Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful rash caused by the varicella zoster virus. Other shingles symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, and body aches. Treatment focuses on pain management and shortening the duration of the illness with antiviral medications. Read more: Shingles Article
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Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases
Learn to spot and treat skin conditions commonly found in adults such as acne, Covid-19 rashes, eczema, shingles, psoriasis,...
What Causes Shingles?
Shingles occurs when the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox, re-emerges due to a weakened immune...
What's a Virus? Viral Infection Types, Symptoms, Treatment
Is a virus alive? Learn the definition of a virus. Viral infections like COVID-19 can occur in your eyes, mouth, skin, or...
Shingles: Myths and Facts About the Shingles Virus
There are some common misconceptions about this viral illness and the uncomfortable rash it can cause. Here's a guide through the...
Healthy Aging: Better Sex After 50
It's never too late to improve your sex life. Learn how older adults can overcome common health conditions affecting seniors over...
Shingles Quiz: Symptoms, Vaccine & Pictures
Shingles falls within a well-known family of viruses that cause itching, burning, blisters, and pain. Take the Shingles Quiz to...
Chickenpox Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
How is chickenpox related to shingles? Take the Chickenpox Quiz to assess your IQ of this itchy, blistering childhood skin...
Is It Contagious? What Diseases Are Contagious?
Is it contagious? Take this quiz to learn about contagious diseases, how contagious diseases are spread, and myths and facts...
Skin Conditions Quiz: Common Skin Diseases
Could you identify a scabies infestation? Take the Skin Diseases Pictures Quiz and learn to identify common conditions that...
Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More
What's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!
Picture of Shingles
An acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes chickenpox. See a picture of Shingles and learn...
Picture of Herpes Zoster
Also called shingles, zona, and zoster. The culprit is the varicella-zoster virus. Primary infection with this virus causes...
Picture of Corneal Ulcer
Most corneal ulcers are caused by infections and can be bacterial (common in people who wear contact lenses), viral herpes...
Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection (Face)
Multiple, very pruritic, erythematous papules, vesicles (“dewdrops on a rose petal”), and crusted papules on erythematous,...
Picture of Varicella (Chickenpox) Virus
A highly infectious viral disease, known familiarly as chickenpox. See a picture of the Varicella (Chicken Pox) Virus and learn...
Picture of Varicella Chicken Pox
Varicella Chickenpox is caused by a virus of the herpes group. The disease is highly contagious and is spread by droplet or...
Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection on Chest Wall
Typical grouped vesicles and pustules with erythema and edema of three contiguous thoracic dermatomes on the posterior chest...
Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection Close-Up
Grouped and confluent vesicles surrounding erythema on the chest wall. See a Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection: Close-Up and learn...
Related Disease Conditions
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Swollen Lymph Nodes (Glands)
Lymph nodes help the body's immune system fight infections. Causes of swollen lymph nodes (glands) may include infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasites). Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes vary greatly, but may include fever, night sweats, toothache, sore throat, or weight loss. Causes of swollen lymph nodes also vary, but may include cancer, the common cold, mono, chickenox, HIV, and herpes. The treatment of swollen lymph nodes depends upon the cause.
Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth, inflammation, and pain. The most common cause of cellulitis is the bacteria staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
The word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. The most common of these are scaly patches of skin and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the place.
Staph (Staphylococcus) Infection
Staphylococcus or staph is a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases. Staph infections can cause illness directly by infection or indirectly by the toxins they produce. Symptoms and signs of a staph infection include redness, swelling, pain, and drainage of pus. Minor skin infections are treated with an antibiotic ointment, while more serious infections are treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Kidney Pain: Symptoms, Treatment, and Causes
Kidney pain has a variety of causes and symptoms. Infection, injury, trauma, bleeding disorders, kidney stones, and less common conditions may lead to kidney pain. Symptoms associated with kidney pain may include fever, vomiting, nausea, flank pain, and painful urination. Treatment of kidney pain depends on the cause of the pain.
Low Back Pain (Lumbar Spine Pain)
There are many causes of back pain. Pain in the low back can relate to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
Fever in Adults and Children
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Is Shingles Contagious?
Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles symptoms and signs include skin burning, numbness, and tingling along with a painful red, blistering rash. Shingles is contagious until all of the blisters have crusted over.
Can You Have a Mild Case of Shingles?
The severity of shingles depends on various factors, such as age of the patient, general health condition of the patient, and the part of the body where shingles develops.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. Infection is a common cause of corneal ulcer. Symptoms and signs of corneal ulcer include redness, eye pain and discharge, blurred vision, photophobia, and a gray or white spot on the cornea. Treatment depends upon the cause of the corneal ulcer.
Blindness is the state of being sightless. Causes of blindness include macular degeneration, stroke, cataract, glaucoma, infection and trauma. Symptoms and signs may include eye pain, eye discharge, or the cornea or pupil turning white. Treatment of blindness depends upon the cause of the blindness.
Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the functioning of the nerves outside of the spinal cord. Symptoms may include numbness, weakness, burning pain (especially at night), and loss of reflexes. Possible causes may include carpel tunnel syndrome, shingles, vitamin or nutritional deficiencies, and illnesses like diabetes, syphilis, AIDS, and kidney failure. Peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed with exams and tests. Treatment for the condition depends on the cause. Usually, the prognosis for peripheral neuropathy is good if the cause can be successfully treated or prevented.
Chickenpox (chicken pox) is a contagious childhood disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Symptoms have an incubation period of 14 to 16 days and include a couple days of mild fever, weakness, and red, raised rash that progresses to blisters that eventually burst and crust over. Complications include bacterial infection of the open sores, scarring, encephalitis, nerve palsies, and Reye's syndrome.
Double vision (diplopia) is a symptom that my indicate Graves' disease, myasthenia gravis, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, diabetes, cataracts, aneurysm, brain tumor, or migraine. Symptoms and signs include eye pain, droopy eyelids, nausea, headache, and a cross-eyed appearance. Treatment of double vision depends upon the underlying cause.
Bell's Palsy (Facial Nerve Problems)
Bell's palsy is one type of facial nerve paralysis. The seventh cranial nerve controls the muscles of the face, and although scientists do not know the exact cause of Bell's palsy, they think it may be due to nerve damage from an infection, for example, the flu, common cold viruses, and more serious infections like meningitis. The symptoms of Bell's palsy vary from person to person, but can include mild weakness to total paralysis, dry eye, dry mouth, eyelid drooping, drooling, mouth drooping, dry mouth, changes in taste, and excessive tearing in one eye.
What Triggers a Shingles Outbreak?
Shingles occur when the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus responsible for chickenpox, reactivates in the body, usually due to a weakened immune system. Learn about the symptoms of shingles and how you can treat them.
Are Skin Rashes Contagious?
Direct and indirect contact can spread some types of rashes from person to person. Rash treatment depends upon a rash's underlying cause. A rash that sheds large amounts of skin warrants urgent medical attention. Rashes can be either contagious or noncontagious. Noncontagious rashes include seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, psoriasis, nummular eczema, drug eruptions, hives, heat rash (miliaria), and diaper rash. Rashes usually considered contagious include molluscum contagiosum (viral), impetigo (bacterial), herpes (herpes simplex, types 1 and 2 viruses), rash caused by Neisseria meningitides (N. meningitides) (bacterial), rash and blisters that accompany shingles (herpes zoster virus), ringworm (fungal) infections (tinea), scabies (itch mite), chickenpox (viral), measles and rubella (viral), erythema infectiosum (viral), pityriasis rosea (viral), cellulitis and erysipelas (bacterial), lymphangitis (bacterial, and folliculitis (bacterial).
What Does a Shingles Rash Look Like at First?
The typical shingles red rash or blisters occur after pain, itching, and tingling. They are usually limited to one side of the face and body.
Group A streptococcal infections are caused by group A Streptococcus, a bacteria that causes a variety of health problems, including strep throat, impetigo, cellulitis, erysipelas, and scarlet fever. There are more than 10 million group A strep infections each year.
Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea. Symptoms and signs include pain, tearing, blurred vision, eye redness, watery eyes, or the cornea may appear gray or white. Treatment of keratitis depends upon the underlying cause of the inflammation.
Kidney Pain vs. Back Pain
The signs and symptoms of kidney pain and back pain depend upon the underlying cause. Doctors may use blood tests, X-rays, CT, and/or MRI to diagnose kidney pain and back pain. Treatment may include rest, ice, stretching, muscle strengthening, and pain-relieving medications.
How Long Is Shingles Contagious?
Shingles is contagious from the time the blisters are oozing until the time the blisters have scabbed.
Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a painful complication of shingles. Symptoms include severe pain, itchy skin, and possible weakness or paralysis of the area. There is no treatment for postherpetic neuralgia that is effective for all patients.
Second Source article from Government
Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process after injury. The depth and size of the wound incision and the location of the injury impact the scar's characteristics, but your age, heredity and even sex or ethnicity will affect how your skin reacts.
Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition that leads to ongoing pain symptoms. Patients can be predisposed to developing neuropathic pain who have conditions such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, HIV, vitamin deficiencies, shingles, and multiple sclerosis. Patient history and nerve testing are used to diagnose neuropathic pain. Antidepressants, antiseizure medications, and other types of medications are used to treat neuropathic pain. Many people with neuropathic pain are able to attain some level of relief.
Herpes of the eye occurs due to herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Symptoms of herpes of the eye include pain in and around the eye, rash or sores on the eyelids, redness, swelling, and cloudiness of the cornea.
What Happens When You Get Shingles When Pregnant?
Becoming infected with chickenpox during pregnancy could cause birth defects in your unborn child. Likewise, shingles could also cause problems for your unborn child. If you are pregnant and haven't had chickenpox, avoid exposure to infected people. Zostavax, the shingles vaccine, can reduce the incidence of shingles by half. Women should wait at least three months after receiving the vaccine before trying to get pregnant.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is an infection of a facial nerve that causes a red painful rash with blisters and facial paralysis. Other symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome may include ear pain, hearing loss, dizziness (or vertigo), dry eye, and changes in taste sensation. The herpes zoster virus causes the infection.
Uveitis is inflammation of the eye. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, photophobia, and floaters. Treatment may involve prescription eyedrops, antibiotics, and wearing dark glasses.
What's the Difference Between Chickenpox and Shingles?
Learn about the differences between chickenpox and shingles and how these two diseases are connected.
Is Chickenpox Contagious?
Chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. Chickenpox symptoms and signs include a blistering, itchy rash, fatigue, fever, and tiredness. Chickenpox is transmitted via contaminated droplets produced during sneezing or coughing and by coming in contact with blister fluid.
First Aid and CPR
First aid is providing medical assistance to someone a sick or injured person. The type of first aid depends on their condition. Preparedness is key to first aid, like having basic medical emergency kits in your home, car, boat, or RV. Many minor injuries may require first aid, including cuts, puncture wounds, sprains, strains, and nosebleeds. Examples of more critical first aid emergencies include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and heatstroke.
What Causes You to Get Shingles?
Shingles (herpes zoster) is caused by varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Sometimes, in patients with a history of chickenpox, the virus may live in the nervous system for years in an inactive form, and then reactivate as shingles.
How Long Is Shingles Contagious and How Is It Treated?
Learn what medical treatments can ease your shingles symptoms and help you manage this condition.
Pain Management: Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is chronic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system. The injury can be to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or the peripheral nervous system (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord).
Local ResourcesFind a local Dermatologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Buttock Pain
- Red Spots on the Skin
- Tingling in Hands and Feet
- Hand and Finger Numbness
- Arm Pain
- Changes in Skin of the Breast
- Swollen Lymph Nodes (Lymphadenopathy)
- Chest Pain
- Lower Back Pain
- Neck Pain (Cervicalgia)
- Hip Pain
- Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)
- Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Doctor: Getting the Most from Your Doctor's Appointment
- Skin Conditions Picture FAQs
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) FAQs
- Skin FAQs
- Contagious FAQs
- Chickenpox FAQs
- Chickenpox Vaccine for My Child?
- Home Remedies for Shingles
- Shingles Pain
- Shingles: A Painful Rash -- Is It Shingles?
- Can the Chicken Pox Vaccine Cause Shingles?
- Can Stress Cause Shingles?
- Shingles Contagious Period and Diagnosis
- Shingles Prevention: Who Should Get the Vaccine?
- Shingles During Pregnancy
- Shingles Treatment
- Shingles Symptoms and Signs
- Shingles Causes
Medications & Supplements
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- Lyrica (pregabalin)
- diphenhydramine, Benadryl
- Over-the-Counter Products
- Valtrex (valacyclovir)
- Calamine Lotion (calamine and zinc oxide)
- valacyclovir - oral, Valtrex
- gabapentin solution - oral, Neurontin
- famciclovir - oral, Famvir
- acyclovir - injection, Zovirax
- gabapentin - oral, Neurontin
- acyclovir - oral, Zovirax
- Side Effects of Valtrex (valacyclovir)
- amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
- lidocaine patch (Lidoderm)
- acyclovir, Zovirax
- gabapentin (Neurontin)
- Zovirax (acyclovir) vs. Abreva (docosanol)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Zovirax (acyclovir)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Famvir (famciclovir)
- acetic acid/aluminum acetate - otic, Domeboro
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Valcyte (valganciclovir)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Abreva (docosanol)
- Side Effects of Lidoderm (lidocaine)
- carbamazepine, Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol, Epitol, Teril
- varicella virus vaccine (chickenpox) - injection, Varivax
- famciclovir, Famvir
- Shingles Vaccine (Zoster Shingles Vaccine Live, Zostavax)
- Zovirax (acyclovir) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- docosanol - topical, Abreva
- diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP) vaccine injection (Adult)
- capsaicin - topical, Capsagel, Salonpas-Hot, Zostri
- Side Effects of Famvir (famciclovir)
- Side Effects of Zostavax (zoster vaccine)
Prevention & Wellness
- Shingles Vaccine Bonus: Reduced Risk of Stroke?
- Chickenpox Vaccine Shields Kids From Shingles, Too
- Potentially Blinding Shingles of the Eye on the Rise
- Herpes Viruses Can Reactivate In Astronauts While in Space: Study
- Cancer Patients May Face Greater Risk of Shingles
- Health Tip: When to Get the Shingles Vaccine
- Trying to Get the New Shingles Vaccine? Join the Crowd
- Health Tip: Shingles 101
- New Shingles Vaccine Approved by FDA
- Health Tip: One of Three Adults Gets Shingles
- Is Shingles Tied to Heart, Stroke Risk?
- Shingles Vaccine Cuts Chronic Pain, Hospitalizations
- Got an Itch? Use These Tips for Relief -- and Don't Scratch
- What Twins Are Teaching the Rest of Us
- Experimental Shingles Vaccine Looks Quite Effective: Study
- Pain, Epilepsy Drug Lyrica May Increase Birth Defects Risk, Study Suggests
- Chickenpox, Shingles Vaccines Linked to Rare Eye Inflammation
- Shingles Linked to Raised Heart Risks for Seniors, Study Finds
- Shingles Vaccine Appears to Cut Odds of Long-Term Pain
- Health Tip: Easing the Pain of Shingles
- Study Ties Shingles Virus to Dangerous Blood Vessel Disease in Elderly
- 'Kids' Diseases' Now Hitting Adults
- Shingles Vaccine Still Effective After Chemotherapy
- Stroke Risk Spikes Shortly After Shingles Episode: Study
- Boomers Should Consider Shingles Vaccine, Physician Says
- Younger Adults Who've Had Shingles May Face Higher Stroke Risk
- FDA Rejects MS Drug Lemtrada
- Chickenpox Vaccine Not Responsible for Rise in Shingles, Study Says
- Few U.S. Seniors Take Advantage of Shingles Vaccine
- Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Don't Seem to Increase Risk of Shingles
- Untreated Depression May Cut Shingles Vaccine Effectiveness
- Shingles Not Linked to Increased Cancer Risk, Study States
- Epilepsy Drug Gabapentin Calms Chronic Cough
- Shingles Vaccine Safe for Those With Autoimmune Diseases: Study
- FDA Approves Horizant for Post-Shingles Pain
- Little Short-Term Risk of Repeat Bout of Shingles, Study Finds
- Cell Transplant Tested as Treatment for Nerve Pain in Mice
- Shingles Vaccine Deemed Safe in Large Study
- Children With Asthma at Higher Risk for Shingles: Study
- Too Few American Adults Getting Needed Vaccinations: CDC
- Health Tip: Getting the Shingles Vaccine
- FDA: Shingles Vaccine OK at Age 50 and Up
- Shingles Returns More Often Than Thought
- Health Tip: Recognizing Symptoms of Shingles
- Herpes Drugs May Be Safe in Early Pregnancy
- Qutenza Approved for Post-Shingles Nerve Pain
- Shingles May Raise Risk of Stroke
- Family History Ups Shingles Risk
- Age 60 or Older? Get Shingles Vaccine
- 1 Million Shingles Patients in U.S.
- Shingles Drug Reduces Spinal Cord Injury Pain
- FDA Approves First Shingles Vaccine
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