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Ask Dr. Navitsky Your Own Question

Dr. Navitsky
Dr. Navitsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1037
Experience:  US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad
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10 year old with mild shingles

Customer Question

I hav a very healthy 10 year old son who is never poorly , yesterday I noticed a cluster of what I thought were insect bites on the top of his back which the doctor suspects is mild shingles - do children get shingles? I am now worried as I am reading that only children with suppressed immune get shingles - he had chicken pox at about 3/4 years old, he has no pain or anything and is well? We hav just come back from Egypt and he did get slightly sunburnt in that area
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Paediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Navitsky replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Navitsky :

Hi there this is Dr. Jody Navitsky and I am a general US trained pediatrician.

Dr. Navitsky :

Shingles can happen in kids yes but it tends to be very rare. When it does it is usually much more mild than in an adult in terms of symptoms but the fact that your son has no pain at the site of the blisters really makes me wonder if perhaps they are something else.

Dr. Navitsky :

People in general with suppressed immune systems are at risk of getting a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus that we call shingles....but if your son is otherwise tremendously healthy I doubt that this would be the first manifestation of a weak immune system...

Dr. Navitsky :

I would probably think about the fact that the spots may not be shingles first before thinking a healthy 10 year old is starting to have an immune system problem.

Dr. Navitsky :

He could have sustained some insect bites in Egypt and be reacting to them in this case they should be itchy, if they were blisters from the sunburn I would also expect them to hurt.

Dr. Navitsky :

If you could attach a photo of the spots by using the paperclip icon on the top I can give you a best guestimate based on what I see although of course a photo is not nearly as good as seeing the rash in person.

Dr. Navitsky :

I see that I haven´t caught you online. I am physically in Spain so whenever you get the message of my response if you would like to continue the chat please just type in a reply and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks!

JACUSTOMER-swxw4sh4- : Okay thanks ill send a photo not sure where the paper clip icon is
Dr. Navitsky :

Hi! It is in the toolbar just on top of the text box

Customer:

ok just doing it sorry !

Customer:

file:///Users/oliverbritton/Downloads/Outlook/photo.JPG

Customer:

Full Size Image

Dr. Navitsky :

OK first of all good job on the picture it is actually quite good.

Dr. Navitsky :

Do they itch him at all?

Customer:

Full Size Image

Dr. Navitsky :

They don´t look classic for shingles which are similar to chickenpox lesions the ¨dew drop on a rose petal¨classic wet looking blister on a red base...

Customer:

he said it did at first but he's not scratching now

Dr. Navitsky :

https://www.google.es/search?q=shingles+treatment+in+pediatrics&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=KJZWU6TyNcbt0gWWpYDYCw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=629#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=yjTfkFl7846-UM%253A%3Bi3vc2e6YFt2u5M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252F4.bp.blogspot.com%252F_48L4VExzsuo%252FRwMINP42jEI%252FAAAAAAAAAUU%252FztNa7H64dAY%252Fs320%252Fhzop1.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.purplemedicalblog.com%252F2007%252F10%252Fwhat-are-shingles-how-do-you-treat.html%3B304%3B239

Dr. Navitsky :

Take a peak at this photo and I will be back in a few minutes..

Dr. Navitsky :

Sorry!

Dr. Navitsky :

I´m not sure what the chat timing thing is as I haven´t been on in about a month or so but I am going to switch to Q and A so that you don´t need to ¨pay more¨because of me!

Customer:

im not sure how it works either

Expert:  Dr. Navitsky replied 2 years ago.
Amanda you can now respond in this text box it just takes a few more seconds to process...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

here?


 

Expert:  Dr. Navitsky replied 2 years ago.
https://www.google.es/search?q=shingles+treatment+in+pediatrics&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=KJZWU6TyNcbt0gWWpYDYCw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=629#facrc=_&imgdii=yjTfkFl7846-UM%3A%3B2wp74-n7qXrhaM%3ByjTfkFl7846-UM%3A&imgrc=yjTfkFl7846-UM%253A%3Bi3vc2e6YFt2u5M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252F4.bp.blogspot.com%252F_48L4VExzsuo%252FRwMINP42jEI%252FAAAAAAAAAUU%252FztNa7H64dAY%252Fs320%252Fhzop1.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.purplemedicalblog.com%252F2007%252F10%252Fwhat-are-shingles-how-do-you-treat.html%3B304%3B239

Here are the individual lesions of shingles. Based on the fact that he feels fine and they don´t hurt but in fact itched at the start I would think of a type of reaction to something....they almost look even like a plant type reaction like a poison ivy but this would be a very strange spot to get this....thus based on what you are sharing and the picture I would suspect that his body is reacting to something. They definitely could have been bites to start with and he just got blisters from the immune reaction. If they are not itchy now I would just leave them alone and watch them dry up.


Other blistery rashes could be herpes but again this is a very strange place to have herpes (type 1 or 2 thus not necessarily genital!!) unless he had spots on his fingers and then transferred them to his back...also herpes usually looks a bit more red as well.


Dr. Navitsky, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1037
Experience: US Pediatrician licensed in California living abroad
Dr. Navitsky and other Paediatrics Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Navitsky replied 2 years ago.
When a kid gets herpetic lesions like this they are almost always from a cold sore or herpes type 1 that gets transferred to the skin via their fingers but usually they have spots on the finger that point to the transfer.

Thus to summarize for you I truthfully would not think of shingles first based on what I have stated above...it is just rare in kids and he would have to be sick (translation not himself...loosing weight, getting lots of infections besides this, tired and not energetic)....with a weak immune system.

If I had to hazard a guess which is is exactly what I can do based on this internet conversation! he could have had a reaction to something that bit him in Egypt....As they are not bothering him now I would leave it alone, watch for him scratching as breaks in the skin could lead to a bacterial infection, (you would see increased redness, it would hurt, honey colored crusts where the popped blisters are), if you feel that it is spreading and not getting better or changing then it would be time to go back in to be seen.
Expert:  Dr. Navitsky replied 2 years ago.
Sorry this answer has been broken up for you and thanks for the rating. Just to close, please feel free to write back in tomorrow or in a few days if you are concerned that things are changing and want to run something by me....just reply to this current thread by reopening the URL and typing a reply and I would be happy to try to continue to help...have a great rest of the day!

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