Can Shingles pain flair after years since you had an outbreak?

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I had shingles when I was 27 (I am 42 now) and lately I have been noticing that whenever I am touched where I had the blisters at, it hurts. And sometimes that area just hurts. Could this be a flair up from Shingles or something else?

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  • Posted

    Hi Amanda,

    You didn't give the location of your prior episode, but if it is in the same exact location, with the exact pain, it would not be Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN. It would probably be a recurrence of Herpes Zoster-Shingles. If you don't have the rash, it is called Zoster Sine Herpete. I would go to your A&E or urgent care for an evaluation of your pain, to make certain it isn't something else and if it is Herpes Zoster-Shingles, to start immediately on Antivirals.

    Are you having a headache, fatigue, aches and pains, chills and sweating, malaise etc, with the pain? Often, when we get Herpes Zoster-Shingles, we have what are called constitutional flu-like symptoms along with the burning pain.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    Best Regards

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Hi Amanda,

    You didn't give the location of your prior episode, but if it is in the same exact location, with the exact pain, it would not be Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN. It would probably be a recurrence of Herpes Zoster-Shingles. If you don't have the rash, it is called Zoster Sine Herpete. I would go to your A&E or urgent care for an evaluation of your pain, to make certain it isn't something else and if it is Herpes Zoster-Shingles, to start immediately on Antivirals.

    Are you having a headache, fatigue, aches and pains, chills and sweating, malaise etc, with the pain? Often, when we get Herpes Zoster-Shingles, we have what are called constitutional flu-like symptoms along with the burning pain.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    Best Regards

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      I'm thinking I have the Zoster Sine Herpete (ZSH) as part of bad reactions to the antibiotic I took? L No rash. No flu-like symptoms. Last dose of antibiotic was 11 days ago. 13 days since started antibiotics.

      I'm still experiencing...

      Burning pain across area below boobs; but it is a little less. It's where past PHN occured.

      Neck skin is itcy.

      Throat still tightens a little; but more normal.

      Body still not processing food like normal, but has improved. Constipation improving.

      I'm wondering if I should try the antivirals? I'm afraid I would have a bad reaction to them. Thinking I should see it it goes away on its own?

      What do you think?

      Thanks!

      Martha

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    • Posted

      Martha,

      You should still be evaluated by a physician, especially as your throat feels tight. It is difficult to evaluate anyone without seeing her in person. As your throat feels tight, that could have been possibly part of the allergic reaction to Augmentin (Amoxicillin-clavimox.)

      It certainly could be a recurring episode of Herpes Zoster-Shingles, You didn't state the reason for the Augmentin, initially. When your body is stressed, you are set up for another episode.

      You certainly would not be clear of pain from Herpes Zoster-Shingles, then develop Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN. It occurs on a continuum from the acute episode.

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  • Posted

    Hi Amanda,

    Great question! and Thanks Merry for your detailed reply! I'm not in medical field, but I think the answer is Yes you can. One should certainly have it checked out by your doctors and consider topical treatments too. I use freezer bags to numb the pain, and ibprofen.

    Here's why I think so...

    First case of shingles 12 months ago with rash with lots of health issues since last Oct. Last May 2nd shingles with rash on the other side of chest. It was part of a severe reactions to having IV Iodine Contrast.

    Now...3rd time. Over 2 weeks ago had bad reactions to Amox-Clav 500-125. Took it for only 36 hours before I had to stop. Part of the side effects I'm experiencing include the burning pain where the shingles rash & PHN had occurred before. No rash this time.

    I'm not having the fatigue this time around, but the burning pain is like I had before. I've been calling it PHN...shingles nerve pain; but maybe I have the other type that Merry told us?

    Basically, I think the answer is Yes, cuz I think if one's body is stressed too much for multitude of reasons, it activates the Shingles to different levels...sometimes to level of a rash.

    Amanda, if you are Not having any of the flu-like symptoms, like totally fatigued for days, as Merry outlined; I think this could be an important difference.

    Hope you get over your pain soon!

    Martha in San Diego

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