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Old 01-15-2013, 06:27 PM
 
Location: San Bernardino County (previously L.A.)
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Who has known anyone who's had shingles? I think my 39-yr old boyfriend may have it. About a week ago, he noticed these rashy cluster of painful red bumps. He's never had chicken pox as a child, which I know is the only way adults would get it.
Anyone know what he can do to help with this issue while he's waiting to see the doctor? Any other info you can give would be great!
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:09 PM
 
Location: southern born and southern bred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Blue View Post
Who has known anyone who's had shingles? I think my 39-yr old boyfriend may have it. About a week ago, he noticed these rashy cluster of painful red bumps. He's never had chicken pox as a child, which I know is the only way adults would get it.
Anyone know what he can do to help with this issue while he's waiting to see the doctor? Any other info you can give would be great!
oh heck yea..........I've had them. Wouldn't wish them on anyone.
If he hasn't had chicken pox I don't see how it could possibly be shingles.
Are they itchy? He could try Calamine lotion but that won't help the pain.
Did you google pics of shingles and compare?
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:27 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,613,675 times
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Yeah it can't be shingles unless he's had chicken pox at some point in his life (not necessarily as a child, but at any point up until now). It's possible he has had chicken pox and just doesn't remember. Or, he might be experiencing hives, and not shingles at all.

Have him take a single long-lasting antihistimine, like Claritin or Zyrtec. If it goes away within a couple of hours, then it's just hives. If it doesn't, then a trip to the doctor will get him the answers he needs. I wouldn't use calamine lotion right away, just in case it's something that would be irritated if it's dried out (such as - a dry-skin eczema).
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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Where is the rash?

Many folks have had chickenpox and never knew it. At his age, that is a distinct possibility.

The rash could be bacterial (antibiotic resistant staph is a possibility), herpes simplex (either Type 1 or type 2) or shingles. Fungal infections are also possible, but they are usually itchy rather than painful. It could also not be an infection at all.

Chickenpox is a member of the herpes family. Both it and herpes simplex produce tiny blisters that may be preceded by a tingly, itchy sensation. The blisters eventually rupture, scale over, and heal. The blisters from shingles, caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus, tend to appear in a line rather than a cluster, most often above the waist. Herpes simplex tends to occur around the mouth and nose or below the waist. Rashes around the mouth and nose are more often type 1 and genital herpes more often type 2, but either can occur in either place.

His doctor will be able to look at the rash and determine whether any tests are indicated. Many offices will have same day appointments for something like this.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:43 PM
 
Location: San Bernardino County (previously L.A.)
4,483 posts, read 7,532,531 times
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Thanks guys! It's a cluster of bumps one one side of his lower belly (above the waist). He said when it's touched it hurts. I asked him if he's sure he never had chicken pox & he says no. His mother would have told him if he had it took, but as far as I know, she didn't say he's had it.

I wonder what caused this all of a sudden? He literally never gets sick with coughs/colds/flus all the many years I've known him. Overall, he's not in contact with many people. He sure didn't catch it from me. I've had chicken pox as a child. I remember it was in 2nd grade & I was out for 2 wks.

I guess I better have him stay clear of me for a while or very limited contact.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:28 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,485 posts, read 26,089,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Blue View Post
Thanks guys! It's a cluster of bumps one one side of his lower belly (above the waist). He said when it's touched it hurts. I asked him if he's sure he never had chicken pox & he says no. His mother would have told him if he had it took, but as far as I know, she didn't say he's had it.

I wonder what caused this all of a sudden? He literally never gets sick with coughs/colds/flus all the many years I've known him. Overall, he's not in contact with many people. He sure didn't catch it from me. I've had chicken pox as a child. I remember it was in 2nd grade & I was out for 2 wks.

I guess I better have him stay clear of me for a while or very limited contact.
In that location it could be shingles. Just ask him to keep it covered when you are together. If it is shingles, about all that can be done at this point is to make the diagnosis and take something for the pain.

Other things do need to be ruled out, though. He should try to see someone as soon as possible.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:50 AM
 
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It sounds like Shingles to me based on the symptoms and location. Once diagnosed the doctor should be able to provide medicine. Shingles is easily treatable and clears up fairly quick once on antiviral drugs.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,485 posts, read 26,089,700 times
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Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
It sounds like Shingles to me based on the symptoms and location. Once diagnosed the doctor should be able to provide medicine. Shingles is easily treatable and clears up fairly quick once on antiviral drugs.
The only problem is that he has had symptoms about a week. The meds may not help much. They are best started within 72 hours of onset of symptoms. If you are savvy enough to pick up the early itchy, tingly sensation and can convince a doc to start medication then, you may actually prevent the rash.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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I had it when I was about thirty-five, and I don't recommend the experience. Still, your description, particularly including the pustules or papules that are painful but not itchy and don't cross the center line of his body, is pretty suggestive of shingles.

I know that I've had chicken pox. I understand that your boyfriend is pretty sure he hasn't had it, but if he's thirty-nine that means he wasn't vaccinated for it and it's pretty likely that he got it, or got an infection and maybe got only a mild case.

When I had shingles the only treatment available was pain meds, and I suspect that after a week the antivirals won't do much for him, but the pain meds worked for me.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:14 AM
 
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I agree that many people can have had chicken pox and not been aware of it.

When my older daughter got chicken pox, she was covered in such a bad rash and was so sick that there was no doubt about what she had. My younger daughter then got it -- but she had only 2 small spots and didnt feel ill at all. If her sister hadnt had it so badly first, I'd never have known that she had it too.
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