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: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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