When do you need a lab test for shingles?

When do you need a lab test for shingles?

If you don’t have a rash, or if the rash stretches across the body or looks like it could be some other type of rash—like herpes simplex or contact dermatitis—your doctor might need lab tests in order to diagnose shingles.

How can you tell if you have shingles from a swab?

If you have an atypical rash or there aren’t any good swabs to use as a sample for PCR, serological testing can be used in addition to a physical exam to diagnose shingles, typically by looking for antibodies in your blood. When you’re exposed to varicella-zoster virus, your body makes antibodies to defend itself.

What’s the name of the virus that causes shingles?

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a distressing skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, VZV stays in the body. Usually the virus causes no problems.

What are the signs and symptoms of shingles?

Early symptoms and signs of shingles include burning, itching, tingling, or sensitive skin for up to three days. Following these skin sensations, a rash may appear in the same area, which will develop into groups of clear blisters. These blisters will become yellow and sometimes bloody,…

How do you pass shingles?

Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another, however if you have shingles you can pass the varicella zoster virus to another individual and give them the chicken pox. A person with active shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister phase. Once the rash develops a crust, the person is no longer contagious.

How do you diagnose shingles?

Shingles is usually diagnosed based on the history of pain on one side of your body, along with the telltale rash and blisters. Your doctor may also take a tissue scraping or culture of the blisters for examination in the laboratory.

How do you test for internal shingles?

Blood Tests. Another way of testing to detect shingles in a patient can be done with a blood test. The first step is a procedure called a complete blood count, which can identify increased levels of white blood cells in the blood.

What are the stages of shingles?

When you get shingles, you typically experience four stages: the pre-rash stage, the red rash stage, the fluid-filled blister stage, and the crusting or scabbing stage. I’ll go through what shingles looks like in each stage. The first sign of shingles is typically pain without a rash.