And to make matters worse, I suffer from OCD and am hypersensitive to my body. So ever since finding the rash, I noticed aches and pains everywhere. The skin around my hip and down my right buttocks feels sensitive, I noticed tingling, but only after the rash appeared. Are herpes painful? How long does it usually take for them to bust and become open lesions?
"he said poison" - I'm hoping you mean poison ivy or something, and not just poison?
Assuming you meant poison ivy or poison oak or whatnot, how would you get that genitally and on your butt? Have you been camping? Out in the woods? Is there a reasonable explanation for that?
Would there be a reasonable explanation for herpes? You don't mention anything about your sexual history, only that you're 24 weeks pregnant, so we know that 6 or 7 ish months ago, you had sex.
Ordinarily, I would tell you not to worry about it, and trust your doctor, but you are pregnant. Did your doctor address what this means for your baby?
It doesn't sound like herpes - herpes doesn't respond well at all to steroids, and hydrocortisone is a steroid. Since this got better with hydrocortisone, it doesn't fit herpes.
A hundred (or more) things can cause rashes - allergies, eczema, dermatitis, poison ivy and oak (and others). My only concern is that you're pregnant, which obviously adds a layer of concern.
Herpes usually starts as blisters, and will scab over. How long that takes depends on your body, and if this is a new infection. If this is herpes, and I really, really wish your doctor had done some actual testing, you could have had it for awhile - years, even - and pregnancy could have triggered an outbreak. Or it could be a new infection, but that you felt no pain doesn't sound like herpes, new or old.
I might get a second opinion only because you're pregnant. I really don't think it's herpes. If the second opinion thinks it is, make them do a PCR swab on it. That's more sensitive than a regular culture. Also ask for a type specific IgG blood test.
If you have a therapist, and I hope you do, give them a call. This has to be a stressful time for you. Your mental health is as important as your physical health.
I hate to bombard this board, but does anyone know how long the tingling/itch lasts with herpes zoster? My rash has since scabbed over and peeled, but the itch is still there and drives me crazy!