Are there "different" shingles?

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I had shingles in October 2016, and now have PHN. Mine was on my back/shoulder/chest area. At least that's where the pain was. I had almost no rash, just a few tiny dots. So mine is the slightly different one where there is essentially no rash. Yet I had a low-grade fever, extreme pain, fatigue etc. Most people think shingles as getting the pain and the rash. But the more I think of it, it seems there are more variations. Some people seem to get recurring rashes on their face, but not necessarily with the incredible pain that the chest/waist/leg areas seem to cause. Others have shingles on their buttocks, also recurring, but I believe also with more symptoms of tingling and burning, not the extreme pain. Then there's the facial shingles which also affects the Trigeminal Nerve, which seems to be one of the worst types.

Can anyone chime in and either clarify or disagree with this?

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I think a lot of it has to do with which nerve pathway the virus has decided to take, and then also how well one's immune system can fight it off.

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  • Posted

    i suffer facial shingles had it 15 times now since age 18. im currently having an episode and its worse than my last one where i was admitted to hospital as it went into my eye and caused a secondary infection. i suffer with facial numbness because it attacks the nerves and with each outbreak the nerves weaken. its worse this time as the blisters are the biggest ive ever had they are usual tiny but omg these are massive. the pain is unbearable and itch like crazy. i have been prescribed acycilovir tablets which cause fluid to build up in my face so my face is swollen like a balloon on one side where the infection is.

    yes there are different shingles, some people dont get full breakout they get red rash and some get the full outbreak of blisters and some get them under the skin! although all are still painful. and it depends on your immune system if it is weak like mine then it cannot fight off the virus. im

    so exhausted as it makes you feel like got the flu and lethargic pains all over and feel like crap.

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  • Posted

    Hi Babs,

    Herpes Zoster or Shingles is a distinct disease entity, but it can manifest in everyone's body differently, depending on many factors.

    These factors include:

    The Patient's immune status

    Other Diseases

    Secondary Infections

    The Nerve Roots involved ie location

    The Depth of the diseased tissue.

    The extent of the pain and rash

    The other symptoms of the viral infection

    include Headache, chills and sweating, Aches and pains, malaise, exhaustion, fatigue.

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  • Posted

    This is a continuation of my reply.

    The treatment and management of the disease will also vary the disease course.

    Acyclovir, used in the UK by the NHS, is often resistant to the varicella virus. I usually recommend to individuals with recurrent shingles to ask for FAMCICLOVIR, as it is the newest & most efficacious medication for shingles.

    If someone takes Prednisone, and tapers off, the individual will often get another episode in which they need to be started on another course of antivirals.

    Shingrex has been effective in decreasing and stopping the recurrent Herpes-Zoster episodes.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    In the shingles groups I've been part of, I hadn't met anyone without pain from their shingles. Those that I know that have facial shingles have terrible pain and then some develop TN. Also, my sister gets that type of shingles on her buttocks, but again, doesn't have a lot of pain, just the burning and tingling. She feels it's a type of genital herpes, I don't know.

    I just often wonder how much of the doctor's info is correct or from outdated research. What started this was the post from the person who had no pain with facial shingles. Do you think the antivirals prevent the pain? I'm just trying to learn more about it, as that experience is quite different from my own.

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