Q:

How do you know if you have a mild case of shingles?

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Quick Answer

A mild case of shingles begins with sensitivity to light or flu-like symptoms without a fever, followed by an itching or tingling on a patch of skin that may or may not turn into a mild rash, according to WebMD. A shingles rash is made of blisters that crust over.

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Full Answer

Shingles are most common in people over 50 years old and those with weakened immune systems, WebMD says. Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles, since they are caused by the same virus. Once a person who has had chickenpox recovers from the disease, the virus remains dormant in the body in nerve roots. Shingles occurs when disease, stress or aging reactivates the virus. A person usually only gets shingles once, but the disease can be recurring.

When blisters do occur, they appear in clusters that take between two and four weeks to heal, according to WebMD. These blisters can leave scars. More severe symptoms include dizziness, weakness, long-term pain, a rash on the face, changes in vision, changes in thinking or a spreading rash. Any of these symptoms require medical attention. Shingles is treated with antiviral medication and painkillers. In addition, a shingles vaccine can help prevent the disease or make a current case of shingles less severe.

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