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Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 55753
Experience:  Board Certified in 2 Specialities & US Medical Graduate
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Can shingles show up as genital lessions?

Customer Question

is it possible to have shingles show up as genital lessions before appearing on other parts of the body? And, is it possible, if it is herpes 1 to show up on the genitals even though latent.... I have been under extreme stress and have lessions that are only on my right side near the groin area and on the right labia....I am on Valtrex now and will be going to the doctor apt. tomorrow. I am hoping it is shingles and not herpes. Also, if it is herpes, is it even possible to have a healthy system again? I have seen pictures of shingles and herpes and mine doesn't really look exactly like either. ?Help please. Thx.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Owen replied 2 years ago.

Shingles is a type of herpes virus which is HSV 5 (herpes 5) so Shingles can essentially show up anywhere on the body and is essentially a reactivation of the varicella virus - genitals would be a very unusual place, but I have seen it there.
HSV 1 and HSV 2 (both are regular herpes) and BOTH can be on the genitals and/or mouth.

And, even if HSV 1, 2, or 5 - you will have a healthy body - you can treat with Valtrex (or Acyclovir) antiviral medications to help.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I will be going tomorrow to get checked out. I want to get the lession tested, not just be treated for herpes. I want to know if it is herpes zoster, herpes 1 or 2.....which tests should I ask for? I have been reading about it all and it seems that doctors often dismiss a lession as herpes wo checking. Also, if it is herpes I think the long term use of valtrex is the way to go bc it seems to help the best overall.....is that true? I currently take synthroid for hypothyroidism.....will there be any issue with staying on valtrex? Also, I have read that l-lysine helps and aginine does not as far as onset of future breakouts.....what is arginine in? I know this is a lot, but I am trying to educate myself before going to the doctor. I am completely mortified that it might be herpes bc I have a steady boyfriend and neither of us has been exposed to genital herpes, but he might have herpes 1 from cold sores....never had any cold sores, but has sensitive skin. Could he have given it to me wo presenting symptoms?

Are there any good topical creams that help deaden pain and snuff out the herpes lession? I have seen some items on line but don't want to get taken by inneffective products. thx

Expert:  Dr. Owen replied 2 years ago.

In order to test you will need a culture of this - your doctor will do the right thing and get this tested appropriately.
Valtrex is a good way to treat BOTH.
Synthroid is not affected by Valtrex.
Lysine and Argine are amnio acids - there is little proof it works.
Cold sores ARE a herpes virus....so this is herpes and can show up on the genitals if he touched/ kissed you while he had a sore.
There is nothing really that is available over the counter - it is all prescription.

Dr. Owen, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 55753
Experience: Board Certified in 2 Specialities & US Medical Graduate
Dr. Owen and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would like more information regarding the differences between herpes 1,2, and 5. I am trying to handle the prognosis and need to know what I am up against....

Expert:  Dr. Owen replied 2 years ago.
What specifically are you looking for - ?
Do you have a lot anxiety about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes....becasue I have not been checked out yet, and I am mortified about the whole thing. I could use some long term....you know....scientific/medical advice about what to expect next.....I think the rash is getting better and I realize that the first one is the worst....I am.....going through the stages of....the process...trying to get to acceptance and the fact that it is with me for life....probably. Your answers are not helping. you basically said it IS herpes without looking at it.
Expert:  Dr. Owen replied 2 years ago.
Well you should get this evaluated to see what you have and MORE than likely this is herpes 1/ 2, not HSV 5 (shingles) given the location - genitals would be an odd location for shingles.
But, if you have Herpes, then it is for life and it can go dormant off and on - and if you have frequent attacks/ outbreaks, then use of Valtrex might be considered daily to prevent any outbreaks.
But, in my original answers I did say you need to have this cultured - I can not obviously see what you have unless you post a picture of it, and I do not recommend posting a picture of genitals on line.
So, also to help, upto 80% of the population has been exposed to herpes, just that most never have outbreaks.
And, there really is a LOT of misconception about herpes - just think of it as a virus, and it is not life-threatening.
I Hope this helps, thank you for your questions.

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