Q. I have a small bubbly rash on my back, which is itchy. Could it be shingles?

Answered by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 17, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 21, 2021

Hello doctor,

I noticed this itchy, sore and bubbly rash on my back, in the bra strap area. The rash is relatively small and oval in shape. I have attached an image for your better understanding. I have been using tanning beds, so I am not sure if that could have caused this rash. But my mom says this looks like shingles. I am worried, as I have a family history of shingles. I have had chicken pox previously.



Welcome to

I have read your query and examined your picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Shingles is a viral infection caused by varicella zoster. It is characterized by unilateral pain, with multiple fluid-filled eruptions limited to a dermatome.

It does seem like herpes zoster, that is, shingles. But, the presence of itching is not a symptom of shingles.

Are these rashes unilaterally localized to a particular area of the skin? Do you have any burning pain? If yes, then it is shingles.

Then, I suggest taking tablet Acyclovir 800 mg five times a day and 5 % Acyclovir ointment twice daily for five days after consulting your dermatologist.

Investigate for blood sugar, HBsAg, and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) test to rule out the cause of immunosuppression.

For more information consult a dermatologist online -->

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