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Hi, @jpenner68 — sorry to hear that you have been suffering from what you were told was eczema for so many years and that you've not outgrown it as predicted. Sounds like it's been a long wait.

It seems like you are doing your homework and looking into another potential cause for this, which is a good way to advocate for yourself.

For reference, I wanted to point you to this Mayo Clinic resource on eczema, https://mayocl.in/2D1Q859, and the Mayo Clinic information on shingles, https://mayocl.in/2qbqXEP.

I thought it would make sense to start by looking into one of the diagnoses you presented as a possibility rather than eczema, shingles. I had shingles myself a few years back, and it was not fun at all. It does have a distinct look that physicians can recognize right off — mine was diagnosed when my doctor was doing a routine exam and spotted the newly developed shingles on my back, where it would have taken awhile for me to notice it myself.

I also wanted to introduce you to some other members who have talked about shingles, like @barbarn @grandmar @rebe @techi @cdcc @danibear and see what they have to say about differences between shingles and eczema.

@jpenner68 — was there anything in particular that made you suspect your skin flareups might be shingles?

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Replies to "Hi, @jpenner68 -- sorry to hear that you have been suffering from what you were told..."

Sorry for what you are going through. I've had a couple of skin issues. The dermatologist took a sample anf sent it to the lab. Through that process, the rashes were identified and treated.

As far as Shingles, it usually has a distictive rash, but not always.

Several yeaes ago I was at work when I noticed I was having a difficult time focusing. I had a headache earlier in the day so I thought it was sinuses.

The following morning when I was on my way to work, I had double vision. It didn't go away so I went to the eye doctor. By that time I was not able to straighten out my eyes. The doctor had some ideas but suggested I go to my PCP.

She was also perplexed. The eye doctor suggested I had Shingles. My PCP could not find any rashes. All I knew I had that was different were a couple of small pimples behind my ear. They looked benign. However, my PCP took a culture.

My eye got worse the following day. I was sent for an MRI of my brain. Thankfully, it was not my brain. When it did not get better, I was sent to a major eye institute near my home.

I had developed a 6th nerve palsy. Two days later the biopsy from the pimples behind my ear was positive for Shingles.

The Shingle VIRUS, not the rash, went into my eye and caused the palsy. I have some residual issues that will never clear up.

So, I guess the lesson of this story is to keep on top of everything.

@grandmar So the 6th nerve palsy was caused by the shingles virus? That sounds like it must be very unusual. My husband had shingles when our son and daughter were toddlers. We were away on vacation and there were all over him. Afterward, they both came down with chicken pox.

@lisalucier @jpenner68 Just a side note. I have been told by my transplant department that it has not yet been decided is OK for people on immunosuppressants. I really would like to get it, but they are still figuring it out.

Yes, getting 6th Nerve Palsy from the shingle virus is rare. I was lucky I had a knowledgeable eye doctor who recognized it!