Shingles or Something Similar?

My skin erupts into small blisters, usually before my period or whenever I feel weak. It starts as a red, itchy, small round patch and it develops into very small blisters on my upper right arm.I thought it was a cold sore which moved from my mouth to my arm by my doctor told me it is shingles. I have read online that they are painful and my skin rush is not, it is only a bit tender to the touch. It is scarring my arm, so is there anything I can do to prevent it?Is it a cold sore or shingles?

Doctor Answers 3

Blisters on the skin

An exam is necessary for a definitive diagnosis.  A laboratory test can confirm the diagnosis, if there is any question.  Prescription antiviral medication may be indicated to reduce outbreak.  Another important consideration is your diet.  Diets that include alot of nuts can shift the amino acid balance of lysine to argenine.  An overabundance of argenine can predispose you to these outbreaks.  If you are eating a diet rich in nuts, consider changing your diet.  This alone may provide relief.  Good luck!


New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

You may be having Herpes simplex infection.

You may be having Herpes simplex infection, commonly known as cold sores, which is different from shingles, but then - you could be having a completely different skin condition as well!

Please post images.


Renita (Lourdhurajan) Rajan, MD, DNB
India Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

It Could Be Herpes Type 1

As the other dermatologists have said, a physical exam is necessary.  It does sound like you may have Herpes Type I.  Typically this is the Non-sexually transmitted for of herpes. A skin biopsy or a Tzank Smear can usually confirm the diagnosis.  If the diagnosis is, in fact Herpes, the treatment will be dictated by how often you get this outbreak.  If it is every month, then prophylactic daily treatment may be your best option.  If it is on 2-3 time a year then you can just treat each episode when it occurs.  Typically there is a prodrome of burning, tingling or stinging in the area before the blisters occur.  The bottom line is that you should see a board certified dermatologist when you have your next outbreak.


Jay S. Gottlieb, DO
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.