When you experience shingles the skin may be painful and sensitive to touch, presenting a bruised feeling before any visual evidence of a shingles rash shows up. The outbreak is usually isolated to a particular area, but can appear anywhere on your body – most often as a band or circle of blisters. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. The virus lies inactive in nerve tissues until reactivated as shingles.
- Band or circle of small blisters on a red base
- Bruised sensation, hot to the touch and mildly feverish
- Headache or fatigue related to the feverish itching
Who is at risk?
Anyone who has had chicken pox is carrying the varicella zoster virus. It can be activated by stress or a weakened immune system. Shingles is contagious and can be spread to someone who has not had chicken pox!
Seek physician treatment to start antiviral drugs within 72 hours of the first sign of the shingles rash. If the incident is not diagnosed and treated within 72 hours, the only option is to wait out the rash with the aid of acetaminophen or a similar pain reducer. If the symptoms worsen, a physician might prescribe a numbing cream or more aggressive painkillers. A cool bath or compress might relieve the itching.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
A singles infection near the eyes or ears can progress into a serious neurological problem causing sensory loss. Get emergency help if the rash appears anywhere on the face or head or inside the mouth or nose.
Treatment for shingles is available now at OnPoint Urgent Care in Aurora, Highlands Ranch, or Lone Tree Colorado.
For more information on shingles, see the following websites:
Mayo Clinic on Complications from Shingles
WebMD Shingles Topic Overview
NINDS (NIH) Shingles Information Page
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of OnPointUrgentCare.com. The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.