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Shingles symptom: painful blisters
Shingles symptom: painful blisters
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It can sometimes be difficult to figure out why you might have painful blisters on your body. You might think a painful rash is due to an allergy, or maybe even bug bites. But painful blisters can sometimes be a sign of shingles, a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (the same virus that causes chicken pox) that can be extraordinarily painful. “Some people mistake shingles blisters for spider bites, says geriatrician Dr Tracy Lippard. “Getting care quickly is important, as the medication to treat shingles works best if it’s started within three days of the rash.”

Shingles can be nasty and dangerous. Read on to learn more about treatment options.

Shingles symptom: skin irritation on one side of the body
Shingles symptom: skin irritation on one side of the body
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This is one of the hallmark symptoms of shingles, also called herpes zoster. “Shingles is always on one side of the body,” says general practitioner Dr Randy Wexler. “It never crosses the midline.”

Shingles symptom: sensitivity to light
Shingles symptom: sensitivity to light
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A sudden sensitivity to bright light, whether sunshine or fluorescent lighting, can be a subtle sign that something is amiss. According to Dr Larisa Geskin, associate professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Centre, it may mimic the feeling of a mild migraine coming on.

 

Shingles symptom: flu-like feeling
Shingles symptom: flu-like feeling
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Got your flu shot but still feel like you’ve been hit by a truck? It could be one of the symptoms of shingles. “It’s literally like having the flu, with body aches, fatigue and chills without fever,” says Dr Geskin. (This is the reason why you should get the shingles vaccine if you’re over 50.)

Finding it hard to shake the flu? These are the real reasons your cold and flu symptoms linger.

Shingles symptom: line of red bumps
Shingles symptom: line of red bumps
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Red bumps in a certain pattern on your body could be one of the early symptoms of shingles. The rash can start with red bumps anywhere on the body, and usually takes a shape known as dermatol, according to Dr Geskin. That means they are usually linear and in a pattern related to the branches of the spinal nerve that innervates that section of the skin.

 

Shingles trigger: stress
Shingles trigger: stress
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It’s no secret that stress can wreak havoc on the immune system, but it can also be a trigger for shingles. “Stressors such as hospitalisation for a medical illness or a huge financial setback may be overwhelming,” says dermatologist Dr Evan Rieder. According to Dr Rieder, even mild stressors like a sleepless night or a runny nose can weaken the body’s immune system and allow reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles.

Beat stress by following these habits of people who never get stressed.

Shingles symptom: chest pain
Shingles symptom: chest pain
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Chest pain is scary, but it’s not always a symptom of a heart attack. “Prior to the appearance of vesicles on the chest, patients may experience sharp or burning pain,” says Dr Sylvia Morris (vesicles are fluid-filled blisters). According to Dr Morris, chest pain that feels itchy and painful to the touch could be an early sign of shingles.

These pains should never be ignored, find out why.

Shingles symptom: headache
Shingles symptom: headache
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A nagging headache can come from stress, allergies, a reaction to certain foods – or the onset of shingles. A shingles-onset headache is unilateral, meaning it’s felt on only one side of the head. “The headache may be centred around the eye, the top of the head, or the forehead,” Dr Morris says.

Migraines are debilitating, learn how to survive the 8 different types of migraine.

Shingles symptom: pain
Shingles symptom: pain
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It’s easy to ignore minor aches and pains, especially in middle age, but pay attention to the location. “One symptom that people might ignore is pain in a certain area even with no evidence of a rash,” says integrative physician, Dr Patrick Fratellone. “There are a few patients who have shingles and no rash.” In those cases, a blood test can help with the diagnosis.

Shingles symptom: pain around one eye
Shingles symptom: pain around one eye
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If you get migraines, you may be inclined to dismiss this as yet another headache. But don’t ignore this nuance because it could be one of the symptoms of shingles. “If you develop pain and tingling in the eye area along with any type of rash, see a doctor immediately,” says Dr Kristine Arthur. “If left untreated, it could cause blindness.”

Shingles symptom: sharp, stabbing pain
Shingles symptom: sharp, stabbing pain
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“Shingles pain usually has a sharp stabbing, burning, intensely itchy, or pins-and-needles quality,” says Dr Alison Lynch. It usually shows up in the trunk area of the body, including the chest and upper and lower back. Dr Lynch says this symptom can begin several days before the rash appears.

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Source: RD.com

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