Health A-Z

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Diagnosis

Shingles can be difficult to diagnose before visible signs of the disease appear. Once a rash and blisters appear, your doctor probably will diagnose shingles based on your symptoms and the appearance of your skin. Rarely, when the diagnosis is less certain, the doctor may scrape tissue, collect cells from the affected skin and examine them under a microscope for cellular changes consistent with a herpes zoster infection.

If you have a rash across the bridge of your nose or anywhere near your eyes, your doctor will include an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) in your care.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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