Shingles vs Hives

Shingles vs Hives

Shingles and hives are both skin conditions that may be confused with one another due to their similar characteristics. While they may appear similar on the surface, there are several key differences between the two.

What are Shingles?

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection of the nerve and skin. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Symptoms include a red rash or blistering on one side of the body, fever, headache, and pain in the affected area. The rash is usually itchy and can last from two to four weeks.

What are Hives?

Hives, or urticaria, is an allergic reaction that causes red, swollen, and itchy welts or bumps on the skin. This reaction is usually caused by an allergen or irritant. Allergy medications may help reduce the occurrence or symptoms of hives.

Differences between Shingles vs Hives

  • Appearance: The rash of shingles is often localized to one side of the body, while the rash of hives may be more widespread.
  • Duration: The rash of shingles typically lasts 2-4 weeks, while the rash of hives can last a few hours to a day or more.
  • Cause: Shingles is caused by a virus, while hives are usually caused by an allergen or irritant.
  • Treatment: Anti-viral medication is needed to treat shingles, while anti-allergy medications can help reduce hives.

While shingles and hives can often appear similar, it is important to note the differences between the two. If you believe that you or a loved one may be experiencing either of these skin conditions, it is important to speak to a qualified healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

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