What Do Shingles Look Like

What do shingles look like? Believe it or not, if you have shingles, the symptoms will seem familiar. The shingles rash itself looks like the rash of chickenpox, or clear blisters full of fluids. These rashes can appear on red, swollen skin. They may pop and crust over as the outbreak progresses. Blisters will continue to emerge for up to five days.

What are other signs of shingles?
The rashes usually break out on only one side of the body. These rashes can either appear in clusters or may erupt in a long band. Shingles can form on areas of the body such as the face, the waist, an arm or a leg. Ultimately, the rashes will form scabs and start to heal. It can take up to five weeks for the rashes to disappear. In addition to the rashes themselves, you may experience itchiness or pain, running from mild to severe.

How can I tell if I'm about to get a case of shingles?
The rash that typifies shingles isn't the first symptom that you will experience if you have an outbreak. Early symptoms can include headaches, chills and fevers.

What can I do if I have shingles?
Your physician may suggest over-the-counter anti-itch medications, antihistamines and pain relievers or may prescribe antiviral drugs and prescription pain killers. It all depends on the severity of your condition.

How did I get shingles in the first place?
Shingles is a viral infection. The virus in question is the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. In fact, you can't get shingles without having had the chickenpox.

Why do you have to have chickenpox before shingles?
After a chickenpox infection, the virus never completely goes away. Varicella-zoster lies dormant in some of the nerve tissues in your body. After being triggered, the virus travels to the skin, resulting in shingles.

No one knows exactly what causes varicella-zoster to reemerge. However, people who are over 50 years of age and people who have impaired immune systems seem to develop shingles more frequently than younger people or people who have healthy immune systems. 

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What causes shingles? This condition is caused by the very same virus that causes a common childhood ailment.

Early shingles symptoms can be deceiving since the signs of this condition resemble signs of many other ordinary illnesses.

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