Monday, April 15, 2024

How Does Shingles Look Like

Burning Feeling And Red Rash

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Between 1 and 5 days after you start to feel the tingling or numb feeling, a red rash will develop on the same area of your skin. Most often, the rash appears on one side of your torso, but it can show up anywhere on your body.

You may also have other symptoms along with the rash, such as:

When the rash starts, you should see a doctor for treatment as soon as possible. Starting antiviral medication treatment within 3 days of the rash first appearing can lower your risk of developing complications, like long-term pain.

When Should I See A Doctor

If you think you may have shingles, see your doctor as soon as possible. “Treatment is most effective when given within 72 hours of the appearance of rash and blisters,” advises Dr. Mohring. “Any rash accompanied by pain, including fever or headache, should prompt you to have a conversation with your doctor, especially if it’s a fluid-filled blister.”

Shingles Symptom: Sharp Stabbing Pain

Shingles pain usually has a sharp stabbing, burning, intensely itchy, or pins-and-needles quality, says Alison Lynch, MD, a primary care physician in San Diego, California. It usually shows up in the trunk area of the body, including the chest and upper and lower back. Dr. Lynch says this symptom can begin several days before the rash appears. Consider taking one of these over-the-counter medicines that ease every type of aches and pains.

Recommended Reading: What Prescription Cream Is Used For Shingles

Shingles Rash In The Eyes

Ophthalmic shingles, or herpes zoster ophthalmicus , is when the shingles rash is in and/or around the eye. It is a severe variant that affects 20% of people with the infection.

If you develop a shingles rash near your eye, contact your healthcare provider right away.

lauraag / Getty Images

HZO usually appears within two to four weeks after a shingles rash starts. People who have a compromised immune system, such as those with HIV/AIDS, are at higher risk for developing this.

All parts of the eye can be affected. For example:

  • You can develop blisters around the eye that may cause the eyelids and surrounding area to swell.
  • The corneaâthe transparent part over the front of the eyeâcan be affected, causing calcification .
  • Blood vessels in the eye could become more pronounced blood flow to the eye could be impacted.

To reduce your risk of long-term eye complications, contact your healthcare provider right away if you have a shingles rash on your face.

Other Signs And Symptoms Of Shingles

The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

While shingles commonly causes pain, headache, and itching, it can also present a range of other symptoms.

The severity of the symptoms will vary from person to person. Some people may have mild symptoms, whereas others may feel intense pain.

Other symptoms of shingles include:

  • sensitivity to light
  • fluid-filled blisters

Seek immediate medical care if you experience symptoms of shingles.

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How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
  • Recommended Reading: How Can You Contract Shingles

    Other Health Problems Due To Shingles

    Some people develop other health problems after the shingles rash clears, which include:

    Postherpetic neuralgia : This is the most common. Occurring where you had the rash, PHN can cause constant tingling, burning, and pain. For others, the pain comes and goes.

    Whether the pain is constant or intermittent, it can go on for a long time. You can have PHN for months, years, or the rest of your life. There is no way to know how long it will last.

    The pain caused by PHN can become so severe that it interferes with your life, making everyday activities painful. A musician may no longer be able to play an instrument. Some people cannot walk comfortably. It may be difficult to bathe or get dressed. You may have trouble sleeping.

    How to prevent PHN: If you have shingles, you can greatly reduce your risk of PHN by getting treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash.

    Get treated for shingles within 3 days of developing the rash

    Taking antiviral medication within 3 days of getting the shingles rash can: Reduce your risk of developing PHN Ease symptoms of shingles Clear the shingles rash more quickly

    Other health problems that can develop after the shingles rash clears include:

    • Blindness or loss of some eyesight

    Although rare, some people die of shingles.

    Treatment can prevent these complications.

    You can find out if you have a greater risk of developing shingles at, Shingles: Causes.


    Read Also: Do You Always Have A Rash With Shingles

    How Common Is Shingles

    Shingles affects 1 out of every 3 people in the United States. More than 1 million cases of shingles are diagnosed every year. The risk of shingles increases as you get older, with about half the cases occurring in people over the age of 50. Shingles develops in about 10% of people who have had chickenpox at an earlier time in their life.

    Could It Really Be Monkeypox

    How Do You Get Shingles? What Does Shingles Look Like?

    The first thing to ask yourself is do you think you could have been exposed? It takes close, prolonged contact often skin-to-skin with an infected person. There are very few people in the world who currently have it, meaning there are not that many opportunities to catch it.

    Even in remote parts of some African countries where it can sometimes circulate, children rarely contract it.

    If you were to get sick with monkeypox, the first thing you would notice is flu-like symptoms feeling tired, generally unwell and feverish. Its what doctors call the invasion period of the disease, when the virus enters your cells.

    Your glands would feel swollen because your immune system is ramping up to fight the infection.

    Next comes the rash, which goes through different skin eruption phases. It starts off flat and red, but then gets bumpy and blistered, before forming scabs.

    Dr Rosamund Lewis from the World Health Organizations Emergencies Programme explains: It starts with what we call macules. These are just red areas. Then it progresses to papules. This is something you can feel. Its raised.

    Those red lumps and bumps then start to blister, and fill with a whitish fluid that looks like pus.

    These pustules then begin to dry out and scab over. Eventually, the scabs will heal and drop off.

    This is why it can be confused with chickenpox, says Dr Lewis.

    The rash which may look slightly different on different skin tones can contaminate bedsheets and clothes.

    Read Also: How Do You Know If Your Getting Shingles

    What Are The Risk Factors For Shingles

    In the United States, 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime, and there are about 1 million cases a year in the country. Older adults who had chickenpox but do not have the shingles vaccine can often have a higher risk of reactivating the varicella-zoster virus and getting shingles.

    Other factors that increase your risk include:

    • conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV, cancer, chemotherapy, or an organ transplant
    • weakened or impaired immune system, which also increases the risk for having recurring episodes of shingles

    The risk of shingles is usually 10 times greater in adults who are more than 60 years old than in children younger than 10. Much of the increase in shingles risk occurs at around 50 years old.

    How Do People Get Shingles

    People get shingles when the virus that causes chicken pox, varicella zoster, is reactivated in their body. The varicella zoster virus doesnt leave the body, even after a person has recovered from chicken pox. It can flare up again, causing shingles, often many years after a person has had chicken pox. The virus tends to reactivate when a persons immune system is weakened because of another health problem.

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    Also Check: Does Health Insurance Cover Shingles Vaccine

    What Are Shingles The Symptoms Causes Prevention And Treatment

    Anyone that has experienced shingles will tell you how painful and uncomfortable this viral infection can be. This condition, otherwise known as herpes zoster, is caused by the reactivation of varicella-zoster, the chickenpox virus.

    After a person, commonly a child recovers from chickenpox, this virus tends to remain in specific nerve cells. This viral presence will usually remain until adulthood.

    For many adults, these nerve cells will host varicella without the virus ever making an appearance or causing further complications. However, the shingles virus isnt always inactive. There are cases where the virus re-activates.

    In such a scenario, the telltale symptoms of this skin infection may be observed. Shingles usually appear as a strip on one section of the body in adults and older people.

    When To See A Doctor

    The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

    Hives may appear as part of a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

    This requires immediate medical care. Along with a rash, anaphylaxis includes other symptoms such as: trouble breathing, swelling of the lips, eyelids, and tongue, dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, or a sudden feeling of intense anxiety.

    You should speak with a healthcare provider if you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction, and seek emergency medical care if you start developing symptoms of anaphylaxis.

    Read Also: How Safe Is The Shingles Vaccine

    Signs And Symptoms Of Shingles

    Shingles may cause mild to severe pain, and the viral rash most commonly appears on the trunk, notes the CDC. Unlike chickenpox, the shingles rash usually occurs on one side of the body or face.

    The first symptom of shingles is usually pain, itching, or tingling in the area where the shingles rash will later appear. This may happen several days before the rash erupts, leading to fluid-filled blisters like those of chicken pox. The blisters typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and clear up within two to four weeks, according to the CDC.

    Other signs and symptoms of shingles may include:

    If You Forget To Use It

    If it is almost time for your next application of Hydrozole Cream, skip the application you missed and apply the cream when you are next meant to. Otherwise, use it as soon as you remember, and then go back to using your cream as you would normally.

    Do not use a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.

    If you have trouble remembering to use your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

    Recommended Reading: Do Shingles Itch Or Hurt

    Shingles All Over The Body

    Around 20% of persons who develop shingles have a rash that spreads across more than one dermatome, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The dermatomes are separate skin regions supplied by distinct spinal nerves.

    Shingles is most often induced by varicella zoster virus . The rashes caused by shingles appear on the dermatomes, or nerve roots that control different areas of the body. When zoster affects three or more dermatomes, it is known as disseminated, or widespread zoster. In these situations, the rash might resemble chickenpox rather than shingles. This is more probable if your immune system is weak.

    If You Get The Shingles Vaccine Does This Mean Youre 100% Protected From Getting Shingles

    This is what shingles look like on your face Part 1

    No. Just like most vaccines, getting vaccinated with a shingles vaccine doesnt provide 100% protection from disease. However, getting the shingles vaccine reduces your risk of developing shingles.

    Even if you do develop shingles, youll be more likely to have a mild case. Also, youll be much less likely to develop postherpetic neuralgia, a painful condition that can follow a shingles outbreak.

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    Shingles Symptoms: The Rash

    The rash associated with herpes zoster begins as small blisters in a reddish background. New blisters form for the next few days, usually 3 to 5 days. Blisters emerge in a path of individual nerves in a specific ray-like distribution called a dermatomal pattern. Blisters tend to break out in a band-like pattern over an area of skin.

    What Is The Most Painful Stage Of Shingles

    Typically, the peak pain of shingles is felt within 4 or 5 days after the first symptoms develop, and it comes along with a blistering rash. As the blisters scab over, the pain usually starts to disappear. In some cases, the pain does not go away. This is known as a condition called postherpetic neuralgia.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Over The Counter Cream For Shingles

    Who Should Not Be Vaccinated With Shingrix

    You should not receive the Shingrix vaccine if you:

    • Have ever had a severe allergy to this vaccine or any ingredient in this vaccine.
    • Are breastfeeding or pregnant.
    • Are somewhat ill or very ill and have a high fever.
    • Have tested negative for immunity to varicella zoster virus .

    Ask your healthcare provider if the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.

    How Do You Prevent Shingles

    The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

    You can lower your risk of shingles and its complications by getting the vaccine for shingles. The Food and Drug Administration approved the shingles vaccineShingrix for people:

    • ages 50 and older
    • people 18 years and older whose immune systems are weakened or compromised by a medical condition
    • people 18 years and older taking immune-suppressing medication

    Shingrix is 97% effective at preventing shingles in people with healthy immune systems, ages 5069 years, and 91% effective for adults 70 and older. The vaccine also reduces the risk of severe shingles and complications of shingles in all adults.

    You can reduce your risk of chickenpox and the subsequent development of shingles by avoiding exposure to a person with chickenpox and getting vaccines for both of these conditions, as your healthcare professional recommends.

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    How Is Postherpetic Neuralgia Treated

    Treatments include lotions or creams and/or other medications not specifically used for pain, such as antidepressants or drugs for epilepsy. Regular pain relievers are not usually effective for this type of pain.

    If pain doesnt lessen, other treatments such as nerve blocks or steroid injections near the area where the nerves exit the spine can be tried. Implantable nerve stimulator devices are an option for severe, ongoing pain that has not responded to other treatments.

    How To Treat Shingles

    There are number of treatment options for shingles. Most people who get it will not need to see a doctor or take special medications but some cases can be severe and may require medical attention. If you have any symptoms, dont wait see your doctor right away if possible.

    The first line of defense is antiviral medicines that reduce the severity and length of the illness by speeding up how fast your body clears the virus from its system. These drugs include acyclovir , famciclovir and valacyclovir . Acyclovir ointment can also help with pain relief as well as relieve itching caused by healing blisters.

    Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also be helpful.

    Cool compresses can soothe the itchy rash and help keep blisters from bursting.

    Moisturizers can help reduce dryness and itching.

    If you have severe pain, your doctor may prescribe an oral narcotic medication such as oxycodone or hydrocodone .

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    You Cannot Get Shingles From Someone With Chickenpox

    You cannot get shingles from someone with shingles or chickenpox.

    But you can get chickenpox from someone with shingles if you have not had chickenpox before.

    When people get chickenpox, the virus remains in the body. It can be reactivated later and cause shingles if someone’s immune system is lowered.

    This can be because of stress, certain conditions, or treatments like chemotherapy.

    Common Symptoms Of Shingles

    Shingles disease what it looks like how to treat it

    The most common symptoms of shingles are:

    • sensation of an itching, tingling, or severe burning or shooting pain that precedes a rash
    • painful rash in a band or patch-like shape over the affected area
    • fluid-filled blisters that eventually dry out, crust over, and heal

    Other symptoms may include chills, upset stomach, fever, and headache.

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    Can You Tell Me What Shingles Look Like

    What Does the Shingles Rash Look Like? The shingles rash can be a distinctive cluster of fluid-filled blisters often in a band around one side of the waist. This explains the term shingles, which comes from the Latin word for belt. The next most common location is on one side of the forehead or around one eye.

    Is it necessary to see a doctor for shingles?

    Shingles is not usually serious, but you should see your GP as soon as possible if you recognise the symptoms. Early treatment may help reduce the severity of your symptoms and the risk of developing complications.

    Are eggs bad for shingles?

    Patients with shingles infection or lesions should avoid excess arginine in their diet. Food sources of arginine to avoid include nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, soybeans and tofu, gelatin, canned tuna, chicken, egg, whole grain wheat flour, raw garlic and onion, and chocolate syrup.

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