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Shingles 4 times in 20 months

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:14 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
notthemrs HB User
Red face Shingles 4 times in 20 months


I am a 25 yr old female experiencing shingles for the 4th time in under 2 years. When I first had it, it was on my trunk and ribs and was fairly severe. The second time, I thought I had an allergic rash because it was on my elbow and forearm area, but the doctor diagnosed it as another shingles out break. The third time was in the same area of my arm and was the exact same symptoms so I did not go to the doctor as I do not have insurance, I just took the antivirals I already had. I just notices a spot on my arm yesterday that has been burning and itching, and this morning I see that the blisters have started to form again. This will be the 4th time in 20 months with the three occurrences on my arm all happening in under 12 months. I am concerned because of my young age, and because of the frequency or occurrence. My cousin is an LPN and thinks I should see an infectious disease specialist. I'm really nervous that I have some kind of underlying issue that is causing my immune system to lower its shields. Any advice? What should be my next step?

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: Shingles 4 times in 20 months

Hi I am over twice your age and had my first bout of shingles in November,but now that I think back , I've had the symptoms before and thought it was an allergic reaction ,this was in my late twenties, it certainly wouldn't hurt to see a doctor to put your mind at ease, I have an 11 year old niece that had a terrible case a year ago and it never returned, an emergency room doctor told me they can be brought on by flu shots and immunizations , I had a nerve conduction study on my legs and two weeks later I had shingles ,although the doctor said it was not related, I still wonder if there is something that I'm doing to trigger the attacks , have you looked into some natural remedies or associate your breakouts with some particular foods , stress, etc........

Old 05-10-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
AllaboutVZV HB User
Re: Shingles 4 times in 20 months

"recurrent shingles" is usually caused by HSV-2>HSV-1 rather than VZV. They are all treated the same with antivirals. See a neurologist - but typically you treat with valacyclovir 1 gram three times daily for 10 days during the "flare-Up" then stay on suppressive 1 gram daily to prevent flare-ups for the next year or two. As long as kidney function ok. This virus can flare-up under severe stress but good idea to check if your immune system ok.

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