What Are The Stages Of Shingles?

By carolynne
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

Shingles is a painful yet common condition caused by the same virus as chickenpox. This virus remains dormant in the system along a nerve path and can be reactivated years later, presenting as shingles. The disease is characterized by a blistering rash on one side of the body and a general sense of malaise. However, internal shingles may present differently.

Like most viruses, some people experience more severe symptoms. For most individuals, shingles is quite manageable. Those diagnosed with the virus can expect it to last anywhere from three to five weeks. Shingles follows a predictable pattern of symptoms, marked by various stages.

1. Tingling or Burning Feeling

One of the first signs of shingles is a strange tingling or burning feeling on the skin. The sensation can feel a bit like pins and needles. The skin may become sensitive to the touch, and the nerve endings might feel like they're burning. An itching sensation and feeling of numbness might accompany the burning feeling.

This uncomfortable tingling generally appears on one side of the body in a specific area. Common places for the tingling sensation is on one side of the face, waist, trunk and back.1‘Editorial.’ Journal of Applied Polymer Science, vol. 6, no. 23, 1962, doi:10.1002/app.1962.070062301. People frequently report the occurrence of these symptoms before a rash erupts.


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