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Doctor insights on: Shingles

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What is shingles?

What is shingles?

Herpes zoster: Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is an infection caused by the chicken pox virus. Those who had chicken pox previously recovered from the disease, but never got rid of the virus where it was dormant until the shingles outbreak. Treatments (and a vaccine) are available; see your doctor for more information. ...Read more

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Shingles (Herpes Zoster) (Definition)

A painful blistering skin rash caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella zoster). Early treatment with antiviral medication (within 72 hours) lowers the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, which is lingering skin pain after the rash disappears. ...Read more


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What are the symptoms of shingles?

What are the symptoms of shingles?

Painful rash: It is a one sided rash usually in a band or belt - like distribution. There is usually pain or some kind of unpleasant sensation such as tingling or burning. The pain may come before the rash. The rash will usually form into many small blisters. It can also be on the face or arm. See your doctor right away for an antiviral medication to prevent post herpetic neuralgia which is very painful. ...Read more

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What is the most effective treatment for shingles?

What is the most effective treatment for shingles?

Acute ot chronic?: If acute shingles, starting anti-viral therapy such as Valtrex (valacyclovir) or Acyclovir may help. Corticostroids (prednisone) are used by some, but evidence behind this practice in 50/50. Nsaids for pain and maybe short course narcotic analgesic for severe pain. If post-herpetic neuralgia, many options are available, including gabapentin, pregabalin, Lidocaine patch, and other topicals. ...Read more

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Do symptoms of shingles go away quickly?

Do symptoms of shingles go away quickly?

Varies, but get help: Symptoms need to be treated aggressively so they do not last forever. The greater the severity and duration of the rash, the more like you are to have postherpetic neuralgia (phn). Also, the older you are when you have shingles, the more likely you are to have phn. See a board certified pain specialist for help to feel better sooner. Don't accept that you just have to wait for it to "go away.". ...Read more

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What are the beginning signs of shingles?

What are the beginning signs of shingles?

Shingles symptoms: Early symptoms of shingles include headache, sensitivity to light, and flu-like symptoms without a fever. You may then feel itching, tingling, or pain where a band, strip, or small area of rash may appear several days or weeks later. A rash can appear anywhere on the body but will be on only one side of the body, the left or right. The rash will first form blisters, then scab over. ...Read more

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Can shingles be prevented?

Not completely: Shingles is a reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox. There is a vaccine for shingles (zostavax). It doesn't prevent shingles completely, but may cause it to be milder, and reduce the amount of pain after the rash. ...Read more

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Doctor says I have a mild case of shingles. Pain on saturday then diagnosis on thursday with2 ( now 3 ) bumps on left side. Would i be ok w/o famvir (famciclovir) ?

Doctor says I have a mild case of shingles. Pain on saturday then diagnosis on thursday with2 ( now 3 ) bumps on left side. Would i be ok w/o famvir (famciclovir) ?

Herpes Zoster: Famvir (famciclovir) is approved for treating herpes zoster (shingles). Whether you take it or not is best addressed w/your doc. However, if you don't take it, you run a greater risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, which is very painful. ...Read more

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I have symptoms similar to the start of shingles (had 30 yrs ago). Have pain only, no visible signs. Can a dr. Diagnose at this stage?

I have symptoms similar to the start of shingles (had 30 yrs ago). Have pain only, no visible signs. Can a dr. Diagnose at this stage?

Maybe...: The rash makes the diagnosis so to speak, but many times pain precedes the actual skin changes. So by letting your doctor know it feels like your previous shingles, they may decide to treat based on lack of evidence of any other process causin that type of pain. ...Read more

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What are shingles?

WHAT IS SHINGLES: Shingles is an infectious condition caused by varicella virus which causes chicken pox.Once some one has had chicken pox and it clears ou, the virus stays dormant or inactive in your body for years , and then for some reason it becomes activated, comes out and attack the body and attacks the nerves, appears as rash looks like blistrs and can end up causing severe pain after the rash disappears. ...Read more

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I have recurrent shingles, but a normal cbc...What other tests can I have to check for deficits in cell-mediated immunity?

I have recurrent shingles, but a normal cbc...What other tests can I have to check for deficits in cell-mediated immunity?

Unusual: I bet that your diet is lousy. There are many tests for immunity.That is the function of your doc. Get rid of sugar in all its forms because immunity, like everything in the body, depends on cellular energy. The herpes virus attacks-----you must defend. ...Read more

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How do you know if you have shingles?

How do you know if you have shingles?

Shingles Hurts: Shingles is a severe painful rash in one part of the skin and only on one side of the skin. Your physician can diagnose this for you. ...Read more

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Why does the virus that causes shingles become active again in some people?

Interesting: Usually for reasons we don't understand the varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox decides to reactivate later on and cause shingles. This usually happens after age 50, likely due to a weakened immune system as we age. Some other possible triggers are trauma, physical or emotional stress. ...Read more

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Could getting shingles mean I have cancer?

50% Shingle Pts. hav: Having shingles does not mean you have cancer, however shingles are found in cancer patients approximately 50% of the time! shingles implys a defect in your immune system (you have the herpes zoster virus in your nerve roots causing a localize chicken pox rash) . If your immunity is good no rash. Cancer is also a defect in your immunity hence the association. Dr. ...Read more

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What medications treat shingles?

What medications treat shingles?

Steroids, zovrax: Shingles is from activation of dorsal horn varicella zoster. To treat the patient needs rest and a course of an antiviral medication at the highest dose permitted by weight of patient. An oral dose of steroids, such as a Medrol (methylprednisolone) dose pack for six days, will decrease inflammation. It is good to recommend an immunization for people 50 or older who had chicken pox to avoid the disability from shingles. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
803 doctors shared insights

Herpes Zoster (Definition)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the ...Read more