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Shingles is a rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is responsible for chickenpox. Shingles typically affects one side of the body, most commonly affecting the back and chest. Early treatment for shingles is ideal to relieve pain and reduce complications.
Patients with shingles may experience itching, pain, numbness or burning, fluid-filled blisters, and a rash that breaks out a few days after the pain in the affected area. In addition, shingles may cause headache, fatigue, fever, and a general achy feeling. Individuals experiencing the aforementioned symptoms should seek medical attention.
Shingles is typically diagnosed by examining the skin. If blisters are present, your doctor may take a culture of them for pathological examination. Without treatment, shingles typically heals within a few weeks. Medical treatment, however, can accelerate the healing process, relieve pain, and minimize complications. A combination of antiviral drugs and pain-relieving drugs are usually prescribed to treat shingles. Your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan for your individual condition.
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