Do your shingles? Seems like a pretty straightforward question, however, most people would be quick to the give the response of ‘no.’ But, what many people don’t realize is that if they have ever had the chickenpox before, then they already have the shingles virus, it simply isn’t active – yet.
There has been much talk in the news as of late about the shingles vaccine; and while we choose not to weigh in on it other than giving it our seal of approval, what we are here to talk about is how to know that you have it.
You may be thinking, “of course I’d know if I had shingles,” and yes, that may be true, for shingles, much like chickenpox, comes with some pretty trademark symptoms. However, it is those symptoms that only tell half the story, for there are some other symptoms associated with shingles that you may not be aware of.
Skin Irritation On One Side of the Body
While this is perhaps the most hallmark characteristic, the fact that shingles s only felt on one side of the body. “Shingles is always on one side of the body,” says Randy Wexler, MD, a family physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “It never crosses the midline.” So if it is on both sides, chances are, it isn’t shingles.
Sensitivity to Light
While easy to miss, the onset of shingles to lead to a sudden sensitivity to light, be it from the sun or from artificial sources. Although there can be other causes for this, if you do notice it in conjunction with other symptoms, it may be time to visit a doctor.
Do you remember when you had the chickenpox? No, or yes, you can take our word for it that it sucked, and aside from the itchy spotty rash, all we remember is the painful, flu like symptoms. Chills, body aches, fatigue, and nausea can all happen but are often mistaken for something else.
Line of Red Bumps
The appearance of red bumps in a distinct pattern on your body can be a clear early indicator of shingles. And while rashes can occur anywhere on the body and for any number of reasons, if they are “dermatomal” or linear, then it is probably shingles.
When most people experience chest pain, or at least, the severe kind, they normally think that it is a heart attack. While this is true, it can also be an indicator of shingles. Before the appearance of the more trademark vesicles on the chest, it is common for suffered to experience a sharp or burning pain in the chest.