Shingles

  • Medical Author:
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Quick GuideShingles Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos on Shingles

Shingles Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos on Shingles

How do doctors diagnose shingles?

Shingles can often be diagnosed by your doctor based upon the distinctive appearance and distribution of the characteristic shingles rash. A painful, blistering rash that is localized to defined dermatomes is highly suggestive of shingles. Blood work or other testing is usually not necessary. Diagnosing shingles before the appearance of the rash or in cases of zoster sine herpete (zoster without rash) can be challenging. In cases where the diagnosis is unclear, laboratory tests are available to help confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the clinical situation, testing can be done using either blood work (to detect antibodies to the varicella zoster virus) or by specialized testing of skin lesion samples.

What types of doctors treat shingles?

Shingles is most commonly diagnosed and treated by a primary-care physician (family practitioner, pediatrician, and internist) or an emergency-room physician. For certain individuals who develop complications of shingles, a specialist in ophthalmology, neurology, or infectious disease may also be involved. Select patients with postherpetic neuralgia may require the care of a pain specialist. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 5/18/2016
References
REFERENCES:

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Shingles (Herpes Zoster)." <http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/>. May 1, 2014.

United States. NIHSeniorHealth. "Shingles." July 2015. <http://nihseniorhealth.gov/shingles/aboutshingles/01.html>.

IMAGES:

1. Getty Images

2. "Herpes zoster chest" by Fisle

3. Getty Images

4. iStock

5. iStock

6. Bigstock

7. iStock

8. iStock

9. Steve Pomberg

10. Getty Images

11. Getty Images

12. Getty Images

13. Getty Images

14. Getty Images

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors