Understanding Shingles -- Symptoms
What Are the Symptoms of Shingles?
The symptoms of shingles include:
- Pain or a bruised feeling -- usually on one side of your face or body -- often along with a fever, chills, headache, or upset stomach
- Tingling, itching, or prickling skin and an inflamed, red skin rash several days later
- A group or long strip of small, fluid-filled blisters
- Deep burning, searing, aching, or stabbing pain, which may occur once in a while or last a long time
Call Your Doctor About Shingles If:
- You suspect an outbreak is beginning. If you take antiviral drugs in the early stages, you may shorten the course of the infection.
Shingles on your face spreads near your eye; seek treatment from an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) to avoid possible cornea damage.
- The affected area becomes secondarily infected with bacteria (indicated by spreading redness, swelling, a high fever, and pus); antibiotics can help halt the spread of bacterial infection but not the shingles itself.
- Your rash lasts longer than 10 days without improvement; get treatment to avoid potential nerve damage.
- The pain becomes too great to bear; your doctor may prescribe stronger painkillers or a nerve block.