Patient Comments: Shingles - Symptoms

What were your shingles symptoms?

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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Shingles - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your shingles?
Shingles - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your shingles?
Shingles - Vaccine Question: Please describe your experience with the shingles vaccine.
Shingles - Contagious Question: Please describe your experience with shingle contagious period.
Shingles - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with shingles.
Shingles - Complications Question: Please discuss your experience with complications that arise from shingles?
Shingles - Causes Question: What caused your shingles?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.