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Shingles without a rash?

(11 Posts)
shockedballoon Fri 11-Dec-15 11:14:09

My DM has had classic shingles before, localised blistery rash and nerve pain. This was about a year ago.

She now has exactly the same pain in the same area but on on the opposite side of her body. DM is sure it must be shingles as she said it's quite a unique sort of pain and itch. GP said it can't be shingles without a rash and gave her E45 anti-itch cream and some antihistamines. These have not really helped.

She has very recently moved house whilst she had a nasty chest infection so she is quite run down. The pain is completely different from the pain from the chest infection. She is 72.

I've consulted Dr Google, as you do, and there's nothing about rash-free shingles on the nhs site. This is on some other sites but I'm not sure of their validity.

Anyone experience of this? Would it be worth DM going back to the GP?

ImperialBlether Fri 11-Dec-15 11:20:38

I'm sure I've had this and I think there was something about it online - will try to find it.

I'd had shingles a few years before and the pain was terrible, like needles going through to the nerves. I had the same pain again a few years later - identical pain but no spots. There was the same tiredness afterwards, too.

ImperialBlether Fri 11-Dec-15 11:24:01

The Mayo Clinic

Here it says you can be given a blood test - not sure whether that would work given she'd had shingles before.

shockedballoon Fri 11-Dec-15 17:04:01

How long did it last imperial ? Did you get given any anti viral or anything?

Ilovefluffysheep Fri 11-Dec-15 17:25:04

I've had shingles twice, second time there was no rash. Dr told me to phone the surgery if a rash appeared. It did, a couple of days later, so I phoned up and a different Dr phoned me. Totally refused to give me anti-virals, despite what previous Dr said. Was pretty pissed off, but nothing I could do as Dr wouldn't budge. Pain did eventually go, and to be fair it wasn't much of a rash, but it had been agony, couldn't lean against seats or anything as felt like I was being stabbed.

LurcioAgain Fri 11-Dec-15 17:32:24

I had shingles, no rash, just very slight reddening. Doctor seemed in no doubt about the diagnosis - prickly pain that feels like it's below the skin, almost like a more painful version of pins and needles, localised on one side, coupled with feeling really ill - genuine flu level of feeling ill. He gave me anti virals which probably stopped it being worse but I was still wiped out for a week.

Your DM is right - the particular sort of pain you get with shingles is very distinctive and having once experienced it I can't imagine you'd mistake it for anything else.

shockedballoon Fri 11-Dec-15 18:38:31

Thanks all. Have shown responses to DM. She is reassured she is not the time - waster the GP made her feel. I have a feeling it's a bit too late for antivirals as iirc they need to be used fairly soon after symptoms appear.

At least knowing (or being as sure as dammit) what it is often helps deal with it, as you can roughly expect it to follow a certain course. Also can keep an eye out for any side effects etc.

Duckdeamon Fri 11-Dec-15 18:51:20

Your poor mum, hope she's taking it easy. My brother has had this a couple of times since an initial bout of shingle. I had the pain for a week or so before the rash. Horrible!

ImperialBlether Sat 12-Dec-15 14:22:56

The doctor wouldn't believe it was shingles. Said it never happened without a rash. I told him to google it - he did and said he didn't believe it anyway! It lasted about two months, the same as when I'd had shingles with a rash. It's the most painful thing I've ever had, but the run-down feeling afterwards is really horrible. It reminded me of that tiredness you get when you're newly pregnant.

MindfulBear Sat 12-Dec-15 16:07:13

reassure her that this does happen. I have had shingles twice and the 2nd time was without the spots. The GP didnt do a blood test but said it was most likely shingles if it was the same pain as before in a similar place AND i was so exhausted. However as I had waited so long to see him it was too late to take anti virals so all I could do was take painkillers and rest.

Hope she feels better soon. She should see a different GP next time. Although if it has been going on a while there may be very little they can do except sign her off work for a week or 2.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 13-Dec-15 19:44:29

I had shingles earlier this year, cluster of blister type spots and so painful (had antivirals) . Months later I got severe spasm like pain (like a TENS machine on top whack) when I was doing something as basic as walking confused

Last week, another bout in my armpit. Wasn't given antivirals, just painkillers.
The pain was the same, the speed of onset. I now have residual numbness in my face (I had pins and needles/numbness in my face when it happened)

<<'tis a blighter>>

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