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Painful skin rash? – Shingles Symptoms Checker

 

Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, is a viral infection due to a reactivation of the Varicella-zoster virus. In some cases, this disease could develop complications in the long run or life-threatening situations in vulnerable patients.

Varicella-zoster virus is the one that prompts chickenpox or varicella in young children. Also, this is the same virus responsible for shingles. How is this situation possible?

When this virus first reaches the human body, mostly during childhood. It enters through the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract or conjunctiva in the eyes. Then, it travels across the whole body and causes its primary infection, known as chickenpox.

The immune system can clear and resolve, in most cases, the infection, which results in no further problem for the patient at that moment. However, the virus’s escape abilities allow it to remain in a specific portion of the body, the dorsal root ganglia.

The latter is an important structure of the nerves in charge of carrying out the body’s sensations. For many years, the virus will remain dormant without causing any trouble. Yet, the only thing that keeps out of sight the virus is the immune system. Hence, if something impairs this system, then the virus reactivates.

Importantly, the specific reason for shingles to appear sometimes is not known. However, there are risk factors associated with a decrease in the immune system’s function that will mean a further risk of shingles for those patients. For example, patients with cancer or HIV or repetitive, intense stress-episodes are at risk. Besides, as people grow older, they will most of the time see a reduction in their immune system status. So, those patients are also at a particularly higher risk of having shingles.

It is important to note that it is necessary to have a prior infection of Chickenpox for having shingles. With the virus inside the body and when the immune system weakens, it appears again with a different presentation.

This is a Shingles Symptoms Checker. It gathers the most important signs, symptoms, and risk factors for this infection.

The symptoms of shingles, most of the time, are very characteristic of the disease. It is a painful skin rash that involves specific body parts. Notably, when it appears, if patients receive treatment within 72 hours, the chances of having a successful outcome significantly increases.

However, it all depends on the underlying condition of the patients and the overall symptoms. Shingles could cause chronic or long-term complications as Postherpetic neuralgia, which is a pain that persists in the skin area for months or even years. Also, patients with a really compromised immune system as cancer patients could develop severe lung or brain infections that could prompt death.

Shingles, although in many cases, resolves without a problem. It is important to recognize the disease for early treatment and to avoid infecting others. In the disease acute phase, where the skin rash appears, the patients can pass the infection to vulnerable people, mostly children.

That is what this tool is all about prevention. The tool will aim to identify the most important signs, symptoms, and risk factors of shingles. Therefore, it will tell anybody who uses it the likelihood of their symptoms because of this infection just by answering simple questions.

Keep in mind that this tool does not replace the adequate assessment from a doctor. Yet, it will talk about the likelihood of shingles being the source of the symptoms. Besides, it is free and would take a few minutes.

  • Question of

    Do you are older than fifty years old?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you are older than seventy years old?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Did you have chickenpox or varicella?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you not remember if you had chickenpox or varicella?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have a skin rash right now that looks like the one in the photo below or started looking like that? (A redness in the skin)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    The skin rash’s location is in the back and/or chest from one side of the body?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Does this skin rash mostly hurt? (It hurts more than it itches)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Does this skin rash does not hurt at all and only itches greatly?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have skin rash all over your body in multiple places? (Like in your arms, legs, chest, abdomen) Click yes if two sites are very distant from each other, like the hands and feet or more than two areas, even though they are near like the back, chest, and abdomen.

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have the skin rash in specific places, such as in the trunk solely, abdomen solely, etc? (You can click yes also if it is in the back and the trunk simultaneously)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    From that redness in the skin, did you have new skin injuries (Blisters or vesicles) that were tiny and filled with liquid in about three to five days? (Look the photo below for a characteristic picture of it)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Did these new skin lesions (Blisters or vesicles) within the skin rash ruptured and formed a crust?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    During these latter events of the skin rash, are you still having pain within that skin area?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Did you have before the skin rash abnormal sensations within that skin area, like tingling, itching, or pain, at least hours or one to three days earlier? (You can click yes if it was ten days or earlier too)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    During that time of abnormal skin sensations without skin rash, did you have muscle aches, headache, weakness, or discomfort?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have less than fifteen days with this skin rash and symptoms going on?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have more than one month that the skin rash crusted, and you are still in pain within that same skin area? (please also click yes if you have a burning or tingling sensation or the opposite, less or no sensation at all.

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have been diagnosed with HIV infection or AIDS?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you currently take steroid or immunosuppressive treatment for any particular underlying disease like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, eczema, and so on? (This includes asthma or other conditions like COPD)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have been diagnosed with any type of cancer?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Have you been a receptor of organs? (Someone gave you an organ like a kidney)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you are exposed everyday to highly stressful situations? (Consider a stressful situation the ones that cause you headache or levels of stress that outlast you physically and mentally)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Does the skin rash is affecting one of your eyes? (look at the image below)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Is the skin rash looking like in the photo below?

    • Yes
    • No

Written by Dr. Esteban Kosak

Doctor of Medicine - MD Recently Graduated from Medical School and inspired to aid the global population during this situation. I think that we shall no longer be waiting to see a doctor when we feel sick. Several times we feel disease searches in Google drive us to a rabbit hole and come out thinking that we may die of cancer or something very serious, given that symptoms may seem to fit a wide variety of illnesses. Since I recently graduated from medical school. I have all the medical information fresh in my mind. My thorough experience as an expert researcher allows me to very-well known the different diseases and conditions that affect human bodies. Empowered by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). I think that we all can provide a grain of sand to help humanity. That's why we created Symptoms.Care a place where you can come and screen your symptoms and find what different illnesses can be related to them. Armed with the right information you can instantly, discretely, secure and from the comfort of your home talk with a Doctor that can Evaluate your Symptoms and help you seek the right treatment.

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