Painful Rash and Symptoms of Shingles " Sasha is a 47-year-old receptionist at an accounting firm "

Case study ( 1738 views as of August 21, 2017 )

Sasha is a 47-year-old receptionist at an accounting firm. It has been very busy and high pressure lately at work, and in the last week she has felt like she 'might be coming down with something'. She has had body aches, and feels tired and run down. Yesterday morning, Sasha noticed irritation on the left side of her back, and wondered if she was suffering irritation caused by her bra strap. Today, she notes an expanding, painful rash across the left side of her back, and around the side of her chest. A few spots are also present on the underside of her left breast. She cannot comfortably wear her bra, and feels quite a bit of pain even with the fabric of her shirt rubbing against the rash.

Sasha should have this rash assessed by her primary care provider. Rashes such as this may be due to a viral re-activation of the chicken pox virus, and is called 'Shingles'. This rash typically shows up on one side of the body, and follows a stripe of skin associated with a single nerve distribution from one level of the spine, also known as a dermatome. Early diagnosis is important, as anti-viral medications are of minimal use after 24-48 hours of the rash. Steroid medication may play a role in some cases.

Complications of shingles may include nerve pain in that same distribution that may last much longer than the visible rash on the skin. While the contagious risk is much less than a primary outbreak of chicken pox, patients with shingles are advised to avoid direct contact with anyone who is, or is trying to become, pregnant.

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Conversation based on: Painful Rash and Symptoms of Shingles " Sasha is a 47-year-old receptionist at an accounting firm "

Painful Rash and Symptoms of Shingles " Sasha is a 47-year-old receptionist at an accounting firm "

  • How common are shingles and is there a way to prevent getting them ?
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    • The only way to prevent shingles it to take the vaccine unfortunately but luckily.
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    • That's a very good question about the rise in people choosing not to vaccinate could have something to do with the increase in shingles
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    • I would like to hear more about whether or not the rise in anti-vaccinations is linked to any rise in shingles.
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    • Shingles seems to be on the rise but I haven't read anything as to why that is. Getting the shingles vaccine is a good way to prevent them
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  • She should definitely have this rash looked at by her physician. Shingles is very painful and it's my understanding can be quite contagious.
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    • You can either visit your family doctor or a pharmacist
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    • @MichelleKaarto - when a good friend of mine had shingles she was told she was contagious as long as she had the rash. She was advised to stay away from anyone elderly, under 5 or immuno-compromised
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    • My father in law has had shingles twice. He was told that he is susceptible to the shingles virus. Due to his age and other health issues he is not able to obtain the vaccination. He was told to stay away from young children and pregnant woman for a week after the rash appeared. After that he was to be cautious based on the severity of the rash and itching.
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    • @K.Michael - I thought that shingles was less contagious than chicken pox, but still contagious if the rash is exposed.
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