A 62-year-old female asked:
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diagnosed with shingles 5 days ago; have lymphedema on 1 arm from removal of 30 breast cancer involved lymph nodes - what if shingles spreads to arm?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Martha Hidalgo
31 years experience Internal Medicine
Antiviral therapy: There is antiviral therapy to treat shingles and avoid that spreads further.
Answered on Apr 30, 2015
Dr. Greg Hinson
27 years experience Family Medicine
Secondary infection: Good news is that shingles always follows set patterns. The outbreaks follow the course of a sensory nerve. So, if the outbreak isn't now near the arm, it is very unlikely that it will go there. You can search online for shingles dermatomes to see the patterns. If it does make it to your arm, secondary infection is your biggest concern. Be careful the blisters do not pop and become infected.
Answered on Nov 28, 2017
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1 thank
Dr. Joshua Garren
24 years experience Radiation Oncology
Rare: Shingles rarely spreads from one area of the body to the next. I do hope that you are under treatment for your shingles, though. Treatment is effective at reducing long term sequellae of shingles.
Answered on Dec 27, 2015

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