Recent Blog Articles

Shingles

September 01, 2005
 

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor: 

 
  • Do you have a history of chicken pox? 
  • Does your skin hurt, itch, or feel numb? 
  • Is the pain sharp, dull, or piercing? How long have you had it? 
  • Do you have a rash? If so, for how long? 
  • Is the rash in more than one place on your skin? 
  • Is the rash on one side of your body only? 
  • Has the rash at any time looked like small blisters? 
  • Do you still have pain even if the rash is gone? 
  • What triggers the pain (for example, a light touch)? 
  • Do your symptoms interfere with your ability to sleep or perform activities of daily living? 
  • Do you have any risk factors for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? 
  • Are you taking any medications? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions: 

 
  • Careful skin exam 
 
 
 

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies: 

 
  • Skin scraping to examine under the microscope, or for viral culture, immunofluorescence, or polymerase chain reaction testing

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.