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Top 10 Symptoms of Shingles

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Shingles is a disease that effects the skin primarily, and can put you out of work for roughly a week. It’s caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus which is the same virus that brings on chicken pox and also known as an immune virus. It can be contagious, and is worth secluding yourself if you have it from those with weakened immunities, pregnant women, seniors, or infants.

  1. Rashes- The shingles virus is easily determined by a medical team and nurses alike as many can quickly look at the rash and tell you that it is for certain a case of shingles. It tends to form a rash that is raised on the skin’s surface and can be rather irritating.
  2. Pain- Shingles is painful; there’s no two ways about it. Anyone that has ever had it will tell you that it is terribly painful where the rashes develop, especially if you obtain blisters there as well. You will no doubt be given prescription level pain medications from your physician, and be sure to take them when the pain becomes a bit challenging.
  3. Sensitive to Touch- When you have a rash that seems never-ending, it is typical to be sensitive on your skin all over. Some use ice packs to begin subduing that sensitivity, but be sure to wrap your ice inside a washcloth or small hand towel to avoid burning or damaging the skin where it is already tender.
  4. Blisters- Nothing says you have a virus quite like developing painful blisters, right? It’s often unavoidable with shingles, and sometimes the blisters can be filled with fluid or pus making them even more frustrating. Some swear by ice, others use warm milk baths to soothe the blisters that can often be troubling to wear clothing over, or sleep with.
  5. Itchy- Rashes don’t usually develop without some form of crazy itch to accompany it, and shingles are no different. Some over the counter anti-itch medications and allergy ones will help get to work on lowering the urge to scratch so much so they are certainly worth the few dollars at your local drug store.
  6. Sensitive to Light- This is also a symptom of migraines, and so are headaches of shingles so if you were to combine the two you could think you have either ailment. If a fever starts, you may want to get it checked out as you could be on your way to a shingles outbreak.
  7. Fever- These are super common for shingles patients and one of the telltale signs. You can try to break your fever with any over the counter fever reducers, and by placing a cold cloth over your head. If it doesn’t seem to decrease, or starts to climb higher, contact your doctor.
  8. Headache- Anytime you have a virus it is a general rule of thumb that a headache can easily soon follow the first signs of viral illness. Not to worry as most headaches go away within the same day they began. It’s been said that if you submerge your hands and feet in hot/warm water, then place an ice pack on the back of your neck at the same time that your blood flow changes and it can totally cure your headache. Worth a shot?
  9. Fatigue- Viral ailments love to try to break down your whole system at once. Don’t be alarmed if you feel as if you are terribly fatigued as this is rather typical of shingles. Fatigue alone may not be enough symptoms to send you to the doctor’s office, but if you begin to feel other symptoms such as developing a rash or getting a fever as well, it may be time to have it looked at.
  10. Pain but no Rash- Believe it or not, there are cases of shingles where the patient doesn’t develop the iconic rash associated with the illness. They will usually just experience pain on the skin where the rash would normally develop, and this form can often be slightly trickier for the medical team to diagnose.

Shingles are exhausting, there is no denying that, but they are also treatable and that’s a beautiful thing. Always seek out the help of your medical team to ensure that you are getting the medications you need to start the healing process and lower your recovery time as much as possible. Drink tons of fluids, and try to lay down and relax until the illness subsides.

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