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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What are the symptoms of shingles?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Geetika Paul

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2606 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: Hello. My question is, if I have Shingles? I'm working overnight 12 hour shifts with lots of over time, which leaves me with no time to go to the Dr. My symptoms have been for about two weeks. A rash that started out in a small area of my upper back that was very tingly and itchy. Then turned into a lager portion of my upper back in between my shoulder blades and up into my neck area. The rash no longer itches it burns and tingles especially to touch. I have had a stomach ache, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, coughing, runny nose and agitated. Twice this week I was awoke several times when I fell asleep gasping for air, and then had chest pain following. I got up and the chest pain went away. I'm not a person who gets sick. I've had the flu one time in over 25 years. Please let me know what you think it is. Unfortunately, my work wont give me time off until Monday. Thank you, XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Kindly provide pictures

Detailed Answer:
Hi

I understand your concern regarding your skin problem and I hope I am able to help you in the same.
From the description alone , it does look like you have developed shingles .
But I would like to have a look at the exact skin condition.
Please click some close up pictures of the affected area and upload them here on this page . This will help in confirmation of the diagnosis.
Also please tell if the skin lesions are only on one side over the back.

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Geetika Paul 6 minutes later
I live in the mountains and don't have a cell phone. I have no way to send pictures. The rash is located in the entirety of my upper back between my shoulder blades. Not one side. also on my neck.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 7 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Looks more like an eczematous rash

Detailed Answer:
Hi again

The rash of shingles is always unilateral of present from the midline to only one side of the body,
You can check out pictures from eg Internet to be sure that you don't have shingles ,
Your rash looks more eczematous in nature to me .
Such a skin rash can be reddish or dark in colour .
You need to apply a topical steroid cream like cortisone cream over the affected area twice a day.
Avoid running or scratching.
Apply moisturisers to prevent excessive drying .
Take some oral antihistamines along like tablet Claritin once a day .
Avoid applying mustard oil or things like detoll or savlon.

Dr Geetika Paul

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Geetika Paul 6 minutes later
I looked in the mirror and realized that the lesions look just like shingles. What do I do? I can't miss work!! Are the Shingles contagious? How dangerous it to go without medication? And for how long?I'm sorry for the panic. I do also believe that it in fact can be an Eczematous rash. I will follow your instructions on what to do. If it gets worse, I'll seek medical attention.
Thank you very much,XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Need not worry , take treatment

Detailed Answer:
Hi again

I understand that you are quite worried because of the rash .
Even if the rash is due to shingles ,nothing much needs to be done now since it has been there for two weeks and must be in the healing phase now .
But if it is eczematous , then the treatment needs to be carried on as told earlier .
As I told you earlier , a rash of shingles tend to stay only on one side of the body and is associated with severe pain and discomfort .

Dr Geetika Paul
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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