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have occasional flat dark red irregular shaped spots on arm. Had shingles. Reoccurring?

Dec 2012
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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1694 Questions
Occasional flat dark red irregular shaped spots on my right arm...had them during a severe bout of itching or pain with these...they go away relatively YYYY@YYYY

I suspect the shingles is not entirely gone...had shingles for 7 horrid months...Not raised spots

thank you..XXXXXXX
Posted Wed, 20 Feb 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 2 hours later

Thank you for posting on XXXXXXX
Let me start first by clearing up facts. Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash (red patches on the skin, followed by small blisters) due to the varicella-zoster virus. Herpes zoster usually clears up in 2 to 3 weeks and rarely returns. Sometimes, the pain in the area where the shingles occurred may last from months to years . This pain is called postherpetic neuralgia (probably what you were experiencing after). Postherpetic neuralgia is more likely to occur in people over age 60. It occurs when the nerves have been damaged after an outbreak of shingles. Pain ranges from mild to very severe.
Now, from your description of the spots, I will identify them as petechiae ( small red or purple skin lesions that occur as a result of subdermal hemorrhage (due to breakage of blood capillary vessels). This petechiae could be due to previous viral infection or active viral infection. In any case, your doctor will have to do a sampling of the skin and analyse for presence of virus.
I think it is nothing serious to worry about but paying a visit to a dermatologist is advised.

Hope this helps and wish you a good health

Nsah, MD
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