Friday, August 16, 2013

Shingles Blister Symptoms

The most well-known symptom of shingles, a painful viral condition, is a reddish rash, complete with blisters, that appears on the body. It's easy to tell that you have the condition when these fluid-filled blisters appear. While there's no way to cure shingles, there are ways to ease the severity of the condition and make the rash less painful and itchy. Treating shingles blisters correctly can help you avoid scarring, infection and future pain.


If you've had chicken pox, you're at risk for shingles. The chicken pox virus (varicella zoster) can lie dormant in the body's nerves. Shingles occurs when the chicken pox virus reactivates. Theoretically, anybody who has had chicken pox can develop shingles at any time, but shingles usually develops in people older than 50 because the immune system weakens with age, allowing the chicken pox virus to reactivate. People with weakened immune systems, such as people undergoing chemotherapy or taking immunosuppressive drugs, are also at higher risk of developing shingles.

Other Symptoms

People who have shingles experience other symptoms before the rash and blisters appear. The first symptoms of shingles include shooting pain, burning and tingling sensations. These often occur on one side of the body or the face. Other early shingles symptoms include tiredness, weakness and upset stomach. Some people only have these shingles symptoms and never develop a rash or blisters, although this is relatively uncommon.


The shingles rash and blisters usually appear a few days after the first shingles symptoms appear. The first sign of the shingles rash are red bumps, which often appear on one side of the face or body. These bumps develop into fluid-filled blisters. The blisters scab over in anywhere from 3 to 10 days, and the rash itself disappears in 3 to 5 weeks. When the blisters heal, they may change the skin color permanently.


Shingles is often treated with antiviral drugs, which don't cure the disease but shorten its duration and cut the risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia, a condition in which the pain lasts even after the rash heals. Steroids can also help ease shingles pain and prevent postherpetic neuralgia. Shingles blisters can specifically be treated with a medicated lotion or with cool compresses, both of which will ease pain and itching. It's also important not to scratch or pick at blisters; this can infect the blisters and cause scarring.


Shingles aren't contagious. However, the fluid in the blisters contains the varicella zoster virus. A person who hasn't had chicken pox can get that disease if they come into contact with the fluid from shingles blisters. If you have shingles, it's best to stay away from pregnant women and infants.

Tags: chicken virus, rash blisters, shingles symptoms, appear first, blisters appear, fluid-filled blisters