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Red swollen lumps on tummy, painful, itchy, cold sores. Ruled out shingles. Diagnosis?

I have a cluster of red swollen bumps on the right side of my torso under the ribcage. They are painful to the touch and itchy. I went to an urgent care clinic fearing that it was shingles even though I am a healthy 41 year old female. The doctor said it was not shingles, but cutaneous herpes. He just looked at the rash to make his decision, I have never had cold sores nor genital herpes, so I am not sure if this is the correct diagnosis. What is the difference between the 2 and is cutaneous herpes contagious?
Asked On : Wed, 10 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  45
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Dermatologist 's  Response
Dec 2013
Welcome and thanks for posting your query to HCM.

I can very well understand your concern towards the red swollen bumps over tummy. As per your query you have red swollen bumps over torso with pain and itching and there is confusion regarding Shingles.

About shingle or scientifically known as "Herpes Zoster" -it occurs only one time in life. It begins as reddish area over one particular side of body and then multiple blisters are formed. As said previously it appears on one side of body and specifically at one region only. The blisters remain for a period of around 7-14 days and then forms scab which fall off in next 2 weeks.

Therefore if your symptoms matches the above description then there is possibility of shingles only. The pain and discomfort remains for a long period of time even up to multiple months.
Rarely possible we are not able to find the exact blisters over the site but ponly pain is present. So we need to judge it best clinically.

If your symptoms are not matching above then you need to take second opinion from a dermatologist for best possible diagnosis of the red bumps.

Hope these informations are helpful.

"Wish you good health"

Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia
MD (Dermatology & STDs)
Answered: Wed, 19 Jun 2013
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