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Q.

How often do children get shingles?

My 8 year old son has been diagnosed with shingles twice in the past year.  Is this common?  Can he be tested to find out what it is if he breaks out again?

The first time he had it on one shoulder. 

The second time it was on one wrist.  The second time they said it could be shingles or a staph infection.  They gave him medication for shingles.

 

Thank you

 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Primary Care
4,364 Answers
20,918 Helpful Votes
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A.

First, it needs to be conclusively PROVEN that he actually has shingles.The wrist is not a place one would usually see it since herpes zoster (the medical name for shingles) follows a nerve pathway. There are lab tests that can be done; ordered by his doctor, including a direct herpes culture to any fresh sores that he may get.

I see shingles quite several times a year in my pediatric practice. I can't say it is common, but shingles does occur in children.

As this point, I would question the diagnosis, since shingles also tends to break out in the exact, same area each time....not on the shoulder once, and then the wrist.

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