Tuesday, July 9, 2024

What Does Infected Shingles Look Like

Signs And Symptoms Of Shingles

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

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:

Is The Zostavax Vaccine Still Being Used

Yes. The CDC, however, recommends Zostavax for adults age 60 and older, but not routinely for people aged 50 to 59. Zostavax is given as a single-dose shot versus the two-dose shot for Shingrix. Zostavax is less effective than Shingrix in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia .

You can consider Zostavax if you are allergic to Shingrix or if Shingrix is unavailable because of supply shortage and you want some immediate protection from a possible case of shingles and/or postherpetic neuralgia. Because its a weakened live vaccine, it may be dangerous if you have cancer, HIV, or take steroids, chemotherapy or other medications that suppress your immune system. Ask your healthcare provider if the Zostavax vaccine is an option for you.

Burning Feeling And Red Rash

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.

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What Not To Do

As your shingles blisters start to scab, be sure not to:

  • Touch or scratch your scabs. This can break the scabs and cause scarring. You might also introduce harmful bacteria into your skin that can cause an infection.
  • Use thick ointments. Thick ointments will keep the scabs moist, which may increase the risk of infection. Try to keep your scabs dry instead.
  • Wrap your scabs. Avoid bandages or dressings, which can stick to your scabs. Its best to keep them uncovered and dry.
  • Wear tight clothes. Tight, restrictive clothing will rub against the scabs and further irritate your skin.

Even as your blisters start to scab, you might still develop new ones for about a week. Thats why its essential to keep protecting your skin as it heals.

Do You Always Get The Typical Rash If You Have Shingles

The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

Occasionally, some people dont get a rash. If you have any of the other symptoms of shingles , see your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. There are effective treatments you can take early for shingles. Even if you dont have shingles, seeing your healthcare provider will help you get your condition diagnosed and treated.

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What Is Shingles And What Causes It

The varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox is the same virus that causes shingles. When you’ve had chickenpox as a child or teenager, the physical signs disappear as your body fights off the virus. However, the virus always remains in your body and can reactivate as you age.

For some, the virus stays in the body quietly in a portion of your spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. For others, the virus can become reactivated and develop into shingles.

Is The Shingles Rash Dangerous

The shingles rash doesnt usually cause any long-term damage to your body. However, if your rash develops on your face or ears, it can cause long-term issues Ill explain the full risks in the section below.

No matter how minor your case of shingles you should still go see your doctor to get treatment for your shingles. Theyll likely provide you with medication to ease your pain and help fight the virus.

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Do I Need To Stay Away From Children Pregnant Women People With Cancer Or Anyone With A Weak Immune System After I Get The Zostavax Vaccine

According to the CDC, it is safe to be around babies and young children, pregnant women or anyone with a weakened immune system after you get the Zostavax vaccine. Even though the Zostavax vaccine contains a weakened live varicella zoster virus, the CDC says there is no documented case of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the Zostavax vaccine.

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If You Have More Than One Area Of Blisters What Can You Expect If You Go To The Hospital

Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t suffer with shingles

Its important to note that most people with shingles dont need to be in a hospital, but if you do:

  • Youll be in a contact isolation room.
  • The door will be kept closed.
  • A sign on your door will remind people who have never had chickenpox or the vaccine not to enter.
  • The sign will also remind staff to wear gowns and gloves when entering the room.

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Other Signs And Symptoms Of Shingles

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.

Timeline Of Shingles Symptoms

Shingles actually doesn’t occur without a prior chickenpox infection. VZV lies dormant in nerve roots after you recover where it can reactivate years later, returning as shingles. But though they share the same viral cause, the two conditions are distinct.

The first sign of shingles is usually a burning or stinging sensation in a band-like formation around the waist, chest, stomach, or back.

You may experience itching or become incredibly sensitive to even the softest touch. The weight of bed sheets on your skin may be uncomfortable. You may also experience fatigue, fever, and headache.

After a few days or even up to a couple of weeks, the telltale shingles rash will appear. This rash consists of fluid-filled blisters that worsen quickly. The blisters may look like chickenpox, but they are clustered together.

The shingles rash can vary in color, depending on your skin tone. On darker skin, the rash may be pink, grayish, dark brown, or even purple. On lighter skin, it will be red.

This is the stage at which VZV can be passed on to someone who has never had or been vaccinated against chickenpox.

Blisters typically scab over within a week to 10 days. Shingles typically takes three to five weeks to progress through all of its stages.

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What Is Herpes Zoster

Herpes zoster, or shingles, is a common viral infection of the nerves, which results in a painful rash of small blisters on a strip of skin anywhere on the body. Even after the rash is gone, the pain may continue for months.

  • Shingles is relatively rare in children.
  • Your child is most at risk if he had chickenpox during the first year of life or if you had chickenpox very late during pregnancy.
  • A rash most often occurs on the trunk and buttocks, and usually goes away in one to two weeks.
  • Medication may help alleviate some of the pain, but the disease has to run its course.

Shingles Vaccine Side Effects

The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

The shingles vaccine has not been shown to cause any serious side effects or health consequences. Minor side effects of the vaccine include redness, swelling, soreness, or itching at the site of injection, and headache. It is safe for those who have received the shingles vaccine to be around babies or those with weakened immune systems. It has not been shown that a person can develop chickenpox from getting the shingles vaccine, although some people who receive the vaccine may develop a mild chickenpox-like rash near the injection site. This rash should be kept covered and will disappear on its own.

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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.

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.

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What If I Have Shingles And A Poor Immune System

If you have a poor immune system and develop shingles then see your doctor straightaway. You will normally be given antiviral medication whatever your age and will be monitored for complications. People with a poor immune system include:

  • People taking high-dose steroids. per day for more than one week in the previous three months. Or, children who have taken steroids within the previous three months, equivalent to prednisolone 2 mg/kg per day for at least one week, or 1 mg/kg per day for one month.)
  • People on lower doses of steroids in combination with other immunosuppressant medicines.
  • People taking anti-arthritis medications which can affect the bone marrow.
  • People being treated with chemotherapy or generalised radiotherapy, or who have had these treatments within the previous six months.
  • People who have had an organ transplant and are on immunosuppressive treatment.
  • People who have had a bone marrow transplant and who are still immunosuppressed.
  • People with an impaired immune system.
  • People who are immunosuppressed with HIV infection.

When Should I See A Doctor

How shingles develops

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.”

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Severe Shingles Rash That Require Special Attention

Shingles on the FACE , shingles in the EYE, or shingles in the EAR do require IMMEDIATE medical attention.

According to doctors at Mayo Clinic, if the shingles rash reaches your eye, it can cause eye infections that could lead to temporary or even permanent loss of vision. If you have a shingles rash that is on your eye, eyelid or forehead , you should go see a doctor as soon as possible.

If the shingles rash is in or on your ear, you could develop hearing or balance problems, and in rare instances, the virus might attack your brain or spinal cord. For these reasons, if you have developed a shingles rash in or around your ear , you should seek immediate medical attention.

Are There Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System To Help Lessen The Chances Of Developing Shingles

Stress is a risk factor for developing shingles, so limiting your stress can be helpful. Try meditation, yoga or other relaxation methods.

Other things you can do include:

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
  • Dont smoke or use tobacco products.

These are all tips for an overall healthy lifestyle, not just for reducing your chance of getting shingles.

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Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe

Oral antiviral medication, such as acyclovir , valacyclovir , or famciclovir may help if given within 72 hours after shingles lesions first appear. These medicines do not cure shingles, but they can decrease the amount of time you have pain and a rash. Antiviral medications may also decrease your chance of getting postherpetic neuralgia at a later time and may decrease your risk of developing visual problems if you have shingles on the face.Oral corticosteroids and pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may also be given to control pain. If the area is healed but you still have pain, a topical medication called capsaicin or a local anesthetic patch containing lidocaine may be suggested.If you have shingles on your face, your doctor will likely send you to an eye specialist to evaluate if the virus is affecting your eye.There is a zoster vaccine to prevent shingles. It is recommended for anyone aged 50 years and older, regardless of whether they have had shingles before. It has been shown to decrease the number of people who get shingles. Of the people who still get shingles even after the vaccine, fewer will be affected by postherpetic neuralgia.

Steroid Medication For Shingles

The Inside Analysis!: What does shingles look like?

Steroids help to reduce swelling . A short course of steroid tablets may be considered in addition to antiviral medication. This may help to reduce pain and speed healing of the rash. However, the use of steroids in shingles is controversial. Your doctor will advise you. Steroids do not prevent PHN.

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Shingles Vs Poison Ivy: How To Tell The Difference

Roughly 1 in 3 people in the United States will have shingles in their lifetime, making it one of the most common viral illnesses in older adults.

Poison ivy rash is one of the most common dermatological conditions in the United States, affecting up to 50 million people each year.

While shingles and poison ivy can both cause a blistering rash, there are significant differences in symptoms between the two conditions.

In this article, well explore how to tell the difference between shingles and poison ivy, including the symptoms, treatment, and prevention for each condition.

Although shingles and poison ivy may appear similar at first glance, there are definitive differences between the symptoms of shingles and the symptoms of poison ivy rash.

A viral shingles infection generally presents with a specific type of blistery rash thats accompanied by other symptoms of malaise, such as pain, fever, chills, and headaches.

An allergic poison ivy rash may look similar, but is usually more localized and doesnt cause symptoms of feeling unwell.

The chart below outlines the primary differences between a shingles infection and a poison ivy rash.

Shingles

Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 As Soon As You Suspect Shingles

You might need medicine to help speed up your recovery and avoid longer-lasting problems.

This works best if taken within 3 days of your symptoms starting.

111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or .

Get an urgent GP appointment

A GP may be able to treat you.

Ask your GP surgery for an urgent appointment.

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Diagnosis Of Shingles In The Eye

Your doctor should be able to diagnose shingles just by looking at the rash on your eyelids, scalp, and body. Your doctor might take a sample of fluid from the blisters and send it out to a lab to test for the varicella-zoster virus.

An eye doctor will examine:

  • help the rash fade more quickly

Starting the medicine within three days after your rash appears can help you avoid long-term shingles complications.

To reduce swelling in your eye, your doctor might also give you a steroid medicine in the form of a pill or eye drops. If you develop postherpetic neuralgia, pain medicine and antidepressants can help relieve the nerve pain.

Tingling Pain Or Numbness

Shingles: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, 3 stages of Infection, Complications, Management, Animation.

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.

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What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Shingles

Most people get shingles once, but its possible to get it again.

If you have a healthy immune system, the blisters tend to clear in 7 to 10 days. The rash tends to go away completely within 2 to 4 weeks. The pain may last longer, but usually stops in 1 or 2 months.

For some people, the pain will last longer than the rash. When it does, its called postherpetic neuralgia , which can come and go or be constant. PHN can last for months, years, or the rest of your life. Treatment can help reduce the amount of pain you feel.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you continue to have pain. Treatment can help you feel more comfortable.

For anyone who has a shingles rash, the right self-care can help ease your discomfort. Youll find out what dermatologists recommend at, Shingles: Self-care.

ImageGetty Images

ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention . About shingles. Page last reviewed 10/17/2017. Last accessed 4/1/2019.

Dooling KL, Guo A, et al. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 67:103-8.

Madkan V, Sra K, et al. Human herpes viruses. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008: 1204-8.

Straus SE, Oxman MN. Varicella and herpes zoster. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1885-98.

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