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Can a person get shingles more than once?

49 answers | Last updated: Jun 27, 2015
Q
Heart5 asked...

Can a person get shingles more than once?

 

Answers
63% helpful
BCassin43 answered...

For the most part, it is not possible to get shingles more than once. Occasionally a person will get shingles twice in their lifetime, but rarely more. Most times, people only acquire shingles one time. Having shingles allows your body to build up antibodies to fight against it, which is why a recurrance is unlikely. If the immune system is compromised by some chance, the ability to develop shingles will arise, and in this case it would be possible for a person to experience them again periodically. In one known case of a person with a compromised immune system, he battled shingles four times in his adulthood.

 

More Answers
48% helpful
ladynajera answered...

Actually BCassin43 your wrong. I am 31 and in 6 years I have had shingles 7 times. My immune system for the most part is as good as anyone elses. The doctor told me that shingles lays dorment in your nerves if you ave problems with panic attacks or stress levels this could be a reason why you can have shingles multiple times. But some people get shingles and some dont.

 

45% helpful
Momofboys answered...

ladynajera is correct. I too have had shingles more times than I can count and I'm mid-50's. They happen when your immune system is run down, your stressed etc. One of my sons had shingles when he was 3 years of age.

 

36% helpful
cmfun1 answered...

I as well have had and continue to have reoccurring episodes of shingles. Approximately 3 to 4 times a year, some worse than others. I wish more information was available to those of us who are not the "one timers". Someone needs to conduct a new study on Shingles, to include the more common than not, reoccurring outbreaks.

 

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43% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

During my life time I also have had recurring bouts with Shingles. Sometimes I have the pain and no visual outbreak of the rash. Yes a study on this would be extremely informational to those of us who suffer multiple bouts of Shingles.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I am 77 and have just had a second episode of shingles after the first one two years ago. I should have had the shingles vaccination after the first episode but my doctor convinced me that I would never have it twice in a life time. So much for incompetent doctors;

 

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67% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

I am 40 years old and just got shingles for the 2nd time in 7 months. I am currently taking oral steroids for a bout of hives (not to be confused with shingles) that may have weakened my immune ststem. I consider myself a very healthy person with great eating habits and regular exercise. I also have friends who have coninued to get shingles after their first occurance. Not only is it possible to get shingles more than once, it seems more probable than not. The doctors have this one wrong.

 

38% helpful
Mama A answered...

Yes, someone can have shingles more than once. I got them for the first time when I was 13 years old & got them every year after until just a few years ago when I began getting them between 4-7 times a year!! I'm only 31. I currently have them now which makes the 3rd time since January.

 

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56% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

i also get them several times a year, generally the same area, i get them when i am under stress, i have the nerve pain for several months in my hip and down my leg. i have been getting them several times a year for 30 years.

 

40% helpful
Wipedout answered...

I too am on my second boutof shingles, the doctor I just seen said impossible and the pharmacist agreed, yet I sit here with them. I am happy I found this as I am really concerned that maybe I have an underlying illness that is getting undetected. Thanks for posting

 

63% helpful
Auntie G answered...

I have also had the shingles more than once. In fact, I have had it 10 times in the last 3 years, and I am only 19 years old. I had to drop out of college because it was to stressful for me and I missed to much school every time I got a bout. I get it on my face and in my right eye...the eye specialist I see when I get a bout says that I will lose my sight in my eye because of it! I agree that a study should be done for those who get it more than once. Thanks for posting this, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one out there who has it shingles multiple times.

 

50% helpful
lorij119 answered...

Is true they do reoccur. I have had since I was 15 tho I have been told scabies heat rash and blisters from herpes around my mouth. Are they not in the same family or the rash any how. Im 53 and on the average I have them 6 months of the year if not more. The pain has increased each time and the length of time I have a flare. It's more painful now then it ever has been so yes you can get more then one time.

 

57% helpful
ahenry answered...

I turned 45 last month and have had shingles at least 6 times over the last year. Interestingly enough, the first case was on the right side of my torso. All subsequent outbreaks of blisters have been on my left hand. However, the nerve pain affects both areas, sometimes without the blisters. No idea if it's a factor, but I did not get chicken pox until I was 18 and I was very, very ill from it. Now I know when I start getting fever and flu like symptoms, a shingle outbreak is sure to follow within a few days.I work with doctors and nobody seems to have an answer or a cure. The nerve pain is unbearable and nothing, Valtrex, Acyclovir, Lyrica helps

 

33% helpful
rkwnyc answered...

Even some doctors will still tell you it doesn't recur, but recent research has established that 1 out 20 shingles suffers can expect a second occurance within an average of 8 years or so. Details at http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/shingles-can-strike-twice-will-the-shingles-vaccine-help-201103021531

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I've had shingles about five times now and yes, it manifested itself during highly stressful times. For years, I had nothing, and poof, at 57, reared its ugly head (and rash) again. It does re-occur and can and personally, I have noticed the pattern - severe stress.

 

67% helpful
Jenniye answered...

i am 22 and i get shingles on average 2x a year since i was 16. i thought something may b wrong with me since all research iv read about shingles said its uncommon to get it more thn 2x. so i feel better knowing people get it like i do. wipes forehead

 

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50% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

I'm 28 years old and this is the 5th time I had shingles since I was 20 years of age. I agree that a new research should be conducted!

 

75% helpful
Katie Coo answered...

I had shingles when I was 12, I have now had them for the last 3 years, they last for a week, go away for a couple of days then it all starts again, it is so painful and tiring as wakes me up

 

67% helpful
cackercat11 answered...

I am 37 and on my second round of shingles in the past 3 months. The rash is in the same place as first time, on my lower back. The pain has been mild both times but not something I like feeling on a daily. I felt like I was going crazy until I read these posts. I think more studies need to be done. I never thought I would get shingles, especially twice. I am healthy and have little stress in my life. It just doesn't make sense.

 

50% helpful
GabyJoe answered...

I had shingles at 51 and they lasted two and a half months - then they came back about 30 days after the first bout ended. With a smaller window of only two weeks. Since then I have had recurring and severe back pain than feels exactly like the shingles pain I felt. At 57 I just developed psoriasis and strangely the shingles pain is more constant now than ever before. I have a large scar on my back from the first outbreak and it's this scab and the area around it where I feel the most pain. of the three people I know who have had shingles 2 of the 3 have had shingles more than once. Only the one who had it as a child, and is now 67, never got it again. The other two have had it more than twice and it seems to be triggered by stress.

 

25% helpful
Kathryn131 answered...

I am an acupuncturist and have treated the initial outbreak of shingles as well as post-herpetic pain of my patients. When I got pain across my left scapula around to my breastbone, I didn't know what it was until I realized I had a small circle of lesions on my back that had already scabbed over. I immediately got acupuncture treatments and the pain went away completely. A year later at age 62 I got a second bout of extreme pain, a constant deep aching in my right mid-back across the scapula to the underarm and down to my elbow. Thinking it was a muscle pull from playing tennis, I got massage, acupuncture and then chiropractic adjustment. I finally realized it was shingles again with no rash except itching on my arm. It took about 5 weeks for the pain to go away...worst aching pain I have ever felt. The only way I could sleep was to put a bio freeze gel on the painful areas with ice to numb it. I am usually very healthy but stress was the trigger both times. I took lots of Vitamin C and anti-viral Chinese herbs to help my body fight the virus.

 

50% helpful
Amanda 2399 answered...

I am 33 and had shingles 4 times from the past 4 years in the same place start as rash then the blistered appear. I think mine is do to stress. I put destine cream on it sometimes it helps with the rash makes me feel better to no I'm not alone. Amanda

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I am 57 years old and in the past 12 years I have had shingles on an average of 5 times a year. Three years ago I went to an Allergy/ Immunology specialist and after several tests she found I have a significant T cell deficiency. My body does not fight off viruses like normal people. She said it is a deformity in my body, meaning it was not caused my an illness, and there is no cure. If I catch a cold or flu it takes me weeks, sometimes months, to get well and I always break out in shingles. The pain gets worse and last longer with each outbreak.

 

25% helpful
h.cellar answered...

I'm a 38 yr.old female with type 1 diabetes and in the past year I have been diagnosed with shingles for the fourth time as of today. My last shingles shot was four months ago. I'm prescribed to take Zovirax and Ultrams. Although Zovirax is commonly treated for shingles,I think people with multiple reaccurance should be treated differently. And my doctor who thinks Ultrams work for pain,obviously he has never had shingles!! Much compassion for those of you dealing with shingles.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

i am 22 blk female in wisconsin. I got shingles the first time when I was 15, I hit my hip on the edge of a table and it broke out.. since then I have gotten shingles every year in december.. I have noticed it stays in the area on my belt line and every year it spreads a little longer on the nerve there.. .. I was getting blood work done I was rele worried something was wrong with me because all the online research says most ppl only get it once and usually older people .. I am perfectly healthy, so there needs to be more research done on shingles and what causes people to get it more than once

 

cindy k. answered...

I am so glad i found this site. I got shingles, one spot back of my thigh in 1993, then 1994...Next episode was in 2008 on vacation, the infection was going into my lymph nodes. After that I got it in about 2010, and now I suffer at least 2-3 times a year. Today out of the blue i broke out in a completely different spot, and it didnt feel like it started inside of me. This is the most painful episode so far. I don't know what type of doctor to see. So far, nobody has had a lot of experience with reoccuring shingles outbreaks. Any suggestions?

 

Doones answered...

I am 76 years old. My first bout of shingles was 15 years ago after a stem cell transplant. That was so painful, I laid in bed and cried for a week. I had a rash and blisters across the right side of my chest and neck. I just now came down with my 5th bout of shingles. The last 4 times have just been one small area on the right side of my back which starts out like a welt, develops pain and blisters and is pretty much gone within a week. The pain is tolerable, but I get on Veltrex the day I start getting the shingles. All but one episode were triggered by stress. The first one was triggered by being in a car accident, and the other 3 followed a few a few months after having surgery. The second episode had no apparent trigger.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I have suffered from multiple attacks for over 20 years. The first one came close to taking my life. I have found stress and fatigue to be the triggers. However, I have found what I call the cure. When I feel the first symptoms I grab 2 or 3 bottles of OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT. I take 9 a day../3 morning, 3 noon and 3 at night until the bottles are gone. This squares me up. I should just take Olive Leaf daily after episode but fade away on it...

 

100% helpful
GHS ongoing answered...

I was in my mid 20s the first time I got shingles. Trying of course to connect it to something, I thought it was because I had just ridden a horse bareback (the horse, not me!) Then I got it again, several times in one year - my doctor injected smallpox vaccine right into the area, based on a medical study that indicated this would help. It didn't help. Since then I have shingles anywhere from 3 times a year to the worst year ever when I had it 27 times. Sometimes it's worse than others. It always feels like I'm being stabbed with needles or knives and it's always around the base of my spine, from the waist down, which of course is very challenging because of sitting. When I have it, I generally feel much more tired. I have found that taking Acidophilous every day helps and increasing the dosage when I get shingles. I start to feel the pain and itching under the skin before anything starts to show, then the area breaks out into blisters. The blisters are the most painful when they are full of liquid. For that pain, I have found that Providone Iodine applied directly to the blisters, helps to dry them up. It is SO hard to be disciplined to not rub or scratch but it's essential not to. I hope no one else experiences the frequency that I do. I wouldn't wish it on anyone!

 

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meeks answered...

Omg Yall...I am soooo glad I found this...I thought something was wrong with me...I started getting shingles almost 2 years ago on my 26th birthday and it ths thee most absolute worst pain i e felt in my life...I thought I got bitten by a spider...I didn't go to the dr I just let it ride...the 2nd time I got them I didn't go the the dr either...the 3rd time I did and that's when I found out what they were..I was confused because in the commercials they make it seem like only elderly people get them...I've had then maybe 3 or 4 times more since I went to the dr the 1st time...but this time is the worst...they always come in the same place on my left butt cheek...so sitting is hard...this time it's bigger and actually puss like substance is coming out...I got calamine lotion and it works sometimes with the itch...I hope they find a cure soon ????????????

 

shiglegirl answered...

My maternal grandmother had shingles 3 times. My dad also had shingles 3 times. I have had them twice. All three of us have kyphoscoliosis. I have read all of the comments. I have never tried acupuncture, but chiropractices has helped. I feel like the olive leaf can help also because immunity and health go hand in hand.

 

100% helpful
Debdav answered...

I, too, have had multiple bouts of Shingles, always brought on by stress. My first episode was when I was 18 and a senior in High School. This was back in 1983, and I was told at the time that it usually occurs up to two weeks after a stressful event or time period. This made perfect sense as I had finished my testing for College entrance approximately two weeks earlier. I have had it three additional times since - always a couple of weeks or so after some sort of stressful time period. Each time, they appear on my right torso - almost exactly the same spot. I was also told that I am more susceptible to them since I was the youngest of three girls, and I contracted Chicken Pox when I was 5 - first by one sister, and then it never went away completely when the second sister contracted it. This prolonged my virus and, it is believed, caused me to be more proned towards Shingles. Luckily (if you want to say that it's lucky), they have shown that children and young teens who contract Shingles usually don't have the same intensity in pain or length of suffering. This was certainly true in my case. I had to learn to stay calm in extremely stressful situations, and now, at 50 years of age, it has been about 7 years since my last bout. I hope some of this helps someone else out there.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

i had my first bout with shingles at 22 im now 30 and experincing my 6th bout im diabetic blood sugar controlled but high stress . doctor says most common factor/pattern is high stress for extended time period

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I have shingles currently and this is the third time in two years! The first time was about two years ago, and the second time was about six months ago.

 

mt2hi answered...

I've had the shingles twice in my life, 1st time when i was 13 yrs old and the last time when i was 48 yrs old, what saved me the second time is i knew what to look for and how i was feeling, so immediately got to the doctor and he confirmed what i thought, i told him what i was feeling for the last two weeks and he told me that was a sign of the shingles, my stomach hurt so bad i could not get up off the couch, i was doubled over in so much pain, but that is just one of the many signs, they can be different everytime.

 

angrygirl answered...

I thought I was having reoccurring shingles until I saw a dermatologist. He informed me that it is actually called herpes not shingles if it is reoccurring. Mouth drop, no you dont have to have gential or mouth sores to have herpes. How did this happen to all of us?

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

31 , I've had the shingles so often I've lost count, the first time I had them I was 27 and around 6 months pregnant with my second child....I have them right now. ...I stay pretty stressed out (have 3 year old, 4 year old & 8 year old -all boys ) :-) just glad to see I'm not the only one!

 

Jacycham answered...

I have had several reoccurrences of it (about 2 a year). I just got it in a different place than my usual spot. I am not trying to sell anything here, but I started using essential oils and when I broke out yesterday I started in with them and honestly I have less pain than I usually have! I take them orally and topically. Hey, at some point we all get desperate to try just about anything. Like I said before I am not trying to sell anything but I will say if you are interested, I am willing to help with the oils. It's how I treat mine.

 

skylines94 answered...

I'm 20 years old. I've had shingles on and off about 7 times in the past couple years. Ever since the second time I've been on the lookout and I catch it early asap now. My doctor prescribes Valaciclovir and it's usually gone within a few days.

 

jb115 answered...

My son had them the first time at age 10! He just called me and told me he has them again (now the 7th or 8th time total he is now 24). I am demanding that the docs give him the vaccine I was originally told you can't get it once you have them, but according to the CDC in the US you can get it after having shingles.

 

angrygirl answered...

You can have the vaccination if you have not had an outbreak for more than 6 months. However he could take Valaciloir on a daily basis to stop the outbreaks or just during the outbreaks to stop them, the shingles seem to morph into herpes after a while he might need to be scraped and actually tested, especially if he has lots of stress.

 

tommypock answered...

I am 25 I get them every year same time same place around my right eye every year the pain is worse u can get them a lot more than once they need more research for sure I've been getting them for 10 years now

 

DaveP answered...

For my 47 th birthday, I got another shingles outbreak. That makes 6 or 7 in the last two years. It is nice to know I am not the only one.

 

Melanie1423 answered...

I am in what I believe is another round of shingles in just less than a year. Haven't felt right. Noticed a few patches especially around my face and neck. Heart racing. Joints swelling and a lot of unexplained pain. Just like before just in a different place. I feel horrible and I'm not going on the mess..side effects just too bad. Was told too could not get them more than once but I kinda think once you have had them you never forget, very great full I found this page..it's not in my head.

 

LITTLE WEN answered...

I HAD SHINGLES ABOUT 18 YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS 60. NOW I THNK I HAVE THEM AGAIN. I ITCH MOSTLY IN THE MIDDLE OF MY BACK AND HIPS. ALSO, MY SHINS ITCH. PAINFUL. THE FIRST TIME I GOT THE, I DID NOT WHAT WAS WRONG. I WAS SO ILL THAT I DECIDED TO GO TO THE EERGENCY ROO AND THE DOCTOR I WAS ASSIGNED TO TOOK ONE LOOK AND TOLD ME WHAT I HAD. I AM USING CALAMINE LOTION AND TAKNG BENADRYL TABLET. IT HAS BEEN ABOUT TWO WEEKS AND SEEMS TO BE EASING UP, WHICH IS ABOUT TH ENGTH OF TIME THE FIRST EPISODE LASTED. I FEEL YOUR PAIN.

 

villagemusic answered...

i had shingles the worst time wheni was 39, on my forehead and scalp. did not have it again for 12 years , have had it so many times now i cant count, 30 maybe and always on my right leg area, but varies,took the shot a couple years ago i am now 62 had shingles three times since but not as severe however , different, area, you know whenyou are getting it and stress is probably a big issue but not always

 

Bailey2015 answered...

I'm am 30 years old and fighting my first case of shingles on my left leg. I was prescribed acyclovir 800mg 5x a day for 7 days...I just finished the meds and they certainly stopped them in their tracks...though my energy levels are still quite low. I have very little stress in my life and I am very healthy, I really hope this doesn't return once I'm fully healed!

 

lameyer91 answered...

I am 43, I have had them 4 times since January. Each bout gets smaller. I have found prior to the outbreak I have a horrid headache. I am under tremendous stress, also.