Shingles may be diagnosed by your doctor through:

  • Taking history of pain on one side of the body with stripe pattern rash and blisters.
  • Taking a sample of the tissue or culture of the blisters to be sent to the laboratory for analysis.


Shingles has no cure but taking antiviral medications at an earlier phase can make you heal faster and lessen the development of complications. Antiviral medications include:

  • Acyclovir
  • Famciclovir
  • Valacyclovir

These medications may also be prescribed to treat severe pain caused by shingles:

  • Topical numbing treatment such as applying lidocaine spray, cream, gel or skin patch.
  • Capsaicin topical patch
  • Pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Anticonvulsants (e.g. gabapentin)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline)
  • Corticosteroid or local anesthesia injection

It may take 2 to 6 weeks for the shingles to last. You may develop shingles either only once or more in your life.