The National Shingles Awareness Foundation
Our mission at the NSAF is a simple one: To make sure people know about shingles and the complications and pain the people afflicted with this disease suffer.
To do this, we post pictures and photos of shingles that some of our members are suffering from:
This is what shingles look like, the kinds of rashes that a case of shingles will bring, affecting adults as well as children. We realize these pictures and photos of rashes and shingles aren’t pleasant, but we feel they are important.
This is what the NSAF is fighting.
What are the Symptoms of Shingles?
Our mission is to educate the public about the nature of shingles and how to diagnosis them, or avoid them if possible. A big part of that mission is listing the symptoms of shingles, letting the public know what to look for.
The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body. They will manifest themselves as red rashes, rashes with blisters, sometimes as red rashes on the chest, or rashes with blister in later stages.
These signs and symptoms of shingles may include:
• Pain, burning, redness, numbness or tingling
• A red rash, starting a few days after the pain
• Fluid-filled blisters
• Blisters that break open and crust over
You may also experience:
• Fever with chills
• General all over achiness
Usually the first symptom of shingles is pain, often intense. This pain is often mistaken for something other than shingles, like kidney or appendix trouble, even deep bruising. Some people will experience shingles pain and developing a rash.
Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a band of blisters that wraps around one side of your chest from your spine to your breastbone. Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.
Who Gets Shingles?
Shingles is a disease without a ‘who gets it’ limit, nearly anyone can get it. Once you have chicken pox, you are susceptible to shingles. Children can and do get shingles, as well as adults. It’s usually worse in children, as they haven’t developed the tolerance for pain that most adults have.
There are several different drugs you can take for shingles, some are for the rash and blisters, and some are for the pain. We go into more detail about the medications for shingles on out ‘treatment for shingles’ page.
Shingle eye (Herpes zoster ophthalmicus), or ocular shingles, usually develops only after resurgence of the chickenpox virus sometimes occurring years after experiencing the original infection. The appearance of shingles of the face or the eyes is always a significant problem, and could very well be sight threatening.
Ocular shingles can cause a very painful rash, forming small blisters that will burst and then ooze on to the face and upper eyelid. The puss of the blisters can dry and form hard crusts, part of the typical appearance of ocular shingles. According to the AUS (American Uveitis Society), this rash will cause scarring and loss of eyelashes.
When should you see a doctor?
Right away. If you suspect the appearance of shingles, you should wait to contact you doctor, especially if:
• The pain and rash is near the eyes.
• You or someone in your family has a weakened immune system
• Your rash is widespread and painful.
We at the NSAF present this information about shingles rashes, skin rashes and shingles symptoms as part of our public awareness program. If you’d like more information, please see your contact us page.
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