Sensitive skin all over during shingles outbreak - how common is this?

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My first shingles rash started six days ago on my left butt and groin area.  I've been fatigued, off and on, and the rash has been very discomforting, but not yet painful.  However, yesterday I noticed my very sensitive skin along my belly and today I'm experiencing the sensation on my belly, chest, and upper back.  Just sensitive to the touch, but not necessary painful.  Just curious what percentage of people experience this sensitiveness well beyond the area of the existing rash.  Maybe this is one of the typical flu-like symptoms that's mentioned in many articles?  Thanks!

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  • Posted

    I think the queries of several people would be answered by looking at a diagram of the nerves as they leave the spine. Though usually only one basic nerve is affected at the spine, ones that are adjacent at the spine can also be inflamed, and they branch out over the rest of the body from there. That sounds to me like what is happening with you. My "pain" was never like the agony of toothache or bee-sting, but only really bad when touched by synthetic fibres or having to lean on the area, like in bed at night, or sitting back. Then followed a lot of searching out natural fibre, loose clothing, and pain solutions that don't have worse side effects than the pain and consequent sleepless nights. I could share my conclusions from that, if asked, though I suspect it varies for individuals. I will say that bamboo clothing is great! For me, the pain was in a sort of triangle, starting behind the left armpit, and going through the body to the front, where the blisters were. Hope you have got the anti-viral medication from the doc, which is the most important thing to do, and asap from first symptoms. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, Kathryn. Yes, I've learned more about dermatomes and nerve mapping then I even knew before this event.  Life is funny that way.  Since my rash is lower, I concluded it was coming from the sacral spine region.  Which makes sense due to deep lower back pain I also experienced the first few days of the rash onset.  That was the worst part (in addition to a sore groin), both of which I'm happy to say have improved.  So, It did make sense that adjacent dermatomes could be affected, therefore I wasn't surprised when my belly started to feel a bit sensitive.  What surprised me was the continued movement up into my chest, armpits, and back.  It's still there today, but really just annoying at this point.

      And yes, I did get on acyclovir just a couple days after the rash started.  It was actually the groin pain that set me over the top and sent me to the doctor.  I could tell my body was trying to fight something off that was out of the ordinary.  And thanks so much for the clothing pointers!

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  • Posted

    Hello.  When I had my first outbreak I had a smilier thing although it was the other way round from your situation.  I got the sensitive skin and pain on the inside of my left thigh and down the left side of my abdomen but this happened before the rash came out in a different place - on the side of my left hip.  So I would say - yes - you can get sensitivity in another area.
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    • Posted

      Thanks, sjm.   I appreciate you responding.  Your situation seems more common from what I've read so far, where numbness starts before the rash hits.  And I did have something similar to you, where I had sensitive skin on my left thigh just a day or two before the rash broke out just above that area.  I've had no additional symptoms in the thigh area since the original numbness. 

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  • Posted

    Hi dbrook!

    It is common for adjacent dermatomes above and below the rash to be affected. Some individuals have rashes and pain on both sides of their body, and it is still shingles. What is important is you started on the Antiviral almost immediately.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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