Think you may have Shingles? Check your symptoms now.
It's not easy to tell if you have Shingles before the actual outbreak of the rash. Many of the symptoms some people feel before the rash (itching, burning, pain) can often resemble other diseases and conditions, including a bad sunburn and/or an allergic reaction. But this tool can help you learn more about the symptoms of Shingles and what you can do about them. If you think you have Shingles, see your health care professional as soon as you can.
Shingles blisters can appear anywhere on the body.
During Shingles Rash
A few days after you feel the initial burning, tingling, itching, or dull pain of Shingles, a rash will appear in the same area on the skin.
The Shingles rash may begin as fluid-filled blisters. These may look similar to chickenpox blisters, but can be much more painful. In mild cases of Shingles, only a few blisters may appear on the skin. In moderate cases of Shingles, blisters may appear in small groups on the skin. In severe cases of Shingles, the blisters may merge and form a band in a specific section of skin on one side of the body that can resemble a severe burn.
Usually, Shingles blisters take between 2 to 4 weeks to turn to scabs and fall off.
Because Shingles travels through the nerves, the blisters usually affect 1 side of the torso, and can stretch from the center of the back to the center of the chest or stomach. This area is called the dermatome, and it's where one of the nerves from the spinal cord connects with the skin. Shingles may also appear on the side of the face and forehead, although the blisters can surface on any part of the body.
What you can do:
See your health care professional first to confirm that you have Shingles. While there is no cure, there are treatments that may help you feel a little more comfortable, but these treatments may not be effective for everyone.
Over-the-counter antihistamines may help relieve itch.
Prescription medications may help relieve nerve pain and or reduce the pain and swelling of the Shingles rash.
Cool, wet compresses may also help with the pain and itch.