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Itchy rash on back, limbs. Stopped taking iron. Headache, runny nose, no fever. Shingles or chicken pox?

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I am 54, thought I had the chicken pox when I was a kid, but now, I am broken out at lower back, which itch, then crust, but, pimple broke out at my d├ęcolletage area, slowly making its way to my ear area and scalp, it seems like everywhere on my body, it is itchable arms, legs, but no major clusters there. I recently stopped taking iron due to less menstral cycle, and am wondering if this is why I broke out. Also, I do not have a fever, only a slight headache and very slight runny nose. It has been going on now for 1 week with new spots appearing on my chest area. Is it shingles or chicken pox?
Posted Fri, 12 Apr 2013 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Tanusree Biswas 20 minutes later

Thanks for sharing your query with us here.

In shingles, the outbreak of rashes is usually in a particular zone, called a dermatome. Appears as blisters on a red base and is mostly accompanied by pain/tingling/burning sensation in the same area just before the once of the rashes.
It is very unlikely for the rash like yours, which is spread out into a larger area to be Shingles.

As for chicken pox, it presents with prodromal symptoms like fever, malaise, etc just 2-3 days before the rash. Here the rash is discrete blisters on a erythematous base.
It is not necessary to have fever or prodromal symptoms always.

The rashes do not have any relation with intake /stopping of iron therapy at all.

I will be able to provide a closer diagnosis if you can provide a clear picture of the rashes. You can upload them here or send to



Will be happy to help you in your queries further.

Best Wishes,
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