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How are shingles or chickenpox diagnosed?

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Doctors use two types of tests to diagnose chickenpox or shingles:

Antibody: When you're exposed to varicella zoster, your immune system makes proteins to fight it. Your doctor can look for these proteins, called antibodies, in a sample of your blood.

Viral detection: This test can find out if varicella zoster virus is present in the rash. Your doctor can collect samples from unroofed blisters and scabs from blisters that have crusted over.

Your doctor should have the results in 1 to 3 days. You might need to have a second test if the results aren't clear.

Your symptoms and test results will show whether you have shingles. Once you've been diagnosed, you can start on treatment to help you feel better.

From: How Do I Know If I Have Shingles? WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Louise Chang on September 08, 2018

Medically Reviewed on 09/08/2018

SOURCES:

AACC: "Chickenpox and Shingles Tests."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Shingles Overview."

CDC: "Shingles Diagnosis & Testing," "Shingles Signs & Symptoms."

Daniels, R. , July 2009. Delmar's Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: "Facts About Chickenpox and Shingles for Adults." University of Maryland Medical Center, “Varicella-zoster virus.”

Reviewed by Louise Chang on September 08, 2018

SOURCES:

AACC: "Chickenpox and Shingles Tests."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Shingles Overview."

CDC: "Shingles Diagnosis & Testing," "Shingles Signs & Symptoms."

Daniels, R. , July 2009. Delmar's Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: "Facts About Chickenpox and Shingles for Adults." University of Maryland Medical Center, “Varicella-zoster virus.”

Reviewed by Louise Chang on September 08, 2018

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