Is it possible for shingles to appear, disappear, reappear in the course of a month?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Dear all, 

I hope you can help me with this particular question. It is a particularly long story, so I hope you bear with me.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I had a vaginal yeast infection, so after contacting my GP (who took a culture), I had OTC medication. This however did not seem to resolve the issue, so I returned to my GP a week later (the results of the culture were back, and only the usual suspect candida was foudn) who then prescribed me fluconazol, an oral anti-fungal 150mg for one time use. I have taken this in the past with good outcomes. While after taking fluconazol, the yeast infection symptoms did dissappear,  this time I also immediatly got a burning an itching sensation, after which my linker labia swelled up and got a red rash. The rash did not grow, but it did itch like hell and it was very sore. I went back to a GP, who said it must still be the yeast infection, only manifesting now on the skin outside. She prescribed me a miconazol creme, told me the symptoms should ameliorate in two days, and sent me on my way. The symptoms did disappear, however I got a small ulcer, which lead me to get tested on all STDs. I was completely in the clear (no HIV/Syph/gon/chlam/herpes simplex). The doctors concluded it was most likely due to the skin being vulnerable + scratching. I visited my Gyno a week later to confirm all this again, and she also considered this a likely explanation.

Three weeks later, I am now abroad for a few weeks for work, the yeast infection symptoms came back. I had considered this might happen (as I accidentally quit the miconazol creme a bit too early), so I immediatly took fluconazol 150mg (my gyno prescribed me some in advance). Again, the same set off symptoms came back. The rash at exactly the same place, the same pain, the same itching, ... So as I am in a foreign country I immediatly go to the hospital to get an emergency consult with a gyno. She again said that it had to be the yeast infection still (she took a culture), and prescribed me now a clotrimazol creme and capsule, to be taken together. Her reasoning being the yeast will probably remain travelling around, if I dont make both places an unhappy place for him. I asked if it was a good idea to again take a fluconazol tablet (seeing my unfortunate experiences with vaginal capsules not actually solving the problem), she said I could and prescribed me another. She said again, my symptoms should get better in two days.  I start with the clotrimazol creme, take the clotrimazol tablet at night and in the morning take another fluconazol tablet.  Two days later, the symptoms have not gotten better, but only gotten worse. Including a blister on my left labia. I went back to the gyno, who referred me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist told me it probably is shingles, as it is localized on my left labia, the red rash + the blister.  He prescribed an anti-viral (to be taken every day for 7 days) and after i stated that taking ibuprofen did not really help with the itching/pain, he prescribed some extremely scary anti-epileptic medicin which can also be taken as a pain killer in the case of nerve damage (carbamazepin) (which I am not taking after reading the extensive amount of side effects that are associated with it). 

While I realize, when just looking at the rash, it does seem like shingles, from what I now, this does not seem like a normal progression of that virus at all. Especially the sudden onset twice after taking fluconazol, it dissappearing the first time in a mere 3 days in total (without taking anti-virals), ... I think it is more likely that I am allergic to fluconazol? Although maybe this would be a weird allergic reaction? I also think I am not in nearly enough pain. Sure the skin is tender and itchy and I have not had the best nights of sleep, but especially seeing the fact that it appeared on such a sensitive body part, I would have expected it to hurt much more. 

So my questions are: 

- can shingles dissapear in a few days, then reappear a few weeks later?

- isnt shingles associated with more than one blister? And should I then not also have it on my buttocks?

- what kind of tests can I force my doctor to take (after taking the anti-viral already) to see whether his diagnosis is right?

Especially if there are any medical professionals on this thread, I would highly appreciate it!


2 likes, 8 replies

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I can help you with one question. I have been getting recurring shingles for 3 yrs now. I have had them with excruciating pain and no rash, pain with the rash, mild pain and soreness with a small blister that would be gone the next morning, no pain with intense itching and the n pops up a blister. My point is, there does not seem to be any consistancy with this horrible virus!!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply! Have you had it occur and then reoccur in a matter of weeks before? (Also very sorry to hear you have been suffering from this for a long time already)
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    • Posted

      yes!!! just 3 weeks ago i had a few blisters appear onlong my hairline and one red raised bump (not a blister, but feels exactly the same) on the back of my neck with mild internal symptoms and mild fatigue. It all cleared up in about 3-4 days and then last saturday started feeling run down again and sunday morning had severe itching on my right toe.  45min later a blister had formed!!!! What the heck??? Mine is now coming indifferent spots all over my body, however my neck and upper back pain is usually always a symptom. It is enough to make me crazy!!!
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  • Posted

    Dear Alice,

    First, I am sorry for your suffering in such a delicate area.

    Which test for Herpes Simplex did your physician use? All tests are not created equal, meaning they can be false positive and false negative.

    Michelle is correct when she states Zoster-Shingles can act in different ways.

    To differentiate Simplex from Zoster-Shingles though, Simplex vesicle-blisters appear all at once on a red base and look similar, whereas Zoster-Shingles vesicle-blisters erupt in waves or crops over a period of five days and look dissimilar.

    Usually, Zoster-Shingles does not cross the midline.

    Simplex is more common in that area, but that doesn't mean Zoster-Shingles doesn't occur there.

    Regarding Carbamazine, it is a relatively safe drug, tolerated well by millions. If you don't need it, don't take it.

    I am confused by the appearance of an ulcer, associated with the blisters.

    You have candidiasis, treated with Diflucan, Miconazole, and Clotrimazole, an itchy vesicular-blistery rash, treated now with Valtrex? and an ulcer? Is the ulcer painful or painless? How large? Any discharge from the ulcer? There are other STDs besides syphilis that cause ulcers.

    The tests for STDs need to be repeated as the timing of the tests are crucial for their accuracy.

    If the vesicle-blisters have scabbed over, there is no fluid and the only test you can do are IgM and IgG of Herpes simplex and Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    Depending on your age and other factors, diseases behave differently in people. They never read the textbook. You need a sharp physician to figure this out. I shall send you a private message.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Dear Merry Juliana, 

      Thank you for your elaborate reply. 

      Regarding the test for Herpes Simplex, they took a swab from the ulcer and then checked for Herpes. It had not scabbed over at the time or  anything. 

      Regarding the blisters, I have had only two. One on the outside and one on the inside of the left labia majora. The smaller one on the inside ruptered (but does not hurt too much), but the other one is stil there. I have had no more blisters (thus far).

      I think the rash goes over the midline slightly, but is in general on the left side. A new development is that it is still bright red on the outside, but a dark brown-red on the inside now.

      The anti-viral that has been prescribed to me is called Zostex, and is based on Brivudin.

      The ulcer (or more a small wound) was from three weeks ago, and has completely healed since then. It had no discharge. It healed on its self. As ar as I know they tested me on the most common STD's in Western Europe.

      For now the blister has not scabbed over yet, I am going to ask my dermatologist for a test tomorrow. 

      But I also think, some yeast infection might be coming back (which would be impressive, since I am still using the clotrimazole at the moment) or I am also suffering from someting else causing a white discharge. 

      At the moment I am at wit's end.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alice i,m not a lot of help to you but I,m in my 11th week of shingles but have not had rash as had vaccine but I,ve have thrush in vagina for the 3rd time since getting shingles I thought it must be because my immunity is low at the moment.
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  • Posted

    It's definitely a rare case but I have some yeast type symptoms during outbreaks. It's usually an indication I will have an outbreak in the next few days. Yes it's possible to get it a few times a month. And no it doesn't need to show up on different parts of your body. Anti virals are the only thing that help me although they have prescribed gabapentin, cymbalta and amatrypoline (sp) as well. A good nuerologist would be able to help you. Sorry for your Suffering. This virus is awful and if you read more posts on this site you will see that you are not alone. Boost your immune system with 1000 mg of vitamin c and try to get rest during out breaks. Antivirals will cut down your time sick. Best of luck.

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