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Do I have Staph, Shingles, Zoster?
Oct 20, 2005

I have a large, boil-like growth on my inner butt-cheek. It's very red & hard (to touch) but has no head for drainage. My Dr. says it's unusual - that it could be staph, shingles or zoster?

My Dr. prescribed Bactrim & Rifampin. It's not clear to me why the Rifampin (a TB med)?

This comes 3weeks after the last time I had sex - is the incubation period that long? Or, could I have gotten it some other way?

Thank you very much!

Response from Dr. Wohl

A picture is worth a thousand words and actually seeing this lesion worth even more. Without the benefit of a look, I can only say that a single spot does not shingles make. Shingles comes out in crops of small fluid filled bubbles that burn and or tingle.

A boil is caused by a bacterial infection in or under the skin. They are usually red and tender. The antibiotics prescribed are directed against skin germs. Rifampin here is not being used for TB but probably to cover drug resistant staph.

IF you do not improve on antibiotics, it may be something else. Syphilis can produce a skin lesion soon after infection but these are painless and usually in the form of an ulcer. Likewise, herpes simplex creates a painful ulcer. So, I doubt from what you write that this is some STD but again, without an exam it is hard to tell.

DW



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