The Stages Before And After Rash Development
The most well-known symptom of shingles is a severe skin rash. However, before any signs of blisters, you may feel as if you’re only coming down with the flu.
You may experience chills and fever, as well as intense pain. It’s not until a few days later that a rash finally joins these shingles symptoms, with clusters of tiny, pimple-like blisters progressing quickly once they appear.
If you’re familiar with the signs and symptoms of shingles, you’ll be able to recognize what’s going on, get a diagnosis quickly, and deal with it without delay. Doing so makes you less likely to develop complications, such as nerve issues or bacterial skin infections.
This article reviews the symptoms of shingles and what you need to know about potential complications.
How Do You Treat Shingles On The Arm
Wet, cool compress. In addition to taking a bath to relieve pain and itchiness associated with a shingles rash, apply a cool, moist compress. Do this several times throughout the day to relieve symptoms. Soak a cloth in cool water, wring out the water, and apply the cloth to the rash and blisters.
Can you get shingles on your arms and hands?
Shingles rash on the palm of a mans hand While shingles tends to develop on your body or face, it can appear anywhere on your skin.
Can shingles cause pain in shoulder?
Describing her experience with shingles, one sufferer wrote that her rash did not appear until almost a week after the pain started. The pain started in her right shoulder blade, and it felt as if she had hurt herself.
Can shingles make your joints hurt?
And, there are cases where some patients experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash. As time progresses, tingling, itching, joint pain, swollen glands, and a burning pain often develops.
Where do shingles appear on the body?
Usually you get the shingles rash on your chest and tummy, but it can appear anywhere on your body including on your face, eyes and genitals. The rash appears as blotches on your skin, on 1 side of your body only. A rash on both the left and right of your body is unlikely to be shingles.
Can shingles affect the hands?
Week Two: Possible Infection
It is important to wash your hands, keep the shingles rash and blisters clean and try not to scratch. Scratching blisters can cause infection, says Dr. Bridges. Cellulitis and impetigo are two secondary skin infections associated with shingles. Folks with a compromised immune system are far more likely to also develop these types of infections. If your shingles rash swells, become pus-filled or weeps, these are signs that you have, in fact, gotten a bacterial infection. A topical antibiotic may be prescribed to apply to lesions to treat an infection, says Dr. Bridges, noting that a topical can also help prevent infection.
Also Check: How Bad Can Shingles Get
You May Like: Who Pays For Shingles Vaccine
How Long Does Shingles Normally Last
Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks. Shingles follows a pattern: The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes, it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body. Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
Who Should Not Get The Vaccine
Do not get the shingles vaccine if:
- You have a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to any ingredient of a vaccine or to a previous dose of Shingrix
- You have shingles now.
You are sick with an illness and a fever of 101Â°F or higher.
- You should also consider delaying the vaccine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough is known about its safety for expectant and lactating women.
- You have had a negative test for varicella this would be uncommon for adults eligible for the vaccine, as most adults worldwide ages 50 and older have been exposed to the virus. You do not have to be tested before getting the vaccine.
Also Check: When Does Shingles Pain Start
You May Like: Is The Shingles Virus Airborne
The Shingles Rash Usually Occurs On One Side Of The Body Or Face Most Commonly On The Trunk
Its easy to mistake a shingles rash for another health condition that affects the skin. The shingles virus typically causes a painful rash and blisters, which can resemble many other skin conditions psoriasis, eczema, and hives among them. However, there are a few signs that your rash is more likely to be shingles than something else.
To get shingles, you must have had chickenpox. Shingles, or herpes zoster, occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates after lying dormant in the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 out of 3 people in the United States will get shingles in their lifetime. While your risk of getting shingles increases as you age, anyone can get it if they had chickenpox, notes the CDC.
About half of all shingles cases occur in adults age 60 or older, and the risk of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70, according to the National Institute on Aging.
How Long Is Shingles Contagious
Similar to chickenpox, shingles is a contagious illness. But, before we address how long you may be contagious, we need to talk about how shingles spreads which might actually surprise you.
Shingles is indeed contagious, but it can only be spread to people who havent yet had chickenpox, or the chickenpox vaccine. In these cases, the shingles virus typically spreads via direct contact with the opened blisters of your rash. After being infected, a person doesnt develop shingles, though he or she develops chickenpox, explains Dr. Brown.
Since you cant really know who is and who isnt susceptible to chickenpox, its important to take safety measures if you have shingles.
When you have shingles, youre considered contagious until your open sores crust and scab over. This generally takes between 7 to 10 days, says Dr. Brown. Depending on where your rash develops on your body and where you work, you may be able to return to work before your shingles dry up.
Before your rash dries up, Dr. Brown recommends the following to prevent spreading shingles to others:
- Make sure your rash is covered with gauze
- Limit interaction with other people if your shingles rash is on your face
- Consult with your doctor about returning to work if you work in a medical setting or nursing home, as well as if you interact with people frequently while at work
Read Also: Where Can I Get My Shingles Shot
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Recover From Shingles
A Word About The Shingles Vaccine
If you are age 60 or over and have not had shingles, talk to your doctor about getting the shingles vaccine. Not only will it reduce your risk of developing shingles, but if you do develop shingles, youll be more likely to have a mild case. And, just as important, youll be much less likely to develop PHN if youve had the vaccine.
Can One Get Shingles In The Leg
There are many misconceptions about shingles, and for those who have never had it, it can be hard to understand the symptoms. One common misconception is that one only gets shingles on the torso or the face. This is not true! One can get shingles anywhere on their body, including in their legs. The pain may be different but no less intense than someone elses would be if they got shingles on their torso or face.
Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that is dormant in the nervous system. Therefore, the rash appears in a dermatomal pattern most of the time, which means that the rashes will appear and spread on a particular area of skin supplied by the same spinal nerve. If the relevant nerves are affected, it is also possible to experience shingles on the leg. Although It is relatively unusual, the shingles rash may develop in more than one area of the body as the virus may affect more than one set of nerves. When three or more dermatomes are affected, the rash can develop over multiple areas of the body, and this is known as the disseminated zoster. Fortunately, this is known to be extremely rare, although it should be noted that people with a weaker immune system are at a higher risk of developing such a condition.
While shingles on the leg may be mistaken for other skin conditions, including hives, psoriasis, or eczema, the characteristics of a rash will prove helpful in providing the correct diagnosis:
Read Also: When Can I Get My Second Shingles Vaccine
Symptoms Of Shingles On The Legs
Its essential to catch the signs of shingles early so no complications transpire. The most accessible methodology to spot it is by Googling pictures of shingles rash on the legs. The results wont be super appetizing but are an excellent guide.
Other symptoms of shingles on the legs are relentless soreness, blisters, a rash, prickly pringling, high temperature, tiredness, and migraines.
S Of Shingles On The Arms
To diagnosticate promptly and rapidly, catching a glance at some pictures of shingles on the arms is a helpful tool to navigate this sea of confusion. Below, you can browse through some examples.
If you suspect that you caught shingles, please approach your local GP ASAP to minimize pain and avoid any further complications.
- What is Parastomal Hernia: Symptoms, Repair…
A parastomal hernia is best explained by initially understanding…
- Reducible and non-reducible hernia
The medical explanation of a hernia is the escape…
- Remove Skin Tags during pregnancy: genital,…
Pregnancy, a period of great joy, the nine months…
- Do Skin Tags, Moles, Genital and…
Itching or, to award it the correct medicinal name,…
- Doterra and Oregano Oils to remove…
Doterra, a memorable and unusual name, derived from the…
- Over the Counter Wart, Skin Tag…
Warts, always have a bit of a bad press…
- Rectal Skin Tags & Warts removing:…
Recommended Reading: What Medication Is Prescribed For Shingles
Who’s At Risk For Shingles
Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can get shingles, but the risk increases with age. People older than age 60 are up to 10 times more likely to get shingles than younger people. Other factors that increase your risk include:
- Some cancer medicines
- A weak immune system from illnesses such as cancer or HIV
A quarter of adults will develop shingles at some point, and most are otherwise healthy.
What Does Shingles Look Like
The appearance of shingles can depend on:
- The severity of your infection
- Pigmentation of your skin
- Where the infection occurs on your body
Shingles may be reddish in appearance on fair skin, but may look brown or simply like darker colored pigmentation on more melanated skin tones. Shingles most commonly appears in these two stages:
- Clusters of fluid-filled blisters
Also Check: How Do You Spread Shingles
What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Zoster
The rash associated with herpes zoster most often occurs on the trunk and buttocks. It may also appear on the arms, legs or face. While symptoms may vary child to child, the most common include:
- skin hypersensitivity in the area where the herpes zoster is to appear
- mild rash, which appears after five days and first looks like small, red spots that turn into blisters
- blisters, which turn yellow and dry, often leaving small, pitted scars
- rash goes away in one to two weeks
- rash is usually localized to one side of the body
How Long Does Shingles Last
Shingles blisters usually scab over in 7-10 days and disappear completely in two to four weeks. In most healthy people, the blisters leave no scars, and the pain and itching go away after a few weeks or months. But people with weakened immune systems may develop shingles blisters that do not heal in a timely manner.
Also Check: What Type Of Shingles Are There
Recommended Reading: How Do You Get The Shingles Vaccine
How To Prevent Shingles: Get Vaccinated
Two vaccines may help prevent the shingles virus: the chickenpox vaccine and the shingles vaccine. The shingles vaccine is approved for adults ages 50 and older and for those 18 and older with weakened immune systems or at increased risk of herpes zoster because of a disease or treatment, according to the CDC.
Per the CDC, talk to your doctor about getting a shingles vaccination if you are 50 or older or if you have the following risk factors:
- You have cancer, especially leukemia or lymphoma.
- You are a bone marrow or solid organ transplant recipient.
- You take immunosuppressive medications, including steroids, chemotherapy, or transplant-related medications.
Tingling Pain Or Numbness
During the first stage of shingles, before anything appears on your skin, a particular area of your body may begin to feel different. When a shingles outbreak is starting, you may feel itching, burning, or pain, Kim says. Often you will feel this on only one side of your body.
The initial signs of shingles may feel different for each person. In some cases, shingles can cause intense sensitivity, making it painful to even wear clothes over your skin, while in other cases, your skin may feel numb.
Read Also: How Long Do Shingles Last On Your Body
Is Herpes Zoster Common
Herpes zoster is more common in people with a depressed immune system and those over the age of 50. Its quite rare in children and the symptoms are mild compared to what an adult may experience. Children most at risk for herpes zoster are those who had chicken pox during the first year of life or whose mothers had chicken pox very late during pregnancy.
What Is The Outlook/prognosis For Cellulitis What Are Complications Of Cellulitis
Cellulitis is a treatable condition, but antibiotic treatment is necessary to eradicate the infection and avoid complications and spread of the infection. Most cellulitis can be effectively treated with oral antibiotics at home. Sometimes hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics are required if oral antibiotics are not effective. is a serious complication of cellulitis. If not properly treated, cellulitis can occasionally spread to the bloodstream and cause a serious bacterial infection of the bloodstream that spreads throughout the body .
You May Like: Why Is Shingles Pain Worse At Night
When To Call A Professional
If you suspect shingles, you should call a healthcare professional promptly. Getting started on antiviral medications soon can help reduce your chances of shingles complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia nerve pain that lingers long after the rash clears up.
ishonestNo.241 Stretch Marks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 10 to 18 percent of people with shingles go on to experience PHN.
If shingles causes an outbreak near your eye, you should get treatment right away. If the infection reaches your eyeball, it can cause scarring and possibly vision loss.
Other rare complications include:
- hearing problems
Even if youre not sure your rash or blisters are shingles, get checked out. If its a fungal infection, for example, you may get a diagnosis and prescription for medication to treat it.
Also Check: Cvs Pharmacy Shingles Vaccine
What Are The Symptoms
The first sign of shingles is often burning, sharp pain, tingling, or numbness in your skin on one side of your body or face. The most common site is the back or upper abdomen. You may have severe itching or aching. You also may feel tired and ill with fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach or belly pain.
One to 14 days after you start feeling pain, you will notice a rash of small blisters on reddened skin. Within a few days after they appear, the blisters will turn yellow, then dry and crust over. Over the next 2 weeks the crusts drop off, and the skin continues to heal over the next several days to weeks.
Because shingles usually follows nerve paths, the blisters are usually found in a line, often extending from the back or side around to the belly. The blisters are almost always on just one side of the body. Shingles usually doesnt cross the midline of the body. The rash also may appear on one side of your face or scalp. The painful rash may be in the area of your ear or eye. When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, symptoms can include headaches and weakness of one side of the face, which causes that side of the face to look droopy. The symptoms usually go away eventually, but it may take many months.
In some cases the pain can last for weeks, months, or years, long after the rash heals. This is called postherpetic neuralgia.
Read Also: Walgreens Shingrix
Recommended Reading: What Is The Meaning Of Shingles
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Shingles
Shingles causes a painful, blistering rash on your skin. If you get shingles, you may notice the following:
Before the rash appears: For 1 to 2 days before the rash appears, you may have pain, burning, or tingling on an area of skin where the rash will develop. Some people say they felt an electrical sensation on their skin before getting the rash.
Rash appears: A painful, blistering rash appears. It usually appears on one side of your body, often on the torso however, it can appear anywhere on your skin. Some people get more blisters after the rash appears, so it can seem that the rash is spreading.
Rash starts to clear: As the rash clears, the blisters may crack open, bleed, and scab over. For most people, the rash will clear within 2 to 4 weeks.
Although the rash will clear on its own, treatment is important. Taking medication within 3 days of getting the shingles rash can:
Reduce your risk of developing other health problems, such as long-lasting nerve pain, pneumonia, or hearing loss
Shingles rash on the face
If you have a shingles rash on your face, immediately seeing a doctor for treatment could save your eyesight.