Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Shingles

Posted In: Medical Stories 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • July 21, 2010
  • 07:41 PM

Is there a possibility that shingles is a sign of an underlying chronic condition? I was diagnosed with shingles at the age of 20 and usually had two to three breakouts per yr. on the right side of my body in my hip area the first ten yrs. After some time the breakouts were more frequent, sometimes every six to eight weeks. I have been tested for HIV/AIDS, general bloodwork, and have had regular Obgyn appointments for years and all blood tests, paps etc. have always been normal. I have taken Valtrex daily for years and have taken Zoloft as well for anxiety (although I believe I wouldn't need Zoloft if I weren't constantly experiencing breakouts). I am in my late thirties now and I experience shingles breakouts about every other week. In the last six months or so the shingles breakouts are present on my right hand rather than the usual area of my right hip. I also experience PHN and have taken prescribed pain meds when symptoms are present. Is there a medical specialty that deals with diagnosis/treatment of shingles? My dermatologist first, and then my general practitioner have been trying to manage the problem for years but I wonder if there is more extensive testing that I can request or a specialist I could see? I am miserable please someone tell me I am not doomed for the rest of my life to deal with this.

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  • Is there a possibility that shingles is a sign of an underlying chronic condition? I was diagnosed with shingles at the age of 20 and usually had two to three breakouts per yr. on the right side of my body in my hip area the first ten yrs. After some time the breakouts were more frequent, sometimes every six to eight weeks. I have been tested for HIV/AIDS, general bloodwork, and have had regular Obgyn appointments for years and all blood tests, paps etc. have always been normal. I have taken Valtrex daily for years and have taken Zoloft as well for anxiety (although I believe I wouldn't need Zoloft if I weren't constantly experiencing breakouts). I am in my late thirties now and I experience shingles breakouts about every other week. In the last six months or so the shingles breakouts are present on my right hand rather than the usual area of my right hip. I also experience PHN and have taken prescribed pain meds when symptoms are present. Is there a medical specialty that deals with diagnosis/treatment of shingles? My dermatologist first, and then my general practitioner have been trying to manage the problem for years but I wonder if there is more extensive testing that I can request or a specialist I could see? I am miserable please someone tell me I am not doomed for the rest of my life to deal with this.I can understand how these outbreaks must be bothersome for you. Shingles tend to infect the immunocompromised; however, I am sure there are exceptions to the rule-- as may be with your case. I would recommend going to see an infectious disease (ID) specialist; maybe he can offer you more answers than the dermatologist. Best of luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I can understand how these outbreaks must be bothersome for you. Shingles tend to infect the immunocompromised; however, I am sure there are exceptions to the rule-- as may be with your case. I would recommend going to see an infectious disease (ID) specialist; maybe he can offer you more answers than the dermatologist. Best of luck.Thank you for for the information...I am truly at my lowest point ever with shingles. It dictates my life. Will I be able to hold my baby girl? Can I cook dinner for my family? Should I go out in public with an outbreak and possibly infect someone or at least suffer embarrassment should someone inquire about the "rash" on my hand. It breaks my heart, and my spirit and it has been robbing me of my life. Again, thank you! I will contact an ID Specialist right away! I am so grateful for your advise.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I can understand how these outbreaks must be bothersome for you. Shingles tend to infect the immunocompromised; however, I am sure there are exceptions to the rule-- as may be with your case. I would recommend going to see an infectious disease (ID) specialist; maybe he can offer you more answers than the dermatologist. Best of luck.In case you did not get my response to your advice I want to thank you. I have been dictated by my shingles breakouts for years. There are days I try not to have much skin contact with my baby girl because I don't want to expose her to shingles on my hands, other times I don't leave my home because of fear that someone may ask about the rash. I have stopped pursuing my degree in college because the profession I chose would most likely frown upon someone working with shingles outbreaks especially such frequent outbreaks. There are days I don't cook for my family because I fear transmission of this terrible disease. I have a broken heart/spirit and I will be seeking out an ID Specialist right away! I truly hope someone has a long term plan for me and thank you again for the advice!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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