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kokkonuts's avatar

How can I tell if my rash is of Poison Ivy or Shingle source?

Asked by kokkonuts (5points) June 9th, 2009

I had what I thought was a persistant Poison Ivy situation but the third doctor I saw, which happened to be a dermatologist,explained my condition as Shingles and Poison Ivy. So I’ve stopped the first cortizone cream. I’ve started the antihistimine, the steroid cream and antibiotics. Since he diagnosed me with both. I wish a doctor would take more time to explain the how’s and why’s. So here I am…. Ciao!!

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10 Answers

sap82's avatar

Shingles is a nasty thing according to the internet. If you have had the chickenpox you will more than likely get shingles and there is not much you can do to prevent it. Apparently this virus has no bias or prejudice and can strike at anytime in life. Typically the elderly over the age of 60 will get the shingles. 1 in 2 people over 85 will also get shingles.

Posion ivy also is really unpleasant. I had a case of that last September. It was the result of a camping trip with my wife. Two days after a hike in the woods. I had a rash bubble up all over my chest and legs. It was bad.

You more than likely have posion ivy if you have been outdoors or in contact with plants in the last week. Otherwise you are probably one of the inevitable unlucky barers of the shingle virus. Good luck.

augustlan's avatar

If a dermatologist says you have both, I’d tend to believe that. When I had shingles (in my 30s, dammit), there was no mistaking it for poison ivy.

kokkonuts's avatar

I was ripping poison Ivy from a hillside at the cottage… Reclaiming the land so to speak… So I was certain of the rash being Poison Ivy… The doctor did not disagree either… He added Shingles to the diagnostic…. I believe him. It’s just that I thought i was a healthy mid thirties fmale uh come to think of it… I did have a couple nose bleeds last week.

Aethelwine's avatar

I developed shingles when I was 20. It usually occurs in the elderly or people with a weak immune system (me). Like augustlan said, there is no mistaking it for poison ivy. Before the rash occurs you usually feel some itching and pain. Not only is it very itchy but it can be very painful for some time (a week or longer). Before I get an outbreak it will hurt for a few days, then the blisters appear. If you have any doubts you may want to get a second opinion.

Supacase's avatar

Shingles is very painful. My mom and a lady I used to work with both said they could not even stand for the fabric of their clothes to touch their skin. My mom has permanent damage to her sciatic nerve, which is the line her shingles took, and is still in pain at least 10 years later.

skfinkel's avatar

I just had shingles on my face (cheekbone, actually). Because I identified it quickly, and got on anti-viral drugs within four hours, I was spared the worst that can happen. I knew it was shingles because it hurt and I could feel my facial nerve. So, the doctor concurred, and I was saved a much worse outbreak because of fast action.

Aethelwine's avatar

@skfinkel That must have been terrible. You are very lucky it wasn’t worse. I’ve been fortunate to only have outbreaks on my arm and chest. I’m glad you found it soon enough!

kokkonuts's avatar

Well I am not in pain as all of you have testified it comes with the Shingles… I am simply itchy. My rash and bumps looks like they are going away.. But this morning my mother in Law called me with some interesting info. It could be Blastomycosis… I have been doing a lot of digging in the swampy area behind our cottage on Georgian Bay. Had any of the doctors i’ve seen so far asked me questions they could have figured it out I am sure. I will go back to see another doctor.

Darwin's avatar

Another possibility is that the battle with the poison ivy has depressed your immune system so shingles has popped up.

Cortisone is a type of steroid, so you are still using a steroid but have added an antihistamine for the reaction to the poison ivy and an antibiotic to keep things from being infected. However, your doctor isn’t giving you any antiviral medicines, so presumably isn’t aggressively treating shingles.

kokkonuts's avatar

Sandoz-famciclovir 500mg and Cetirizine with Uremol cream is what I am taking. I will try and get some blood tests done today.

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