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What is shingles?

Shingles is caused by a virus and appears as a painful rash or blistering on the skin. It most often appears on one side of the body. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, and usually occurs later in life or in people with weakened immune systems.

What are the symptoms of shingles?

The symptoms of shingles vary for each person, and they may look like other medical conditions. Signs to watch for are:
  • Skin itching, tingling or pain a few days before the rash appears
  • Rash that begins as small spots and turns into blisters, which then break and scab over 
Some people also may have:
  • Headache
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue

How is shingles treated?

There is no cure for shingles, but there are treatments to help relieve pain and lessen other symptoms. Your provider may prescribe medicine, topical creams, rest and cool compresses.

Seeking prompt treatment for shingles (within 24 to 48 hours of when symptoms began) is important for a fast recovery and to reduce your risk of complications.
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