Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful blistering rash and other symptoms, such as sensitivity to touch or sensitivity to light. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox infection.

After a person is exposed to the chickenpox virus, it remains dormant in the nervous system. If reactivated by triggers like stress or illness, a person can develop the shingles rash. Shingles can occur anywhere on the body, but it most often affects the torso. A shingles rash can appear as a single stripe of small blisters that wraps around one side of the body.

Shingles isn’t dangerous or life-threatening. But it can be extremely painful. Even if you’ve had the shingles vaccine, you can still develop a rash if the shingles virus becomes activated. Getting treatment early is vital, as it can lessen the chance of complications like postherpetic neuralgia (ongoing nerve pain after the blisters clear).

Shingles symptoms usually begin with a burning or tingling sensation of the skin. Certain areas of the skin may also be sensitive to the touch. These symptoms are followed by:

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An extremely tender, painful, red rash (often on the torso or face)

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Fluid-filled blisters

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Some people also experience a fever, headache, and fatigue with shingles.

Antivirals such as acyclovir or valacyclovir (Valtrex) can help shorten the duration of a shingles outbreak and help prevent complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain).

CallonDoc physicians treat shingles online. After an online consultation and shingles diagnosis, our board-certified doctors can prescribe shingles medications online. You can pick up your shingles prescription within a few hours from your local pharmacy.

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Yes. CallonDoc physicians can diagnose and prescribe medications to treat shingles. You’ll just need to answer a few health questions. During your consultation, a CallonDoc physician will determine the best course of treatment for you. Learn more about how it works.
The condition will eventually clear up on its own. But treatment can speed the healing process and help prevent post-viral complications, such as nerve pain. A shingles rash caused by the herpes zoster virus is a very painful condition. Early treatment can help relieve your symptoms sooner. CallonDoc will develop a treatment plan to help you get relief fast.
Shingles is not contagious, but the virus that causes it is. Since shingles contain the live virus, it is possible for someone who has never had chickenpox (such as a young child) to catch it from someone with an active shingles outbreak.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, but the reason the virus gets triggered is unclear. Common triggers are thought to include stress and illness. Shingles is more common in older adults and in those with weak immune systems.
There’s no cure for shingles, but there are treatments that can help speed healing and prevent complications. These include antiviral medications like acyclovir and valacyclovir.
Having the varicella-zoster virus does not automatically mean you will later develop shingles. But there are factors that may increase your risk of shingles, including age (being 50 or older), having a disease that weakens your immune system, taking certain medications, and undergoing cancer treatments (which lower your resistance to diseases).
One of the most common complications is postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain). It happens when damaged nerve fibers send false signals to the brain, triggering the sensation of pain. If shingles blisters aren’t properly treated, you can also develop a skin infection. Vision loss can occur if shingles blisters occur in or around the eye. This is called ophthalmic shingles. Shingles can also cause neurological issues, including problems with hearing or balance, facial paralysis, and inflammation of the brain. Treatment with antiviral medications can help speed healing and reduce your chances of developing complications. CallonDoc offers online doctor visits with no insurance or appointment needed.
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