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.
You could feel pain in any of these areas. Typically, it will come from only one of these places, wherever the rash is.
During Shingles Rash
Like the severity of the rash, the pain that comes with Shingles is unique to each individual. However, Shingles can bring intense pain, even in moderate cases of the rash, because the virus is in the nerves.
The pain of Shingles can be constant, or it can come and go. Shingles pain has been described as stabbing, piercing, throbbing, penetrating, and burning.
Sometimes, the pain is so intense that even a slight breeze can cause discomfort. This type of pain is called allodynia.
Blisters usually last up to 30 days, but in some cases, Shingles can lead to a complication called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is nerve pain that can last for months or years after the rash has healed.
Shingles pain usually occurs in the area of the rash, but it can radiate outwards. The rash can be anywhere on the skin, but it most often appears on one side of the body. This area, called the dermatome, is where the nerve endings meet the skin.
What you can do:
There are several things you can try to help reduce the pain of Shingles, but these treatments may not be effective for everyone.
Cool, wet compresses may also help reduce Shingles pain.
Soothing baths and lotions such as an oatmeal bath, a
starch bath, or calamine lotion may help relieve itching and discomfort.
Pain medications or anti-inflammatories may be prescribed by your health care professional to help reduce the pain of the Shingles rash.