Patient Comments: Shingles - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your shingles?

A Doctor's View on Shingles Symptoms and Signs

Read the Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Shingles symptoms and signs include a painful blistering red rash along one nerve path on one side of your body. The pain is often described as burning, itching, or tingling. Shingles may also begin with flu-like symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Read the entire Doctor's View

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Patient Comments

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Shingles - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your shingles?
Shingles - Vaccine Question: Please describe your experience with the shingles vaccine.
Shingles - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with shingles.
Shingles - Complications Question: Did you have complications that arose from shingles? Please describe your experience.

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