Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles at some point in their lives. The cause of reactivation is not known but often starts with some pain or a burning sensation. A bright red rash usually is what follows next. Most symptoms clear up within two to three weeks. 

What Are the Symptoms of Shingles? 

The initial symptoms of shingles are pain and burning. Typically the pain is found on one side of the body. A skin rash is the following symptom and can be found on the face, ears, back, and torso. The type of rash has some distinct characteristics, including:

  • Red patches
  • Itching
  • Fluid-filled blisters

Some may experience other symptoms, including a headache, fever, chills, and fatigue. If you begin to notice any pain in or around the eyes, have any hearing loss, ear pain, or dizziness, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Are Shingles Contagious?

Shingles themselves are not contagious. The virus that causes shingles, varicella-zoster, can spread to those who have not had chickenpox. If you have shingles, you are not able to pass them to another person, but you can pass the chickenpox to someone if they have not ever been infected.

If you do have shingles, it is important to keep any blisters covered and avoid touching them, as that is how it is spread. You should avoid contact with people who have a weakened immune system, are pregnant, or are non-immunized, as they may be at higher risk.

Is There a Cure for Shingles?

While there is no cure for shingles, there are steps that can be taken to shorten the length of infection and make you more comfortable. There are oral and topical treatments available that can be prescribed by a doctor. Skin Dermatology can help ensure you get the proper medications, allowing you to recover more quickly.

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Skin Dermatology, A Premier Dermatology Practice

Skin Dermatology is a full-service dermatology practice located in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. The practice was established by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Alissa Lamoureux. The practice was designed to help provide patients with premier dermatology services in a space that felt more like a resort than a typical doctor’s office. If you are concerned about shingles or are interested in shingles medications, contact us today! 

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