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Shingles is a viral infection that attacks your nerves, causing a painful skin rash made up of small blisters. It typically wraps around one side of your face or body. If you’ve had chickenpox during your life, the same virus that caused your chickenpox may reactivate, many years later, and emerge as shingles.

Although shingles is more common among older adults, anyone who’s had chickenpox is at risk. You may have shingles if you are experiencing the following symptoms for about two to six weeks:

  • Pain: mild or serve pain that may feel like a burning sensation or tingle concentrated on a particular area on one side of your face or body
  • Rash: small red bumps that typically wrap around one side of your body (usually the face or torso)
  • Blisters: fluid-filled blisters that break and crust over

You may also experience the following shingles-related symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach


Bed Rest
Even with treatment, shingles must run its course, so you’ll need to get plenty of rest to help your body heal during this time.

Cream or Ointment
Your dermatologist may prescribe a cream or ointment or recommend an over-the-counter remedy such as calamine lotion to help control the shingles-related itching.

Cool Compress
Applying a cool compress to the areas of your body affected by shingles can often help you get some relief from the itching and pain.

Antiviral Medication
Your dermatologist may prescribe antiviral medication to treat the virus that is causing the shingles outbreak.

Steroid Medication
Your dermatologist may prescribe a steroid medication to help reduce inflammation related to shingles.


Physical Exam
Through a medical examination of your skin, we can accurately diagnose and determine the best way to treat your shingles.

To confirm the diagnosis, we may remove a small section of the blisters (biopsy) and send it to a laboratory for analysis.

Why Choose UHealth?

World-class leaders in skin care treatment. University of Miami Health System is recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in caring for conditions and disorders of the skin. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide superior, personalized treatments for dermatologic conditions.

Compassionate care in an academic medical center. You benefit from the state-of-the-art technology and latest medical advancements developed by our researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. You will receive the most accurate diagnosis and a detailed plan to keep your skin healthy.

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