Scared-could this be early shingles?

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Last night I started getting pain at the top of my right breast near my armpit. Felt like a skin irritation, like maybe from my bra? Very painful and burning, as if something had been repeatedly rubbing my skin. Of course my brain first goes to "breast cancer" but now mid-day today, I'm also feeling similar pain in/on my right shoulder blade. No rash or any other symptoms so far. I've never had shingles before. Can anyone shed some light on this? Thanks for any help, advice. 

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Cat!

    Without any other symptoms, it would be difficult to say. Have you any headache, aches and pains, fever, chills and sweating, malaise and fatigue, exhaustion? Often with Shingles, an individual will have some accompanying symptoms I just mentioned. Then pain starts, then a rash usually starts.

    The pain is a burning, lancinating electric quality, usually excruciating, agonizing as the disease progresses.

    BTW, breast cancer is painless.

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

    Please let me know how you are doing.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thanks Merry.  I did have a headache yesterday and have one now. I have chronic back/neck issues so have some degree of muscle pain every day. Also have been unusually fatigued last few days. The pain does seem to be getting worse in the front and back. Wouldn't call it excruciating at this point. BTW, I'm generally fit, healthy and 48. 

      Sorry you've been going through this for what seems a lifetime!!

      Thank you for your reply! 

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  • Posted

    Hi Cat!

    It sounds like Shingles. You can have Shingles without the rash or "Zoster Sine Herpete."

    I would suggest that you consult with your physician immediately for antivirals and a strong analgesic such as Oxycodone. The pain will increase over the first week. Many physicians are abysmally ignorant of the pain, the diagnosis and treat of Herpes Zoster Shingles. They are now reluctant to prescribe Opioids due to diversion issues and the overdose epidemic. Unfortunately, they punish patients who suffer from legitimate pain.

    BTW, if the first physician does not give you the antiviral, see another physician. Do not delay as starting an antiviral stops replication of the virus and you will have a less severe episode.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    I had sensitive burning skin for two or three days before rash appeared. 
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  • Posted

    The best answer is to Google Herpes Zoster Shingles and see images of it on line. They are tiny vesicles on a red base over the area of pain.
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    • Posted

      Hi Catt!

      Usually, the pain of Herpes Zoster Shingles is a constant burning, lancinating pain. It does not come and go. It may worsen with a gentle breeze or touch on the skin. (Perhaps the first day or two, before you realize you are really sick, the pain could be intermittent, but then the pain only intensifies and becomes constant burning scream!)

      Best Regards

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Hi instead of guessing or worrying yourself needlessly which can cause "stress" which is the main thing that triggers shingles ( if that is what this is). The only way to be absolutely sure. Just go see a doctor first chance you get. And if the doctor you see regularly isn't available then go to the ER in your township. Only a dr can examine you assess your symptoms and render a diagnosis. 

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