Multiple Outbreaks - 35 year old female

Posted , 6 users are following.

I’m so glad I’ve found this forum to discuss and share our issues. 

I am currently going through my 6th bout in the last 10 years. It is on the back of right thigh most of the time although I have had 2 outbreaks on my left upper back. I am always going through a trauma in my life when I get it. My stress levels and anxiety are usually at their highest and it comes out if I’m trying to keep it together and carry on with life without letting myself deal with the issue. 

I have never had a swab taken to prove it is shingles as Doctors have always told me it was and I’ve just gone with it, however after doing some research I’ve come across the possibility that it may be herpes due to where it is. I have no idea who and when I would have caught this though. 

I get all the symptoms of shingles and the stress/trauma being linked with the outbreaks tells me it is shingles. I also get get a lot of intense mouth ulcers when I was stressed and run down too. 

My next outbreak I will see a doctor to get a swab taken to get answers as I’m concerned I’m doing my body more harm by not treating this properly, although research has told me I would be prescribed the same medication for either. 

I have two small children who I am very careful around as I was concerned about chicken pox but now I’m concerned about them catching herpes. Also my husband does not have herpes. 

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey I am sorry to read about your issues with this shingles bout.   Herpes is easily contracted just from a kiss and if you had shingles during that kiss with someone who had it on their lip then chances are you would get it too. They pretty much treat us the same way but I will tell you to ask for kenalog ointment for the inside of your mouth.  I have also been prescribed something for vaginal areas as well. It’s an ointment for inside your body to deal the pain. That is a brand of lidocaine. Working on stress levels helps but  chances are it would always be there just not as bad. I use lidocaine patches for my back and I also have a compound cream that I have a forever refill on so every 30 days they send it to me. You may qualify for the new shingrix vaccine. As your pharmacy and they will send it to your dr for approval. This is suppose to be our savior. I had my first shot and will get my 2nd middle of this month. Good luck. Also make sure you are in valtrex or famir. 
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  • Posted

    Dear Stresswave,

    I am sorry you are going through this.

    To distinguish between Herpes Zoster-Shingles and Herpes Simplex:

    Zoster's blisters-vesicles come in waves or crops over a period of five days and follow a dermatome pattern.

    The vesicle-blisters are not similar in pattern, not uniform.

    Zoster is usually accompanied by some or all of the following symptoms:


    Aches and Pains

    Fever, Chills and Sweating

    Swollen lymph nodes

    Fatigue, Exhaustion, and Malaise

    Severe Excruciating Lancinating Burning Pain.

    Herpes Simplex have similar vesicle-blisters that appear at the same time on a circumscribed usually round area very close to the genitalia. They are usually on the genitalia or mouth area.

    While they burn and itch, they are not nearly as painful, nor have all the other symptoms that Zoster has.

    If you wish to be tested, get the PCR done. A Tzanck smear tells you nothing.

    For the next outbreak, get the PCR, then ask for Famciclovir 500 mg 3x dailyor Valcyclovir 1000mg 3xdaily. Start ASAP, the sooner the better, but within 3 days of start of symptoms or rash. It should be 7-10 supply for either.

    Both stop the replication of the virus.

    I would check your Vitamin D levels. Vit D helps with immunity.

    Also Google High Lysine Low Arginine diet and Herpes. If you follow this diet, it may help prevent the episodes, or lessen the severity of the pain.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States. I have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the past 21 years and twice in my right eye.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted


      It’s the first time I hear that you get shingles every 5 weeks for the past 21 years!

      It’s the first time I get shingles on my scalp and it’s been 8 weeks now!  The blisters have crusted and now I have the scabs which leave a scar!

      My mom had shingles about 3 years ago but never repeated!

      Can you tell me if your scabs left scars?  I still get stabbing pain and had itchy scalp too 

      Would like to know if you have scars where the blisters were?

      Hope you are feeling better too

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    • Posted


      My blisters-vesicles are/were in my ear canal, eye-cornea, and mouth. The scars are not visible. The depth and severity of inflammation, your own body's ability to heal, any comorbid conditions such as collagen, autoimmune diseases, or diabetes, any secondary infection, scratching and picking at the lesions will determine the extent of scarring. Most people will still have reddish pink scarring at two months. Many, actually most, have no signs of scarring at one year. I do have old chickenpox scars on my face from 3 years old, but I had a severe case, a harbinger of things to come. I am 66 years old and I usually heal well. Doxepin is the best drug for itching. If anything will work, that one will. It can cause weight gain, but frankly, itching is unbearable. I suffer from severe medication and food preservative allergies, so I know.

      It does take time, about a year for scars to recede and become white. Use Vitamin E Oil, from the pharmacy. When I had radiation dermatitis, that helped tremendously for the itching and burning.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted


      Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry you have to deal with this so often. 

      I’m currently laid up in bed with an awful headache. I can’t shift it and it’s making me sick. 

      I take vitamin d and vitamin b complex and I’m on Aciclovir which I started taking 5-6 hours after I noticed my outbreak so my shingles is only over a small area. 

      I will take note of all of your advice. 

      I wish you all the best. 

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    • Posted

      Hey Merry,

      Can you be tested for HIV positive and not have it be a genital herpe?

      I had shingles 4 years ago. And late last year I had a small outbreak on my upper buttlock. My doctor said it's not herpes. But I'm not sure if she's right.(i'll have to go to a different doctor)

      I've been having an outbreak in the same spot every 3 to 5 weeks(usually before my period) but no other symptoms. I do feel a slight sharp pain the that spot. I take acyclovir when it occurs. I think it helps a little.

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    • Posted

      Dear ZoeBabt,

      I sent you a private message. Herpes Simplex often occurs around a female's period, as you know, but so does Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

      I think you need to see a (different) gynecologist when you have an outbreak.

      Please respond to the private message. Herpes Simplex is transmitted and gravitates toward the mucus membranes ie genitalia, anus, and mouth. You usually do not see lesions that distant from the mucus membranes.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted


    If you are careful they will not get it!  I also have a daughter who has never gotten chicken  pox and I am careful being it’s almost 8 weeks now since I got shingles

    I have scabs where the blisters were!  The scars are there on my head!  I still get pain!  But would like to know if your blisters already crusted over leaving scars?

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