When to go to Urgent Care for Shingles

When to go to Urgent Care for Shingles

It’s best to seek emergency medical treatment when you have a painful, blistering rash and fever along with your shingles. Go directly to an urgent care or emergency room if you experience sudden, extreme weakness in your face, arm or leg on one side of your body; trouble swallowing; confusion or difficulty talking; or vision changes. If any of these symptoms happen more than four days after you’ve started feeling pain, contact your doctor right away. You may be having a serious complication known as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). The good news is that it’s very rare—and treatable.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster or zoster infection, is a painful, contagious rash caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Shingles occurs when dormant VZV reawakens in sensory nerves. As a result of an initial attack of chickenpox, or having previously been vaccinated against chickenpox, people are exposed to VZV and may develop shingles years later. If you think you might have shingles symptoms because of a recent immunization or bout with chickenpox, call your doctor and schedule an appointment immediately. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are experiencing pain in addition to any skin changes; after all, more serious conditions can sometimes masquerade as shingles.

Patients with severe or worsening symptoms (especially over multiple areas of skin) should seek immediate medical care. Shingles can be a serious infection and can leave patients suffering pain, discomfort, and scars that last for years after they’ve gone into remission. If you think you have shingles, visit an urgent care center immediately. You should also contact your doctor; if you don’t know who your regular doctor is, it may be a good idea to call a local hospital in order to find out what healthcare facilities are available in your area. While every case of shingles is different, there are some telltale signs that indicate whether or not you need emergency treatment

If you notice fluid-filled blisters appearing on your skin, head straight to urgent care. This is a sign of shingles, which can appear as a result of getting chickenpox and sometimes lead to serious complications—even blindness. Shingles typically develop on one side of your face or body before spreading over time. If you notice them soon after they appear, your doctor may be able to prescribe a stronger dose of anti-viral medications than he or she might otherwise have given. Antivirals won’t take away all symptoms, but they can reduce pain and discomfort considerably. You’ll also want to avoid touching or scratching any blisters until your doctor gives you his or her OK.

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