Difference Between Shingles & Herpes


Shingles is a type of herpes and is also known as herpes zoster. Herpes is a common skin condition for many Americans. Shingles, genital herpes and cold sores are all part of the herpes virus family.


Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and symptoms are usually mild. Some cases go undiagnosed because symptoms of herpes are sometimes unrecognized.


Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chicken pox. Shingles begins with a pain that burns or tingles, and includes pain that can be mild or severe.


Differences between shingles and other herpes types include location of the outbreak. Shingles can affect the face, neck, and torso, while genital herpess affect the groin area and cold sores affect the mouth.


Shingles symptoms include pain, rash, burning, itching, fluid-filled blisters and numbness. The rash and blisters usually appear on one eye, one side of the face or neck or one side of the chest. Symptoms of herpes can include sores, fever, headache and painful urination.


Shingles usually heals on its own within weeks of outbreak. Treatment includes antiviral drugs, such as Valtrex, and pain medications, such as oxycodone. Shingles is a type of herpes and treatment is the same for both conditions.

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