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Conditions Similar to Herpes Zoster and When to See Your Doctor

Herpes Zoster? -- Or Another Medical Condition?

Before making a diagnosis of herpes zoster (also known as shingles), the healthcare provider will also consider other conditions that may share similar symptoms with herpes zoster. If the herpes zoster rash has yet to appear, the healthcare provider may consider conditions such as:
When the rash is present, your healthcare provider may consider conditions such as:
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection
  • Poison ivy rash
  • Cellulitis.

When Do I See My Doctor If a Herpes Zoster Diagnosis Is Possible?

It's important to go to your doctor no later than three days after the rash starts. The doctor needs to see the rash to confirm that you have herpes zoster and to make a herpes zoster treatment plan. Although there is no herpes zoster cure, early treatment with drugs that fight the virus can help. Herpes zoster can often be treated at home, and patients with herpes zoster rarely need to stay in the hospital.
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