Quick Answer: How Do I Know If I Have Shingles Or Just A Rash?

What can be mistaken for shingles?

Shingles can sometimes be mistaken for another skin conditions, such as hives, psoriasis, or eczema.

Share on Pinterest A doctor should always be consulted if shingles is suspected.

The characteristics of a rash may help doctors identify the cause.

For example, hives are often raised and look like welts..

How do you test for shingles?

Shingles is usually diagnosed based on the history of pain on one side of your body, along with the telltale rash and blisters. Your doctor may also take a tissue scraping or culture of the blisters for examination in the laboratory.

What to do if you think you have shingles?

Call your doctor as soon as you suspect shingles so you can begin treatment as early as possible. Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), or famciclovir (Famvir) can make symptoms less severe and shorten the length of the illness if taken early.

Does shingles pain get worse at night?

It can be constant or intermittent and may get worse at night or in reaction to heat or cold. The pain can result in fatigue, sleep disturbance, anorexia, depression and, in general, a lowering of quality of life.

What does the first signs of shingles look like?

Shingles is characterized by pain or a tingling sensation in a limited area on one side of the face or torso, followed by a red rash with small, fluid-filled blisters. The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body.

What do shingles spots 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.

How do I know if I have shingles without a rash?

Shingles without a rash is difficult to diagnose based on your symptoms alone. Your doctor may test your blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or saliva to identify the presence of VZV antibodies. This will allow them to confirm a diagnosis of shingles without a rash. However, these tests are often inconclusive.

Does shingles pain feel like a pulled muscle?

Symptoms of Herpes Zoster The initial manifestation of the infection is normally pain which may be aching, sharp, constant, or recurrent along the course of the nerve. Patients often feel like they have pulled a muscle, slept in an unnatural position the night before, or are developing a cold in the back.

What does shingles pain feel like?

The first sign of shingles, which is also called herpes zoster, is pain that might feel like burning or tingling on one side of your face, chest, back, or waist. It can be intense. You might also feel like you’re coming down with the flu, with symptoms such as: Fever.

Can you have a mild case of shingles?

For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze.

What are the stages of shingles?

The stages of shingles are tingling pain, followed by a burning feeling and a red rash, then blistering, and finally the blisters will crust over. You will typically develop a rash about 1-5 days after you feel numbness or tingling pain.

Will shingles go away if left untreated?

If left untreated, some complications of shingles can be fatal. Pneumonia, encephalitis, stroke, and bacterial infections can cause your body to go into shock or sepsis.

Is shingles caused by stress?

Stress doesn’t technically cause shingles, but it can cause your immune system to weaken — and a weakened immune system can put you at risk for shingles. A viral illness, shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Will shingles go away on its own?

Because shingles often goes away on its own, many people are able to manage the pain with over-the-counter pain medications. However, it is important to see a doctor within three days so you and your doctor can decide on a treatment plan, including whether you will need antiviral medications.

What is the incubation period for shingles?

The incubation period is 2–3 weeks and is usually 14–16 days.