Why Is Shingles So Concerning?
Shingles (herpes zoster) is most commonly associated with a severe skin rash, and you may feel as if you’re getting the flu before any signs of blisters appear. The typical two-stage development of shingles symptoms will begin within a few days.
Shingles is an early sign that the varicella virus has reactivated in the body, with symptoms such as burning, stinging, tingly, prickly, itchy, numbing, achy, or shooting pain. The pain from shingles can be mistaken for other conditions depending on where it is focused.
Shingles blisters can leave open sores on the skin, making it vulnerable to microbes. Impetigo is an infection that begins with itchy sores that burst and then form honey-colored crusts. Cellulitis is another skin infection that can be caused by shingles.
Frequently Asked Questions
The skin around the damaged nerves will be sensitive to any pressure, even a light touch, and the pain will be sharp, stabbing, or burning. It will be constant or come and go, and it will get worse with movement. The rash will usually appear a few days after the pain begins.
What does shingles look like in the beginning?
A shingles rash will appear on one side of the body after 1 to 5 days, usually in a single characteristic band around one side of the torso or face, followed by itchy or burning blister-like sores filled with clear fluid that will scab over in 7 to 10 days.
What does mild shingles look like?
Fever, chills, fatigue, and body ache usually appear a few days after the pain. Multiple blisters that appear in a striped pattern. The blisters contain fluid and break open with crusting.
What can be mistaken for shingles?
Shingles can be mistaken for other skin conditions like hives, psoriasis, or eczema. Share on Pinterest If shingles is suspected, a doctor should be consulted. The characteristics of a rash can help doctors identify the cause. For example, hives are often raised and resemble welts.
Can you feel shingles before you see them?
Fever and general weakness are common early symptoms of shingles, as are areas of pain, burning, or tingling. A few days later, the first signs of a rash appear, and you may notice pink or red blotchy patches on one side of your body.
What do shingles spots look like?
The shingles rash is characterized by painful skin blisters that appear on only one side of the face or body, usually along the distribution of nerves in the skin. The blisters start out as fluid-filled blisters and then turn into scabs, which can leave scars.
Can you get mild shingles?
Some people’s shingles symptoms are mild, such as itching, while others experience excruciating pain that can be felt even from the gentlest touch or breeze.
What are the stages of shingles?
Tingling pain is the first symptom of shingles, followed by a burning sensation and a red rash, blistering, and finally crusting of the blisters.
How do you test for shingles?
The most useful test for confirming cases of suspected zoster sine herpete (herpes zoster-like pain without a rash) is polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which can detect VZV DNA quickly and sensitively and is now widely available.
Can stress bring on shingles?
Many researchers believe that because stress affects the immune system, it could be a trigger for shingles. Multiple studies have linked chronic, daily stress, and highly stressful life events as risk factors for shingles.
Will shingles go away if left untreated?
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, usually goes away in 2 to 4 weeks, but because the infection can spread to other organs, it can cause serious and potentially fatal complications if left untreated.
Can I spread shingles to other parts of my body?
Because the virus travels in specific nerves, shingles usually appears in a band on one side of the body, which corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash remains somewhat localized; it does not spread over your entire body.
What foods trigger shingles?
Nuts, seeds, soy products, oats, coconut, flour (white and whole-wheat), and, alas, chocolate are among the foods that have been found to aggravate the shingles virus. The worst culprits contain the amino acid arginine, which actually stimulates the herpes virus to replicate.
Do you feel ill with shingles?
During and after an outbreak, fluid-filled blisters form, break, and crust over; you may also feel sick or tired, with a slight fever or headache.