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.