How Do You Diagnose Shingles?

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 Family Physician, discusses How You Diagnose Shingles.

 Family Physician, discusses How You Diagnose Shingles.

Video transcript

Dr. Daniel Ngui, BSc (P.T), MD, CFPC, FCFP

Duration: 1 minute, 27 seconds

Shingles can be very challenging to diagnose.

It's important that you as a partner in your healthcare with your family doctor, think about what's happening.

A prodrome or an early warning sign for shingles can include fevers and chills, it can include tingling and burning on one side of your body or chest or leg. It's important you speak to your physician within the first 72 hours if you see a rash or if you see bubbles appearing on your body on one side.

Once you've been diangosed with an acute case of shingles or zoster your family physician will speak to you about medication options. They typically include antiviral therapy, which can be 7 days. You may need a referral to an opthamologist in cases of involvement of the eye.

It's important you speak to your physician about a proper diagnosis, because a whole host of things can mimic shingles, such as a bacterial infection. The reason why you need to speak to your physician right away is we're trying to prevent the risk of postherpetic neuralgia, which is a painful condition.

If you have this condition, your physician will work with you to find a combination of medications to treat the pain. It's important if you have any questions or any concerns that you make an appointment to speak to your physician or your local expert.

Treatments vary according patient as well as physician so once again, make an appointment and speak to your physician.

Presenter: Dr. Daniel Ngui, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

Video Quiz ( 34 participated.)

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:


Shingles is a condition that results from having the chicken pox virus at some point in your life.


Having shingles can leave you with a painful condition called post herpetic neuralgia.


There are treatments available if you have shingles and it is important to see your physician as soon as possible if you suspect you have this condition.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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