can shingles be brought on by hot sunlight ??

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Been abroad 2 weeks blisters appeard on my chest in the first week and then more a few days after. the lst lot have crusted and look like shingles. Ive had it before but not as bad . I also suffer with coldsores all year round . But im not unwell they are just tingly and itching .can shingles be brought on by extreme 30oc heat every day ..i keep reading all different things

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  • Posted

    Mine were "triggered" when I was working on the car this summer.  Not sure if the sun can "bring them on" but the heat and sunshine can cause sensitivity-according to my Urgent Care Physician.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    Herpes Zoster-Shingles can be induced by sunlight and the stress of traveling. It sounds as if you are not experiencing any pain, or other symptoms such as headache, aches and pains, malaise, fever, chills and sweating, and fatigue. May I ask your age? I am 64 years old, but have recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles every 3-5 weeks in my right ear for the past 20 years.

    Sometimes, younger individuals do not experience as severe symptoms as others. Did you start seven days of an antiviral?

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      I went to the gp today as only arrived home yest . I have been put on antiviral yes, its occured in the same area as 3 years ago but this time more severe i asked if they could be coldsores as i have them too but she was certain you cant get them on your chest . I asked if it could have been caused by 30oc heat and sun everyday she said no not possible. Personally in not convinced its proven coldsores are triggered by uv rays so why not this?i wasnt unwell but did feel achy around my chest area again gp said you dont have to be unwell. Im 41 . Many thanks
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    • Posted

      Karen,

      Cold sores are Herpes simplex...

      Shingles are Herpes Zoster-Shingles. Both can be triggered by stress, travel, UV light, etc... Cold sores only appear on mucus membranes. Simplex vesicles-blisters look uniform and appear at the same time.

      Shingles can appear anywhere on one side of your body. The vesicles-blisters appear in waves or crops over a period of five days. The vesicles-blisters appear different in size and shape. Usually, you feel sicker with Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Dear Karen,

      The first episode, I felt I was giving birth through my ear canal while being struck by lightening for four weeks. I went to two ENTs who thought I was narcotic seeking. The third one, the otoneurologist was the bright and compassionate physician who believed something was dreadfully wrong and diagnosed it. As I was in agonizing pain over four weeks, plus having severe chickenpox as a toddler, were two factors that contributed to the recurrence of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

      While I have severe pain with each episode, nothing can compare to that first episode of not knowing what is wrong, no antiviral, no analgesics, and two months of agony while caring for a seven years old boy as a single mother.

      I start the antiviral at the first inkling of onset of Zoster-Shingles, and only need the Opioid for 3-5 days, maximum.

      I had no support during those first many episodes, and many ignorant physicians deny that it was Zoster-Shingles when it definitely was not Simplex. (I test negative to Simplex antibodies plus the signs of the disease are Herpes Zoster-Shingles Oticus aka Ramsey Hunt Syndrome.)

      Those are the reasons I am so passionate about supporting everyone here, as the medical community can be so ignorant and condescending to the patients. They are forty years behind the times. Also, due to the Opioid Overdosing Epidemic, so many patients now are refused vital analgesics for one of the most excruciating conditions of mankind.

      I hope you are doing better, Karen. Thank you for inquiring about me.

      Best wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi merry19451-i am also one of the people you have helped when i needed advice  and although am  now recovered (but still fearful of revurrance) i  knew you suffered recurrently with shingles in ear but NEVER REALISED  how much you hsd suffered when you first had it .i just wanted to say i think you have been a real  hero and  admire your courage to support others  here  through your  pain  -i am sure i speak for all on here when i say  THANK YOU  and best wishes  hugs jeanb-ps excuse typo errors .
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    • Posted

      Dear Jean,

      Why Thank You....I truly appreciate your note and hugs..it means the world to me...

      I am happy to have helped you and am glad you are fully recovered!

      All My Best Wishes,

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Sounds like youve suffered many years , im sorry to hear but thankyou for all the info youve had more knowledge than the gp i went too . My partner had it many years ago and was in agony . For me thats the only thing i find strange i dont have atual pain more of a nettle prickly itchy fèeling same as you would get when having coldsores.but hopefully that will be it for a while maybe till my next sun holiday

      Many thanks

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    • Posted

      Karen,

      The nettles description is so apt! That is more than discomfort, though...

      Thank you for your kind words. They mean the world to me.

      I hope you heal soon!

      All my best...

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Merry,

      Like Jean, I gathered from some of your posts that you had battled this for years...but, I had no idea to what extent.  My many thanks for your kind support and information...you know much more than my PCP!!  In fact, he admitted yesteray that "Yes, the vaccine does wane with time; about a 5 year efficacy period."

      I had a very mild case on my inner thigh, got on the anti-viral within 24 hours.  All I am left with now is a dull pain on my right thigh.  Will this get better as time goes on?  I've read so many stories of PNP. I respect your opinion, so I will ask, "Should I see me neurologist or my PCP about this?"  My PCP suggested I get another shot; your opinions?

      One more question (if you don't mind): I read that gabapentin is a course of action for PNP.  I took this years ago for horrible headaches.  It made me very dizzy and off-balance..not good for this 69 year old active body. Are there other plans of action?

      Thank you for being so willing to offer support.

      I wish you well,

      Bette

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Bette,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      As gabapentin did not work for your headaches, obviously do not take it for your dull pain of PHN Post Herpetic Neuralgia.

      It depends on how much you are suffering. Sometimes the treatment is worse than the cure.

      Is the pain deep or superficial nerve endings?

      If the pain is deep, and even better if you also suffer from migraines, Topamax or Topiramate, an anticonvulsant is a possibility. This is off-label, so you would have to see a neurologist for a prescription. If you have any medical conditions involving bone marrow issues, this is not for you. In certain people, it can make you feel ditzy or depressed. For me, it is wonderful as I have not had a migraine in over 10 years and it decreases the neurogenic pain. I am certain I have not developed PHN because I am on Topamax.

      Lyrica is actually prescribed for PHN. It can cause weight gain, mood swings, and other issues. I do not know your current state of health regarding liver and kidney disease, as well as cardiopulmonary status.

      Usually, PHN starts to slowly dissipate on its own and one day you will wake up and realize it is gone. This happens over a period of months. It is rare that it lasts years.

      There is a new vaccine called Shingrex by GlaxoSmithKline that hopefully will be available in 2017. The FDA should have reviewed it later this year. The efficacy rate is 97%. That is the vaccine I am placing my hopes on. If not for me, for all the other sufferers on this site and all over the world.

      All my best to another active lady in her 60s!

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      Thank you for your response.  I already take an anti-convulsant (Dilantin) for my epilepsy...under control since 1968. I would feel uncomfortable with another. Despite the long- term use  damage Dilantin has done to me(fragile bones, neuropathy) I am super healthy/active as I near 70.

      This episode of shingles was totally unexpected!  I was so happy to find this site...and you!

      To answer your question, the pain (feels) like it is superficial: my thigh only has a burning sensation(like a sun-burn) when I touch it. I guess that means it is superficial.  Playing bocce today, I noticed a deeper pain when I bent my right knee.

      I mentioned to my doctor the new vaccine coming out  from GlaxoSmithKline. It sounds great. He was unaware of it. He was insistent I should try Zostavax again, once this seige is over. I'm skepical, to say the least.

      Perhaps I will bypass my PCP and see my neurologist.  I am with Kaiser California, a great plan.  Two things it allows us  is 24 hour advice nurse services with a physician available and email access to our doctors.  So, I will email my neurologist.

      Thank you for all of your valuable assistance.

      Bette

       

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    • Posted

      Bette,

      I would definitely seek the advice of your neurologist. Lidocaine patches occasionally help superficial pain, but Lidocaine can predisposes someone to convulsions, if given IV. Forget Lidocaine.

      You might ask the neurologist if you can take Topamax with Dilantin. Go with what he thinks.

      Also, ask him what he thinks about Zostavax, or should you just wait for the Shingrex. Zostavax probably won't harm you. I am doubtful that it will help you. There are no statistics available for individuals who have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

      Again,

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      I hate to bother you again...

      All in my bridge/bocce/tennis groups are asking: "What is this new shingrix vaccine, and will it become available to all hospitals/insurance plans or to just a select few?"  Since most of us are retired nurses/teachers, we fall under Kaiser CA.  As I stated earlier, my primary had no knowledge of the new vaccine. Also, many of my friends' PCP have told them, "If you have shingles, you won't get it again."

      Your answers and responses???

      In an email response, my neurologist said she would have no problem starting me on Topamax if  nerve symptoms do not improve within 2 weeks.

      Thank you,

      Bette

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Bette,

      The only reason I know about Shingrex is that I read a lot of medical updates and clinical data. I can only tell you what I have read. Shingrex will be presented for approval by the FDA in the second half of 2016. It has already met its research end points in showing superior efficacy to the existing vaccine Zostavax without causing harm. I would like to believe that it would be approved by the FDA in 2016, and production started with distribution in 2017. It is up to the insurance companies and physicians whether it will be covered. It is more cost effective to immunize people for prevention than to care for people when they are sick. Insurance companies do not care one iota whether one lives or dies, just which bill is bigger that they are responsible for.

      Physicians who tell their patients you can't get shingles again are ignorant, as many individuals will get it over and over. The physicians need to read current articles on Herpes Zoster-Shingles, and not rely on what they learned 20-40 years ago.

      As Kaiser Permanente is into Health Maintenance, I would hope that they would spring for the new and improved, but costly, (as all new medications are costly) vaccine.

      I hope I have answered your questions.

      Best wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      My neurologist said she'd have no problem starting me on something...but, I should go through my PCP. That's where the rub is...he says "wait 6 weeks and then see me about any pain." So, I am between a rock and a hard place.

      Functioning is no problem, but I do play a lot of outdoor sports under the CA sun.  Is it enough to just wear long pants and long sleeve shirts...or will this virus find me again?

      Thank you,

      Bette

       

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    • Posted

      Bette,

      It is difficult to predict the future. I would add a hat to your sun prevention strategies. Sun light definitely triggers episodes more frequently in me.

      Ask the PCP now for the Topamax. Tell him you shouldn't have to wait while physicians push the responsibility onto each other.

      Again, all my best,

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Merry,

      I had a Kaiser physician call-back tonight...not my PCP.  She agreed with my neurologist that I should start on something now.  Not topamax, because of the Dilantin I take.  My neurologist also had recommended Nortriptyline in small (10mg) once daily doses.  The PCP on call-back thought this was justified to start now, and ordered it for me.

      Just thought I would let you know. Again, thank you for all of your valuable assistance.

      Bette

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