Internal Shingles Symptoms

Shingles is a painful and often debilitating disease that is caused by a virus that affects the roots of the nerves. Shingles is not a contagious disease, but it is actually spread via the chicken pox virus that lies dormant inside many adults’ bodies. Shingles is known mostly for the external symptoms, especially the rash, but there are many internal shingles symptoms that should not be ignored and should immediately trigger a phone call to your physician.

Earliest Symptoms

The earliest symptoms are the internal ones. They include flu-like symptoms, but no fever, as well as sensitivity to light and headaches. These will pass and then the rash will appear. Before the rash appears, there will also be numbness, pain, tingling, burning, or tickling sensations in the locations where the rash will later appear. Those areas are usually along the back or chest, but the symptoms and rash can appear anywhere, including the legs, arms, neck, face, head, or torso.

Other internal shingles symptoms include symptoms that are flu-like, including chills, diarrhea, and stomach aches. The only difference is that the symptoms will not have a fever. The lymph nodes may go into high gear as they swell to fight the virus. As the lymph nodes swell, they might also become quite tender to the touch.

Secondary Symptoms

Once the internal shingles symptoms are gone, the uncomfortable rash will begin to make its appearance. The name shingles comes from cingulum, which is a Latin word that means belt or girdle. This name is appropriate because the shingles rash looks like a strip or belt of blisters. Usually, the rash appears a few days after the internal shingles symptoms subside.

Seek Medical Attention

If the rash appears around the eyes or anywhere else on the face, it is extremely important to get medical attention immediately, because the virus could cause blindness. Many people will also want to seek medical attention because the rash is extremely painful and is often described as feeling like needles continually piercing the skin. In most cases the rash heals in a few weeks, but the scars from the blisters may remain – just like it did for children who had serious bouts of chicken pox.

Shingles is often confused with other skin diseases, like poison oak, poison ivy, impetigo or scabies. It is not the same herpes virus as the one that causes genital herpes. Many people describe the lingering pain that remains after the rash is gone as being as painful as a heart attack, ulcers, and extremely painful migraine headaches.

Over the Counter Remedies

Those who develop the internal shingles symptoms can call their doctors for medical advice. There are many doctors who will advise their patients to try some over the counter medications to relieve headache pressure or problems associate with stomach aches or diarrhea. It is a good idea to get advice from a medical professional when dealing with internal shingles symptoms so as not to weaken the immune system and have a higher risk for more pain.

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