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How to diagnose shingles?

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Posted on Mon, 28 Jul 2014
Question: If you have symptoms of what might be the shingles how do you know for sure? I had what seemed to be the start of shingle but has subsided. I was taking penicillin for an absess tooth when I got the symptoms and stoped then the symptoms went away
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Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Unlikely to be Shingles

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Welcome to health care magic.

I have gone through your query and I want to elaborate on shingles and its symptoms so that your doubts are cleared satifactorily.

Shingles is reactivation of varicella virus which causes chicken pox and is also called as herpes zoster.

Reactivation occurs in approximately 5 - 15% of individuals and can occur at any age in a person who had primary infection of chicken pox that may or may not have been clinically apparent.

Reactivation is more commonly seen among elderly individuals.

Zoster is usually limited to one dermatome meaning, involves part of skin supplied by the inflamed nerve.

A prodrome of paraesthesia (abnormal sensations) and pain in areas supplied by affected sensory nerve are common before the skin lesions develop.

Skin rashes appear in crops and are vesicles which break to ooze clear fluid and are very painful.

The entire episode is confined to affected dermatome and usually lasts for 2-3 weeks.

But the pain and paraesthesia may remain for few months.

I doubt that you had shingles because the lesions take atleast 2-3 weeks to heal.

I am suspecting an allergic rash to penicillin which reduced once you stopped taking the medication.

I suggest you get yourself screened for allergies to medications by getting in touch with an allergy specialist.

I hope I have helped you with this answer.

Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Roopa Hiremath

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 877 Questions

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How to diagnose shingles?

Brief Answer: Unlikely to be Shingles Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to health care magic. I have gone through your query and I want to elaborate on shingles and its symptoms so that your doubts are cleared satifactorily. Shingles is reactivation of varicella virus which causes chicken pox and is also called as herpes zoster. Reactivation occurs in approximately 5 - 15% of individuals and can occur at any age in a person who had primary infection of chicken pox that may or may not have been clinically apparent. Reactivation is more commonly seen among elderly individuals. Zoster is usually limited to one dermatome meaning, involves part of skin supplied by the inflamed nerve. A prodrome of paraesthesia (abnormal sensations) and pain in areas supplied by affected sensory nerve are common before the skin lesions develop. Skin rashes appear in crops and are vesicles which break to ooze clear fluid and are very painful. The entire episode is confined to affected dermatome and usually lasts for 2-3 weeks. But the pain and paraesthesia may remain for few months. I doubt that you had shingles because the lesions take atleast 2-3 weeks to heal. I am suspecting an allergic rash to penicillin which reduced once you stopped taking the medication. I suggest you get yourself screened for allergies to medications by getting in touch with an allergy specialist. I hope I have helped you with this answer. Thanks.