff neck only on my left side. There was major pain and burning on my neck and back of the head. I went to the emergency room and I was told I had Shingles. I was given Valtrex and prednisone. I hope this goes away soon.

Comment from: PamC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I am a 55-year-old female. The first day of vacation I was feeling bad (headache and fatigue) but I thought it was just the stress of work, packing, flying, time change,etc. I finished all the Excedrin I had with no relief. Day 2 I broke on in a rash on my forehead, around my rt eye and my nose. Still did not connect the dots. After another day, I finally went to the doctor and was immediately told I had shingles. I was given acyclovir and a narcotic painkiller (that did not help). I was also told to see an eye doctor since my eye was red and puffy. Saw the eye doctor who said things were fine..take the acyclovir. However, the next day, my vision went cloudy. I saw an opthalmologist who gave me steroidal drops and an antibiotic. A week later, saw an opthalmologist at home who continued all meds. Another week later, mostly cleared up. Eyes are sensitive to light and I occasionally get a searing pain in the top of my head, like a hot knife. Hope this is the end of it.

Comment from: pamunkeykim, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 10

My 15 year old daughter got the shingles. I took her to her pediatrician and the doctor confirmed it. Hers was from her mid spine to her naval. She was given one blood test to check for lupus which came back negative. I have asked the pediatrician, local drug stores and the health department if my daughter could get the vaccine for shingles, all said no.

Comment from: bille, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 25

1. Some chest tightness like i might get with spring alergies 2. sever back pain in line with what later became a "ray" of sores. 3. slight itching in a two inch or so area - where within 2hr the first sores appeared

Comment from: tommy, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 25

It looked like bug bites but were more in a cluster. Before hand I had an intense headache for a couple days before the outbreak. I had intense burning feelings shooting throughout my body. The only outbreak was on my back. Though i feel it trying to breakout on my forehead. That area itches badly and my skin overall is red and splotchy. Also had a fever for about 5 days with the headaches. Pain feels like nails or razors in my skin to a sunburn feeling. To sometimes an itchy feeling.

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

I am 52. For about a week my left arm was bothering me. The bottom of my forearm was very tender, had pain that came and went in different places in my arm. Wondered if I was having a heart problem...stupidly never went to have it checked out. Then got a rash on the bottom side, at the top of my arm. The next day, while describing my symptoms to a co-worker she knew right away that it was shingles. Left work and got on antiviral. Looking back I was very tired in the week leading up. But have not experienced the pain everyone seems to have. It's more itchy and annoying than painful.

Comment from: David, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 24

I was in the yard working and found several ticks on me. I had my wife make sure we got them all and thought I was good. Over the next few days, I got what I thought were tick bites on the back of my head. They itched, and then hurt terribly. Apparently, there were blisters, but I just figured they were tick bites and ignored them. This went on for a week and when I finally had my wife take a look she said, "You have shingles." My doctor confirmed this, but told me I was too far along for anything to help as far as medication, so that I should just keep the area clean, don't share towels, and take an antibiotic for what appears to be a secondary bacterial infection of the skin. If you feel these painful little “bites,” get to the doctor fast!

Comment from: nancy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I first noticed "bites" on my right side, just under my armpit. By the next day they had spread all over my right breast and along my right side to my right upper back. I knew something was up, so I went to the ER and was told I had shingles. I was prescribed Valtrex and painkillers. The pain and itching are horrible and it's hard to sleep at night. I would not wish this on anyone.

Comment from: SUE, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I never had a rash with my shingles. The pain started in my lower back and came shooting around to the front of my stomach. It was highly painful. I went to the ER and they thought I had kidney stones. They sent me home, and within 12 hours I returned with "out of my mind" pain. I could not stand straight, sit, kneel, or lay down. The second ER doctor figured it out quickly. Thank goodness.

Comment from: pixiejo59, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

This is my second time with shingles. Both times were mild with little pain. Both my grown sons had the chicken pox along with the other kids in the neighborhood. But with my kids, you could count their pox marks, while the other kids were completely covered. I wonder if we have some kind of immunity, with such mild cases of both.

Comment from: Revwin, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 03

About four weeks ago, I woke up with shooting pains on the right side of my neck, going up to the crown of my head. I was concerned I was having a stroke. The emergency room doctor diagnosed a form of a migraine. Symptoms persisted, and then two weeks ago, a scabbing appeared in my right ear. The doctor diagnosed my symptoms as shingles. Medications include acyclovir, Lyrica, and a strong pain killer similar to extra-strength Tylenol. The blisters have cleared up, but I have pain on the right side of my head, neck, and on the cartilage of my right ear. Painkillers help, but I am weak, easily confused, and tired.

Comment from: Satinclaret, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

Charlie horse like pain beneath my left rib cage. Itchy skin, sensitive skin (can't stand anything to touch it). Red rash on my back. Pain radiated from middle of my back to middle of my front around my upper abdomen. I caught it quickly so I'm praying that I have no unpleasant side effects that last for years like nerve pain. I'm on pain and antiviral meds. Don't wait to get checked out. You'll regret it.

Comment from: Dee, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I had a small red rash over my eye brow. It didn't blister of hurt or even itch. It looked like a simple rash that was the exact shape and length of my eyebrow. I did, however have a splitting headache worse that any migraine I have ever experienced. It lasted three weeks even with the gabapentin (for nerve pain) and acyclovir (for virus) meds prescribed.

Comment from: smurfette, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I thought I had a cramp in my left hip, could hardly walk for two days, the morning of the third day I woke up with screaming pain in my left thigh and an itchy rash, which was really sore. The rash spread to my groin area. I got the medication Valacyclovir, which helped some, but the pain is terrible.

Comment from: gingercookie55, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

It started with itchy rash, and then it got very painful. The rash bumps broke open and crusted over. It spread on one side of my face, my nose on my right cheek. It feels like something is crawling on my face and at the same time, it hurts really badly!

Comment from: Razzle, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 13

I’m 47; I thought I had glass in my foot at first. Then during the night I thought there was a second piece of glass in my toe. Extremely painful! There were no indications such as redness or itchiness. Wasn't till later that day I noticed a small rash on the side of my lower leg. Then I found rash at the base of my back. Throughout the previous week I was tired more than usual.

Comment from: yorkieblue, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I am 54, and my shingles started with back pain that last about five days. I was going to the doctor for my high blood pressure pills anyway and told him about the pain I was having and the blisters on my back. He looked at it and said it was herpes. He gave me antiviral pills and cream and ibuprofen for pain. I later discovered was shingles. The blisters never amounted to much than what a heat rash looks like, but the pain I get from my skin being so sensitive is making me want to rip my hair out. I’m going back to see the doctor in the morning to see what else he can do to stop this over bearing skin sensitivity and pain.

Comment from: stevie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I am 65 and thought I had been bitten by an insect because the blisters appeared after I walked in our back yard in bare feet. After almost a week of itching on the bottom of my left foot, I went to the doctor. The first one said it looked like impetigo and gave me salve and oral antibiotic. The second doctor said it was shingles, possibly so he took a smear from the contents of one of the blisters and will test this. As it turns out, shingles it was.

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

I have shingles on the left side of my face, in my left ear and in my mouth. I was treated with antiviral medication for 7 days and I have pain meds to take but the pain in my ear is getting worse. The rash has cleared up on my face and my mouth feels better but my ear feels worse and it's so annoying to have constant pain inside my ear. It feels like something is crawling around in my ear.

Comment from: Elcee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I had what felt like a razor blade in my bra. I got home from work and noticed rash under my left breast. I thought it was hives and took some Benadryl and had no relief. My skin just "hurt" from middle of chest to back of spine on the left hand side. It was painful to touch, and I just all around achy feeling. Started Valtrex and Prednisone on Friday, it is now Monday and starting to feel a little relief after some sleepless nights.

Comment from: elizabeth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I had a classic case of shingles 2 years ago. I had not had the vaccine on advice of my dermatologist. Shingles started with headache and malaise. Then pins and needles in my head followed. I received a medication and pain killers, and my symptoms took about 2 months to subside. Since then I have a session about every 6 weeks, headache, generally not feeling great. Then I get scabs in my nose and then finally a sore at the end of my nose, and then that's the end until next time. My doctor says it is another form of herpes not related to shingles, and some folks think I should still get vaccine despite the fact that I’ve had shingles. I’m confused.

Comment from: bmojoh, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I had chicken pox as a child. Last spring I got shingles. Shingles is a very painful disease. The blisters were on my left side of my scapula, down to my waist, and to my spine. The only thing I did was use the cream, and pain pills! It is still painful, and the area where the blisters were, has faded a lot. I wonder if I can get shingles again.

Comment from: P, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I have shingles and I’ve had severe pain off and on for a week under my left armpit and left chest. Then, the rash appeared on these same areas. I have flu-like symptoms. Even with Valtrex, the symptoms still persist.