From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook July 1999:

Shingles Alert!

from N.Z. Ostomate; via Halton-Peel Counties (Ontario, Canada)

Shingles can cause long term pain and must be taken seriously and treated immediately. This is a viral illness that mainly affects your skin and nerves. The same virus causes chicken pox. It is not usually a serious illness but it may be very unpleasant. Sometimes it can affect your eyes or spread more widely over your body. If either of these occur, you must tell your doctor straight away. The symptoms are not always obvious.

  1. Pain is normally on one side of the body only.

  2. Pain generally begins as a deep, squeezing or stabbing pain and later becomes a burning, itching, or tingling sensation.

  3. Areas of red spots which may resemble insect bites or blisters appear on the skin. The rash may be over your hip, your waist, your arm, or your face.

  4. After about a week, blisters will develop into small scabs or crusts which will disappear after 2-3 weeks.

People with shingles feel different kinds of pain, and different levels of pain. Although your pain may be extremely uncomfortable, medication can help and it will diminish with time.

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Content last revised 1999-07-25