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What are the symptoms of early shingles?

ANSWER

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that also causes chickenpox. If you’ve been exposed to chickenpox or it vaccine, the virus never really goes away. When it comes back, it can cause shingles, a rash that often appears as a band on one side of the body. Early shingles symptoms can include:

  • Headache
  • Light sensitivity
  • Flu-like symptoms

Itching, tingling, or extreme pain where the rash is developing may come next, and the pain can be moderate to severe.

SOURCES:

News release, Depomed, Inc.
News release, FDA.
Robert H. Dworkin, PhD, professor, department of anesthesiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.
Johnson, R., BMJ, April 5, 2003.
Jung, B. et al., Neurology, May 2004.
Katz, J. et al., Journal of Pain, December 2005.
Mounsey, A. et al., American Family Physician, Sept. 15, 2005.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site: "Shingles: An Unwelcome Encore."
News release, FDA.

Centers for Disease Control.

Sampathkumar, P. Mayo Clin Proc. Mar 2009.

 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 25, 2020

SOURCES:

News release, Depomed, Inc.
News release, FDA.
Robert H. Dworkin, PhD, professor, department of anesthesiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.
Johnson, R., BMJ, April 5, 2003.
Jung, B. et al., Neurology, May 2004.
Katz, J. et al., Journal of Pain, December 2005.
Mounsey, A. et al., American Family Physician, Sept. 15, 2005.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site: "Shingles: An Unwelcome Encore."
News release, FDA.

Centers for Disease Control.

Sampathkumar, P. Mayo Clin Proc. Mar 2009.

 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on August 25, 2020

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Is shingles is contagious?

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