Summary: What Does Shingles Look Like
Now that youve seen the shingles pictures above, review the key points about what to expect from the shingles rash.
- Shingles is the reactivation of chickenpox.
- The first shingles symptom is usually pain followed a few days later by a red rash across the torso.
- The red rash eventually develops fluid-filled blisters. While you have blisters, youre contagious.
- The blisters will pop and crust over.
- This shingles rash can be spread to any part of the body.
- You should seek immediate medical attention if you develop shingles on your eyes, forehead, face, or ears.
How Do I Protect Myself From Shingles
The best protection from shingles is vaccination. People can still get shingles after receiving the varicella vaccine but they are 4 to 12 times less likely to do so than if they havenât been immunized. The vaccine is recommended for most people 60 and older.
Some people should not receive the vaccine for example, those with certain allergies or who are taking certain medications. A health professional can advise who should not be vaccinated due to contraindications to the vaccine.
People between 50 and 59 years can request the vaccine from their health professional.
You May Like: Free Shingles Vaccine Walgreens
Can Shingles Cause Chronic Pain
In some people, the pain of shingles may linger for months or even years after the rash has healed. This pain, due to damaged nerves in and beneath the skin, is known as postherpetic neuralgia. Others feel a chronic itch in the area where the rash once was. In severe cases, the pain or itching may be bad enough to cause insomnia, weight loss, or depression.
Also Check: How Long Will It Take For Shingles To Go Away
Identifying And Treating Shingles On Your Leg And Groin
If you have a collection of blisters or rashes on your skin, its a sign of shingles. While shingles often appear as a band on your torso , you can face an outbreak anywhere on the body, and your groin and leg are no exception.
In fact, a case report from 2011 found that the face and trunk are two of the most common areas that face shingles outbreaks. While people do face penile shingles, cases are rare. It is worth noting that shingles are often itchy and painful, regardless of where they form on your body.
That is why it is crucial to seek professional medical assistance and contact expert skincare physician Dr. Elizabeth Pensler before it becomes a serious problem. Usually, medical professionals treat shingles with antiviral drugs to clear them up within weeks.
As a shingles outbreak has a typically distinctive appearance, you can differentiate it from rashes that stem from allergy. Lets delve into details and learn more about identifying and treating shingles on your leg and groin.
Research And Statistics: Who Gets Shingles
Almost one out of every three people in the United States will develop shingles at some point, according to the CDC.
Of an estimated one million U.S. cases of shingles each year, about half of them occur in people age 60 or older.
In fact, about half of people over 80 have had shingles.
The chicken pox vaccine was introduced in 1995 and has reduced incidence of the virus by up to 85 percent. Theoretically, this should reduce the incidence of shingles as people who were vaccinated as children grow up, but its too soon to know if this is the case.
Read Also: Does The Shingles Vaccine Help With Herpes
Venous Stasis Dermatitis Vs Cellulitis
When there is poor blood flow in the lower legs due to malfunctioning valves in the veins , the result can be another common mimic of cellulitis: venous stasis dermatitis.
It usually appears as redness, says Kaminska. The skin could be swollen, tender, and rashy on the legs. She adds that venous stasis dermatitis is typically bilateral , a telltale sign that it is not cellulitis.
With venous stasis dermatitis, fluid and blood cells can leak out of the vessels into the skin and other tissues, leading to itching, inflammation, and even open sores. Swelling around the ankles, discolored skin, and varicose veins can be early signs of the condition and should be reported to your doctor before your skin gets worse.
Chronic venous insufficiency can lead to a condition known as lipodermatosclerosis, or sclerosing panniculitis. It is an inflammation of the underlying fat that can cause the skin to be hard and red and also mimics cellulitis, says Kaminska. The legs may take on a bowling pin shape. Treatments can include compression therapy, as well as pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and blood thinners.
Types Of Rashes That Can Be A Sign Of Covid
In the beginning days of the pandemic, there was focus on three main signs of COVID-19: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. But as experts began to better understand the disease, it became clear that there are many health changes that could indicate someone has the virusnew loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, and headache just to name a few. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists more than 10 symptoms that may signal a COVID-19 infection. The list is not exhaustive, though, and the CDC says it will continue to update the list as they learn more about the disease.
One such potential sign of COVID-19 that isnt included on the list is skin rashes.
According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, there is significant association between skin rashes and a positive COVID-19 swab test result. Researchers made that determination by looking at information from 336,847 people in the UK who had uploaded their health history, including any COVID-19 test results and symptoms, to the COVID Symptom Study app. The app data showed that, among those who had a positive swab test result, 8.8% also reported skin rashes.
To better understand the length and timing of these skin symptoms, the researchers then looked at the results of an independent survey on skin symptoms related to COVID-19 that 11,544 people had completed.
Also Check: Does Cvs Do Shingles Shots
Don’t Miss: How Long Are Shingles Good For
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.
What Does Shingles Look Like 11 Shingles Pictures Of Rashes
Do you have an itchy red rash? Think you might have shingles?
Iâll show you shingles pictures to help you figure out if you have the shingles rash and what stage its in. Iâll also provide pictures of especially extreme cases and discuss what to do if you have one of these more dangerous rashes.
Recommended Reading: Is Shingrix Available At Walgreens
Read Also: Can Shingles Cause Sciatic Nerve Pain
Ringworm Or Shingles Virus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity
Ringworm is an infectious skin disease that, despite its name, is caused by a fungus, whereas the shingles rash is caused by a virus. Ringworm infection causes red, itchy, scaly patches on your skin, often in several places at once. Sometimes the patches blister and ooze, much like the shingles rash. Ringworm is most common in children, and it spreads easily through skin-to-skin contact or contact with an item contaminated with the fungus, like dirty clothes or a shower floor.
What Does Shingles Look Like
Shingles looks as painful as it sounds. Red patches of skin covered in bumps eventually erupt into fluid-filled blisters that ooze before eventually drying out and crusting over. The infected bands of skin typically wrap around one side of the bodyleft or right. Shingles mostly appears on the torso, face, and neck, but it has been known to pop up on an arm or leg.
People with weakened immune systems often have shingles that stray from the typical band-like pattern. Their shingles may be more widespread.
People with severe cases of shingles may see permanent changes in the pigmentation of their skin once their blisters scab over and fall off.
Read Also: Why Do You Get The Shingles
What Can I Do To Help Prevent Shingles Or A Shingles Outbreak
A vaccine may be given to help prevent shingles. You can get the vaccine even if you already had shingles. The vaccine can help prevent a future outbreak. If you do get shingles again, the vaccine can keep it from becoming severe. The vaccine comes in 2 forms. Your healthcare provider will tell you which form is right for you. The decision is based on your age and any medical conditions you have. A 2-dose vaccine is usually given to adults 50 years or older. A 1-dose vaccine may be given to adults 60 years or older.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does Shingles In The Eye Last
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 To Identify Shingles On Your Groin And Leg
Though a discolored rash or blistering is the most visible sign of shingles, they dont appear first. It starts with tingling and pain underneath your skin before a rash appears on your skin. In many cases, the pain caused by shingles persists with no blister or rash developing.
Then after a few days, a fluid-filled blister appears. Some of them turn crusty or burst open. The rash can be sensitive or itchy to the touch.
Some more symptoms to identify shingles may include
Read Also: What Can I Take For Shingles Nerve Pain
Can I Get Shingles If I Havent Had Chickenpox
No. You cant get shingles if youve never had chickenpox, but you can get chickenpox from someone who has shingles. If youve never had chickenpox and you come into direct contact with the oozing, blister-like rash of someone with shingles, the varicella-zoster virus can infect you and you would develop chickenpox.
Once youve had chickenpox, you could develop shingles at some point in your life. This is because the varicella-zoster virus never fully goes away after youve had chickenpox. It lies quietly inactive in your nerve tissue. Later in life, the virus may become active again and appears as shingles.
Ringworm Causes An Itchy Red Circular Rash
Ringworm is a skin infection that, despite its name, is caused by a fungus, whereas the shingles rash is caused by a virus, according to the CDC. Ringworm can cause a red, itchy, circular rash on your skin. It may also cause scaly, cracked skin and hair loss. The rash can appear on any part of your body, and it spreads easily through skin-to-skin contact or contact with an item contaminated with the fungus, like dirty clothes or a shower floor. Some forms of ringworm can be treated with over-the-counter medication, while others must be treated with prescription antifungal medication.
Don’t Miss: Can You Put Any Cream On Shingles
Can Shingles Be Prevented
A vaccination called Zostavax reduces the likelihood of developing shingles. If you are over 50, you can talk to your doctor about whether you need it. It is recommended for everyone over 60. It is given free of charge in Australia to people aged 70 to 79. Vaccination will not guarantee that you will not get shingles, but it will reduce your chance of developing the condition. Zostavax is not the same as the vaccine used to protect against chickenpox. Read more about the chickenpox vaccine here.
When To Seek Medical Advice
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.
You should also see your GP if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system and you think you have been exposed to someone with chickenpox or shingles and haven’t had chickenpox before.
Recommended Reading: Does Humana Part D Cover Shingles Vaccine
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.
How Do You Prevent Shingles
- 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.
Also Check: Is Shingle Shots Covered By Medicare
The Pain From Shingles On The Legs
If youve ever queried what it looks like and viewed pictures of a shingles rash on the legs you already grasp that it looks terrifyingly, exceedingly, and horrifically arduous. Sometimes, the pain from shingles on the legs is so severe that patients cant wear trousers because of the slight chafing of the dermis by fabric.
You can also get postherpetic neuralgia after the outbreak has dematerialized. Its long term pain caused by the CNS being permanently affected by the shingles rash. If the pain lasts post-shingles rash on the leg, telephone your primary care physician.
Read Also: How Much Does A Shingles Shot Cost At Cvs
Are Shingles Contagious
You cannot catch shingles from other people. You can only get shingles if youve had chickenpox before. But is shingles contagious? Yes, people with active cases of shingles are contagious: They can give other people chickenpox.
Both illnesses are caused by the varicella zoster virus. The virus is passed along through direct contact with fluid from blisters on the skin of people with shingles. So, if youve never had chickenpox, you can get it from someone with shingles.
Taking special precautions can lower the risk of transmission. If you have shingles, keep your blisters covered with a non-stick dressing, avoid touching or scratching your rash, and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of the varicella zoster virus.
Shingles isnt infectious until blisters appear. And its not contagious anymore once the blisters have formed a crust. But the recovery period can take weeks.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people with active shingles to stay away from people who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, especially pregnant women, and individuals with weak immune systems, including people undergoing chemotherapy or taking immune-suppressing drugs, people with HIV/AIDS, and organ transplant recipients.
Getting vaccinated against chickenpox and shingles can reduce your risk of contracting the varicella zoster virus.
Don’t Miss: How To Care For Someone With Shingles
How Is Shingles Treated
Antiviral and pain medicine are used to treat the virus. Taking your medicine immediately can help your rash heal faster and be less painful. Avoid contact with people until your blisters crust over. Its especially important to avoid contact with people who are at risk, like pregnant women and infants. Talk with your doctor immediately if you think you have shingles.
Looking to find a new doctor?Browse primary care doctors who see patients in our HealthPartners and Park Nicollet clinics in the Twin Cities, Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.