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Can Shingles Rash Spread To Other Body Parts?

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Posted on Fri, 13 Oct 2017
Question: I have been diagnosed with shingles. I seem to have it over my scalp, on both sides of my head.
The left side is more painful, but I can also feel it on my right side. I also have a rash on my neck on the left side. No blisters yet. I have had the rash for 4-1/2 days. No blisters. My question is.... will the rash spread to other parts of my body? Also, is it possible that I have it on both sides of my head?

thank you!
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Answered by Dr. Dr. Kakkar (29 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Regarding heroes zister/ shingles

Detailed Answer:
hello. Thank you for writing to us.

I am Dr. Kakkar (Dermatologist). I have gone through your query and I have noted your concern.

Shingles is usually unilateral but one can find a few lesions just across the midline to the other side. The distribution of pain and rash is in a stripe like pattern along a dermatome (i.e the area supplied by a spinal nerve) and remains limited to that particular dermatome however there might be some spillover to adjacent dermatomes but this spillover is limited to just a few countable lesions. Only in severely immunocompromised states like HIV/AIDS or organ transplant recipients is there a risk of widespread dissemination but not in healthy immunocompetent individuals. I suggest that an episode of shingles be treated with oral antivirals e.g either valacyclovir or acyclovir.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Dr. Kakkar

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 9615 Questions

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Can Shingles Rash Spread To Other Body Parts?

Brief Answer: Regarding heroes zister/ shingles Detailed Answer: hello. Thank you for writing to us. I am Dr. Kakkar (Dermatologist). I have gone through your query and I have noted your concern. Shingles is usually unilateral but one can find a few lesions just across the midline to the other side. The distribution of pain and rash is in a stripe like pattern along a dermatome (i.e the area supplied by a spinal nerve) and remains limited to that particular dermatome however there might be some spillover to adjacent dermatomes but this spillover is limited to just a few countable lesions. Only in severely immunocompromised states like HIV/AIDS or organ transplant recipients is there a risk of widespread dissemination but not in healthy immunocompetent individuals. I suggest that an episode of shingles be treated with oral antivirals e.g either valacyclovir or acyclovir. Regards