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How To Recognize the Symptoms of Shingles Early On

How To Recognize the Symptoms of Shingles Early On

Experiencing sudden, intense pain on one side of your body accompanied by a strange rash? This could be a symptom of shingles — a condition that causes severe discomfort and complications if not promptly treated.

Recognizing the early symptoms of shingles can make all the difference in managing this painful condition. Dr. Jeffery Klein and our board-certified dermatologists at HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California, specialize in diagnosing and treating shingles. 

Our team understands how debilitating this condition can be. We’re here to help you identify signs of shingles early so you can get the help you need. We also offer a unique shingle treatment designed by Dr. Klein to ensure you stay ahead of your pain and any complications.

Take a moment to learn more about shingles, early symptoms, and how we can help.  

Understanding shingles

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (the same virus that causes chickenpox).

Once you’ve had chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus remains dormant in your nerve tissues and can reactivate years later as shingles.

Shingles typically present as a painful rash on one side of the body, often wrapping around the torso. However, they can also appear on the face or in other areas. The rash then turns into fluid-filled blisters.

This condition can be excruciating and may lead to complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), where the pain continues long after the rash has healed. It can also cause vision problems, hearing problems and ongoing skin infections.

Identifying the early symptoms of shingles (before the rash)

Recognizing the early symptoms of shingles can lead to quicker diagnosis and treatment, reducing your risk of complications. Here are the early signs of shingles:

Pain and tingling

The first symptom of shingles is often pain or a tingling sensation, typically on one side of your body. This pain can range from mild to severe and is frequently mistaken for other conditions affecting the same area.

Sensitivity to touch

The area with pain may become extremely sensitive to the touch. Even the slightest contact can cause significant discomfort, often described as burning, shooting, or aching pain.

Flu-like symptoms

Before the rash appears, you might experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, fatigue, and general malaise. These symptoms are often mild but can be an early warning sign of shingles.

Itching and redness

Shortly before the rash develops, you may notice itching, redness, or swelling in the affected area. This can be a precursor to the blistering rash that characterizes shingles.

Treating shingles and preventing complications

Don’t wait to seek medical attention if you suspect you have shingles. At HK Dermatology, Dr. Klein and our team have years of experience offering comprehensive shingles care to manage and recover from shingles.

Traditional shingles treatment

After diagnosing your condition, traditional treatment prescribes an antiviral medication, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir. For peak effectiveness, these medications should be taken within 72 hours of the rash's appearance. 

Pain management is a part of shingles treatment. The most common options include topical creams, over-the-counter and prescription pain medicines, and medications to manage the nerve pain associated with shingles.  

TELTAB at HK Dermatology: A more effective shingles therapy

Dr. Klein developed an innovative therapy that is more effective than traditional treatments for managing shingles. 

Called tumescent lidocaine epinephrine triamcinolone acyclovir B12, or TELTAB, the therapy combines multiple medications to reduce pain and prevent postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) — a common complication of shingles.  

TELTAB involves the combination of different therapeutic components that help reduce pain and prevent PHN. These include:

With TETAB, in addition to providing immediate pain relief, our patients have a lower risk of developing chronic pain after the virus clears because TELTAB addresses nerve inflammation before more severe damage occurs. 

For personalized help managing shingles, schedule an appointment with a provider at HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California.

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