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Help with diagnosis please - doc says shingles, but not convinced yet

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Hi guys, hoping this is the correct place to ask this.


I came down with a rash around the left buttock and genitals on the weekend. By sunday it was severe so went to the hospital doctor and he told me it was herpes zoster and prescribed acyclovir 800, 5xday for 7 days. I'm very worried though as it is on the groin as well as my left buttock, but is only on the left side of my body and never crosses the middle (is that a feature of zoster?). I also feel completely drained and lacking in any energy since.


I've been in committed relationships for the last 8 years, but recently became single. Since then I had one brief fling over a weekend (about 2 weeks ago), using condoms at all times. Reading up on the chances of transmission it looks small, but then I'm 38 and the chances of getting zoster are also small! Last week was a heavy one, having to entertain clients in town until 3am for 4 nights. I was feeling wrecked so obviously my immune system was shot to pieces. I've also been traveling internationally for work a huge amount over the past couple of months as well as going through a major separation.


I live in Thailand (no judgements on that bit please, ha!) and whilst the doctor spoke near perfect English the level of clarity here never rises above vague.


I've tried attached a picture of the rash at its worst, but the buttons don't seem to be working.


Any help greatly appreciated.

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Hi, its hard to say but if the doc says its shingles then it probably is, if you aren't convinced maybe get a second opinion and see if they will take a sample to test. I had shingles when i was 19 yrs old (seriously stressed), and one thing im sure of is it definitely only affects one half of your body ...best of luck and feel better:)

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Did the doctor swab it and do a culture? Or was it just taking a look and offering that it's herpes zoster? If there is an active outbreak, then swabbing the actual sores themselves is the definitive way to get a diagnosis. The alternate way is via blood test, but it usually takes an average of 3 months after first being exposed to any herpes virus before antibodies show up in the blood stream to give definitive test results.


This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

Helpful resources:

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Thanks for the replies. The doctor says that he's convinced it's shingles, but I'm not completely convinced by the doctor - I really had to put him on the spot to get any explanation of his diagnosis. There was no swab culture, he had a look and made the diagnosis.


It seems as though the best plan is to wait 3 months and then have a blood test. Or course, if he's wrong then there may be outbreaks before this. Fingers crossed....

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